November/December 2015

Belle Boggs, from her feature article in this issue about a phenomenon common to female primates of the human and nonhuman kind: “In Scandinavia they call it baby fever, a widely observed condition which manifests itself as everything from a generalized wishing for a child to a delirious, aching sickness.”

Other features in this issue include Ben Goldfarb’s report on the most ambitious wildlife corridor in North America; Monte Reel’s essay on naming the natural world; Sabine Heinlein’s profile of a man who’s turned an invasive vine into folk art; and photographs of the intricate and ingenious home designs of animals.

This issue also includes a series of prints made by migrant artists and activists about the effects of climate change and what it might mean to fight it.

Also: poetry by Joe Wilkins and Jessica Greenbaum; a meditation on the joys and perils of sleeping outdoors; a dispatch from the Rocky Mountain Land Library, a unique project underway in Colorado; and much more.


20 Things Ancient Chinese Poets Taught Me

1. A good staff is handy in the mountains, as is a bottle of wine, as is the rising moon.

2. Dangling a fishhook off a flat rock in the middle of a river for all eternity may or may not be possible but it’s worth a try.

3. It’s better to be addicted to moss than wealth, sex, or fame.

4. Few joys rival walking an old path in new weather.

5. A cloud can eat ten thousand pines, an entire valley, the sky, and your name.

6. A cloud can also be worn as a jacket.

7. Even when clouds are metaphors they remain clouds.

8. Ditto for ringing bells.

9. Trust ferns.

10. On a calm lake at night one can row a small wooden boat across the stars.

11. Watching plum blossoms come and go makes people very happy but also very sad.

12. Ditto for cherry blossoms.

13. Ditto for peach blossoms.

14. When feeling homesick while traveling pay attention to the local birds because they carry a piece of the land you miss in their mouths as a song.

15. Winter is a mood as well as a season.

16. There are places worth visiting that can only be reached by sitting silently in an empty room.

17. A paw print in the mud is enough.

18. A red leaf curled at the edges is more than enough.

19. A book of poems and a pot of tea are almost too much to handle.

20. A ringing bell is a ringing bell.


Leath Tonino is the author of The Animal One Thousand Miles Long, a collection of essays about adventures in the Northeast. A second collection, The West Will Swallow You, will be released this fall.