Engaging Journeys, Engaged Journalism

Category Archives: Current Stories

Don’t Just Kill the Lawn. Why Not Create Habitat?

Some Californians seem shocked to hear the water people finally say: “Hey folks, rethink that yard! We don’t have enough water for lush lawns.” Why the surprise? California is the only state in the union where rain doesn’t typically come in summer, which (aside from the gold rush) is why they call it the Golden […]

Wild Horses, Please Drag Me Away

Escape from the Daily Grind and Go Wild . . . at the Wild Horse Sanctuary near Manton Horses originated here in North America. Ancestors of today’s horses migrated to Europe, Asia, and Africa but were frozen out here by the last ice age. Then horses came back. The thundering herds of Western yore started […]

Can You Name That Bird?

Noted Expert Shares Birdwatching Basics, and Introduces Local Birds You’re Likely to Meet Timely Excerpts from The Birds of Bidwell Park, Written by Roger Lederer & Illustrated by Carol Burr Many cities point to their open spaces as very special, but Bidwell Park is really the jewel in the crown of Chico. A very distinctive […]

Hello? Planet of Lost Cell Phones?

Rethinking our love ’em and leave ’em attitude toward cell phones Ah, the ubiquitous cell phone. So versatile. So indispensable. So short-lived. We make 1 billion of them every year because we can’t live without them, yet we cast them aside every 18 months on average. They collect in heaps and shipping containers around the […]

Hostel Territory Inland

Go East. You’ll Find Fine Hostels There Too.  Many of California’s hostels are situated along the state’s long, long coastline, which seems only natural. Not every state has a coast, let alone so much of it, so of course people want to go coastal here. But the Golden State barely even begins at the Pacific […]

The Road Not Taken

Lukewarm about cars, young consumers pose a marketing riddle for automakers You’ve gassed her up, you’re behind the wheel, with your arm around your sweetheart in your Oldsmobile . . . —Tom Waits If you were in the business of selling a popular dream—say, freedom, status, and mobility—and you began to notice your customers’ dreams […]

What Color is Your Organization?

Frederic Laloux is a Galileo for our time. And he’s definitely deep, deep teal. Not every idea threatens change to the status quo, but those that do are met with a fairly predictable response: attention, which can diverge into derision or fascination; resistance; and sometimes, acceptance. I just finished reading a book that’s bound to […]

The Ecology of Home

This part of California is home to me. I can’t claim generations of northern California kinship as my friend JoEllen Hall can. Jo descends from the pioneering Stover cattle ranching clan. Her family still wintered horses in upper Bidwell Park (good grazing) not all that long ago. Her mother was a talented trick rider, too, […]

Birds of a Feather, and Not

To Feed or Not to Feed? Events make sense only in context. But understanding the context of a bird presents some challenges. Events make sense only in context. Sometimes the term context is used by naturalists to mean the environment or “field” in which a creature makes its living naturally. A caged parrot is out […]

Ready to Hostel-Hop the Coast?

Hostel Territory Part 2: Upscale Scenery on a Backpacker Budget Said it before and will surely say it again: Hostels are among the best travel bargains around, for travelers of all ages. And hostelling now, during the off-season, is ideal for Californians. You won’t meet as many international travelers, always an appeal of hostel stays. […]