Wilderness writing

Wilderness writing

On Saturday I gathered around writer Laura Waterman’s log-house table in Vermont with the good people of the Waterman Fund Essay Contest Committee. We reviewed a few dozen narrative pieces by new writers about wild places and their importance. We have a winner,...
Mountain safety stories, two talks this summer

Mountain safety stories, two talks this summer

Ellen Finnie, left, and Chris on the summit of Mount Washington. I will give my popular talk, “How Not to End Up in the Accidents report of Appalachia Journal” twice this summer. Join me for these free presentations! I always give out a few extra issues of...
Possum, passim

Possum, passim

Opossum drawing by Gustav Mutzel (1839-1893). Behind our house a small ledgey hill adjoins a mysterious woods between my street’s backyards and the main street of my town. One winter night I returned late from working and sat down with my snack by the back...
A quick lesson from a musk ox

A quick lesson from a musk ox

At times like this, I silently thank the taxidermists. This is a life-size diorama of musk oxen at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The musk ox embodies certain truths about the life of a writer. A musk ox lives in a harsh environment and survives with a...
Searching for a Lyme disease test

Searching for a Lyme disease test

The aggressive Lyme spirochete, which can turn itself into a blob and hide in tissues. Shown here magnified on a computer screen at the Western Connecticut Health Network Research Center. The Connecticut Health Investigative Team has released my story on the search...
Moments frozen in memory

Moments frozen in memory

Chris and her mother, Gloria, summer 2016 It’s the universal experience: aging. And yet this feels like my family faces unique fears. My mother’s physical universe is shrinking as she prepares to live somewhere where she can get the help she needs at any hour. Her...