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Now available from your favorite bookseller!


Mountain Time: A Field Guide to Astonishment was published March 15, 2024 as the inaugural title in a new nature series by DLJ Books from CSU Press, marketed and distributed by University of Georgia Press. 


BJ Hollars wrote an insightful and incisive review of Mountain Time, which you can read at Terrain.org.


Order your copy of the book today!



Published Works

Hammer Test

 "Imagine a spectrum of living creatures. At one end are viruses, bacteria, paramecia. Add invertebrates like worms, snails, octopuses, and shrimp. In the middle, find spiders, crabs, and small animals like frogs, snakes, and songbirds. Somewhere toward the opposite end stand the bigger creatures like prairie dogs, house cats, wolves, alligators, and whales. Holding down the far end are humans—not because of their size or evolutionary superiority, but because of their claim to a moral code. Now picture yourself holding a very large metaphoric hammer that can take many shapes—revulsion, fear, hunger, defense, medical research, vivisection, euthanasia, capital punishment. That hammer represents your willingness to kill. How far along that continuum will you bring your hammer down?"


This essay is currently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Mountain Time

"The ancient Irish believed that heaven and earth exist in closest proximity in the thin places. The landscape of thin places is alive with the visible and the invisible, so intimate they share the same frequency. The ancient Irish felt that in a thin place, there is time and space for eternal things like splendor and love. They imagined that in a thin place, where the veil between the sublime and the profane is insignificant, mystery marries nature in a passionate embrace. A thin place calls your attention to these things if you're listening. The more closely you listen, the more you learn, the more you love. You can choose how you want to love and for how long. If you choose to love a constellation or a mountain, you can love it forever."


This is the title essay in Mountain Time: A Field Guide to Astonishment. This essay was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Guardian of the Garden

"Guardian of the Garden" describes lessons learned about motherhood from a bluebird. The anthology When Birds Are Near was published in October 2020 by Cornell University Press, edited by Susan Fox Rogers, and is included in Mountain Time: A Field Guide to Astonishment.


This essay was nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize.


About this essay, judge Alison Stine writes "I kept coming back to this piece, both for its language, which is lyrical and memborable, as well as the sotry, which is the simplest story of all: love. But the writer expands on the definition of love, learning to love herself even in the absence of the companion the narrator calls simply No Word. Some things resist definition, are everything and nothing. Love is also a landscape..."


This essay was awarded the 2020 Penenlope Niven Creative Nonfiction honorable mention from the Center for Women Writers.

Bought and Sold

A search for an inherited plot of undeveloped land in New Mexico inspires this sprawling history of lies and broken promises involving railroads and ranchers, land grants and land grabs.


"When my father died on Christmas Day in 1989, he left his Deming Ranchettes to me in his will. Select Western Lands, Inc., a company that endures today primarily in the archived records of the lawsuits filed against it, had subdivided pristine New Mexican desert fifteen miles east of the city of Deming, population eight thousand at the time my parents bought their ranchettes, into a crazy quilt of eighty thousand half-acre lots. Infrastructure—paved roads, water, utilities—was nonexistent. I was the sudden new owner of two of those lots." 


This essay was nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize.

Bought and Sold

What the Two Percent Are Saying

"Prairie dogs have one of the largest vocabularies in the animal kingdom, with more sophisticated language skills than whales, dolphins, or parrots. Prairie dogs have a call for human and can add syllables to that call to say tall, thin human in a blue shirt and short, fat human in a yellow shirt. A prairie dog in Utah can invent a new call for something she has never seen before, and a prairie dog in Colorado will understand what that call means the first time he hears it. And yet prairie dogs are killed in shooting competitions, to make way for development, and by law in some states. With only two percent of the historic population of prairie dogs remaining, time is running out to hear what they have to tell us."

How I Spend My New Summers

A haibun - a short prose passage followed by a haiku - in Dawn Songs: A Birdwatcher's Field Guide to the Poetics of Migration, edited by Jamie K. Reaser and J. Drew Lanham

How I Spend My New Summers

Groundhog Days

This essay looks at the Bosnian War in the context of a power outage in in Texas in February, 2021 that left 4.5 million homes and businesses powerless and almost 15 million people with either dirty water or none at all, some for several days. The "massive electricity generation failure" even has its own Wikipedia entry. More than a hundred people died, including an eleven-year-old Conroe boy who froze to death in his bed.


This essay was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Groundhog Days

Book Reviews

Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden

"Soil, then, is a book about inclusivity: part memoir, part poetry, part essay, part history, part lessons on race, and part photography. Readers of Soil will be inspired by the lessons in its pages and beyond its final words." Read "Lessons in Quotidian Honesty," a review of Camille Dungy's latest book, now at Terrain.org

Learning the Birds by Susan Fox Rogers

"Writing with raw honesty and an endearing humility, Rogers describes the spark that instigated her journey to learn about birds."