My visual notebooks record sensory impressions, preserve plant samples and preserve my immediate experience in the landscape. The notebooks are a source of inspiration for me,  helping me to retrieve the raw impact of a place or time.  Here are some selections from the past two decades.

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Reversing Rivers and the mystery of Cones

Near the end of 2016, I rolled La Tortue into a nearly deserted campground at the mouth of San Simeon Creek, near Cambria, on the central coast of California. Surrounded by the undeveloped landscape of the Hearst Ranch, this place harkens back to a long-ago sort of California: uncrowded, more sparsely populated and filled with… Read more »

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First Trip to Grand Coulee Dam

  It was spring, 2004.  I set out in my old Mercury pickup to find the dam that blocked salmon from ascending to spawn in the mountains where I live. It was my first trip to Grand Coulee Dam and the start of a decade-long research project that became an award-winning museum exhibit on the… Read more »

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Grand Coulee Dam -Banks “Lake” Reservoir

  Ever been to Banks Lake?  This is where water from the Columbia River is pumped and stored.   An ancient geological coulee, carved by water flowing across volcanic basalt.  Banks Lake is not a lake at all.  It is a giant irrigation project, but that does not lessen its beauty on a still spring… Read more »

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Boundary Dam

  This dam is just below the international boundary between Canada and the U.S., in a tucked-away corner.  Pacific Northwest dams are often in tucked-away corners…..though they share water’s power with millions of people living in cities like Vancouver and Seattle.

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Spokane River Shell

  I found this shell in a sand bank on the Spokane River.   It is this sort of noticing that opens up water’s mystery for me.

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Liking Lichens

  Sometimes, on a drippy, early spring day, there is little else to notice in the woods than lichens.  This was from one walk in a fairly dry, rocky woods at the edge of Slocan Lake.  I collected a piece of each one that I could find on the short walk.

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Slocan Pool Trail

  It is hard to explain how and why certain small details of the landscape speak to me.  Sometimes it is colour. Others texture.  Others still a sort of curiosity about what something is, how it got there.  In this case, it was the sheer visual beauty of the colours of the bark, only vaguely… Read more »

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Mark Creek near Kimberley, B.C.

  An afternoon walking along Mark Creek in Kimberly, B.C.  Everything was rusted by a late-autumn season.  I gathered the rusted pieces up and taped them onto the page.

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Pend d’Oreille River

    One of my earliest notebook entries from 1999 — this takes me back to a golden, late summer day.