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Essays

  • Coffeepots and climate

    Shane Bondi seeks to understand the connection between a lump of coal, a power plant and that first cup of coffee in the morning.

  • The mysticism of mud

    Ernest Atencio ponders an exceptionally muddy Mud Season in New Mexico, and notes how readily most Westerners forget that we live in an arid landscape.

  • Feeding time

    Will Rounds, who was once a very squeamish vegetarian, describes hacking apart the body of an elk to feed wolves at Mission:Wolf.

  • Cold dead fingers

    Ed Quillen considers Charlton Heston, the Second Amendment, and the rights, wrongs and responsibilities of gun ownership out West.

  • Tough sledding

    Kate Krautkramer ponders the ramifications when her 7-year-old son abruptly tells his best friend that he doesn’t believe in God.

  • A hard winter makes you think

    Rhonda Claridge describes a hard winter in the high mountains and points out that one seldom-acknowledged effect of climate change could be harder winters in some parts of the world.

  • The legacy of the 10th Mountain men

    Peter Shelton spends a day skiing and reminiscing with the veterans of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

  • The loneliness of the redneck environmentalist

    Drew Pogge is caught between two cultures: the redneck good ol’ boy gearheads of his youth, and the holier-than-thou environmentalists of his present.

  • A message to our grandchildren

    Environmental pioneer Stewart Udall and his wife, Lee, ask their grandchildren to be “steadfast enemies of waste.”

  • Wyoming’s day in the spin

    Ed Quillen looks behind the recent brouhaha of Wyoming’s Democratic caucuses, and speculates on Hillary Clinton’s response to Barack Obama’s victory in the state.

  • Staying put

    These days, Ana Maria Spagna travels only in her imagination, as she and her partner, Laurie, stay home and care for their elderly, dying and much-loved cat, Daisy.

  • Following the tracks

    Catherine Fink recalls long adolescent days spent wandering along Colorado railroad tracks, singing at the top of her lungs and discovering the world.

  • Standing outside, late, in a charcoal forest

  • My short tenure with a blind pigeon

    Laura Pritchett reluctantly – and guiltily – agrees to take care of a blind pigeon for her mother.

  • Field notes from the front steps

    From the front porch of her house in Montana, Kim Todd studies bees and marvels at the world.

  • A former Hot Shot looks at the West’s wildfires

    Lincoln Bramwell looks back on years of firefighting and concludes that it’s just not a good idea for people to keep building houses in forests.

  • Bury it standing

    When his old canoe shows signs of aging, Alan Kesselheim decides to bury it upright in his yard, a contemporary totem pole.

  • The Sunflower State says a historic no to coal

    Allen Best applauds Kansas for denying permits to two proposed coal-fired power plants because of concerns about greenhouse gases.

  • Even four-footed employees deserve to retire

    Susan Ives tells the story of Edith Ann, a faithful horse that narrowly escaped euthanasia when the Park Service decided she was too old and gimpy to be of further use.

  • Six Good Places

    David Oates ranges from the Sierra Nevada to Aix-en-Provence as he considers the particular qualities that make a place worth living in.

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