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Showing posts from June, 2014

In the News: Maps Show a Sweltering Future for U.S.

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Nearly five years ago, I was laying on my couch recovering from major knee surgery and feeling utterly miserable. My misery wasn't due to the pain of recovering from surgery (thank goodness for prescription pain meds!) but rather because of the sweltering, unbearable, oppressive, and completely-inexplicable-to-a-western-Washingtonian heat that was smothering the region.  I'm sure that all of us remember the heat wave in late July 2009, where for a week straight the temperatures were over 100 degrees by noon, and didn't drop a degree below eighty overnight.

There I was, in my tiny dark cottage with blanket-covered windows to keep out the sunlight, leaving a sweat-stained outline of my body on the couch, misting my arms and legs with a spray bottle and desperately wishing for air conditioning, because the three fans pointed at me were doing little more than pushing around ninety-degree air.  Might as well have been using a hairdryer to try to cool off.  Like I said: miserab…

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

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Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...

Summertime has officially arrived.  Although this might have been my favorite time of year in my younger days (summer break!), now that this season carries only the promise of hotter, drier weather instead of two blissful months of freedom,  I find myself longing for the autumn to come, or the spring we just left behind.  I want a rainy day. Or temperatures in the sixties instead of the eighties. Or lush green scenery instead of dusty brown and gold.

Despite the rising temperatures, summertime offers great opportunities for getting outdoors and enjoying our beautiful Pacific Northwest nature.  And for someone like myself who is not too fond of the hot sunshine, there is no feeling more beautiful and refreshing on a scorching summer's day than to step into the cool shade of the forest. Fresh air, chattering birds,…

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

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Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...


Perspective.  This lens through which we experience the world will occasionally be shaken up like an Etch-A-Sketch and its lines re-drawn; re-framing the way we see the world as a result of a particular experience.  A conversation, a thought-provoking book, a life-changing event, a stunning view from the top of a mountain... whether large or small, these experiences all have the ability to adjust our perspective to some degree.

I recently attended a family member's high school graduation.  Talk about perspective!  It's hard to believe that exactly ten years ago, I was the giddy graduate carefully making my way across the polished gym floor to the proud and thunderous cheers of a full auditorium, with the tidily-played strains of Pomp and Circumstance faintly rising and falling in the background. As I listened…

World Environment Day 2014

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We're all in this together.  This is an underlying message of World Environment Day, which is being recognized in hundreds of countries around the globe today. The United Nations created World Environment Day to call attention to environmental issues and to inspire action.  This year, the event is focusing on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), calling for people around the world to join in solidarity with these small countries as climate change and rising sea levels threaten their homelands.


Climate change is becoming an ever more present reality in our daily lives, especially for those living on island nations who are slowly watching the seas reclaim more and more territory, and who are facing the reality of their entire nation being displaced by rising sea levels. Such a situation is already being played out in the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean which nearly 400,000 people call home. The highest point in the entire nation is less than 10 feet above sea level,…