Local Call


Very early on Yosemite visualists found one way to emphasize how steep and deep the Valley is: eliminate the middle ground. I eliminate middle ground to put foreground and background up to one another, so they can talk. Local call. Not long distance.

The Present

Dear Universe:
We humans pride ourselves on how imaginative we are. Poets, novelists, painters, sculptors, posers, everybody, you get the picture.

What I want to know is, Are you imaginative? Wordsworth said so. He’s a great poet, but I don’t want to just take his word for it.


The Present Past and Future

Dear Fanciful Human:
I am insulted by this query. Am I imaginative? Indeed! Look around you. What do you see? Use your eyes. Get telescope and microscope to help you out. What do you see? If what you see is not imaginative, then to further help you out is hopeless.



Wendover Utah


During WWII Wendover UT was mostly an airbase. Buildings are still there. Barracks are still there. Airfield is still there (used mostly to fly gamblers into the glitter of next door West Wendover, NV). Control Tower is still there. I climbed it. Airport personnel said, sure go ahead. The top deck is cantilevered out over emptiness, which gave stomach something of a sinking feeling. I got Jeannette to pose down below. We climbed it a bunch of times.

Point Arena

During the first week in January, Jeannette and I drove up the north coast of California. A good time to go. Few campers. Few tourists. Few people. Our longest stop was in Point Arena. The entire town has a sense of humor, with a religious aroma. Diverse religions. Religions that grew up in India as well as those reared in the deserts of the Near Eastern.Vegetarians Welcome is perhaps my favorite. Any clues about what it means? A woman too desperate for meat?

The Practice of American Religion


Bob Woolard of the Yosemite Renaissance asked me to be Artist in Residence in the Park during the last week of October and first week in November 2013. I accepted after Jeannette and I moved around a few items on our iPhone calendars. We left Davis about noon on October 26, after watching a simulcast of the New York Met’s production of The Nose, and arrived in Wawona, where the Renaissance houses their artists in residence, about 7:00. First thing I did after we moved in was photograph our stuff in our new place.

Jeannette and I always call this “playing house.” I especially liked the two blue chairs on porch.

Lake Berryessa

Mid-November Rob Thayer and I made a two-day tour of our watershed from Lake Berryessa to Middletown. The main idea was to check out the debris left when the Bureau of Reclamation evicted people who had over the years turned temporary residence at the lake into permanency. The lake was down but not out of water and I was reminded once again how pretty it is, with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background and sparse vegetation in the foreground.

But there was no debris left behind. The BofRec had hauled all away and swept the area clean of human remains. At one of the mobile home subdivisions (the homes turned out to be more mobile than the owners wanted) a bar across the road said “Danger.” We entered anyway. Some lines were down, but it was clear no current was running through them. Otherwise, we could find nothing dangerous. When we returned an hour later a BofRec officer was waiting for us. He had seen our parked campers. We went on at length about how much we knew about the lake and the Bureau’s management of it, and he was pleasant and did not cite us for trespassing. He had recently arrived from a facility in New Jersey, I think it was. I asked him if he felt banished to Berryessa. His arm made a sweeping gesture across the landscape, “Oh, no. When I wake up to this, I am a happy man.”

Monopoly: National Parks Edition


We are in America.
America Loves Monopoly.
It’s capitalism’s game of choice.

McDonald’s plays it. Even the Park Services plays it.

I like to play Monopoly too, Although Aaron beats me every time

All are abstracts. Some art really abstracts. Novelist Zadie Smith thinks that very abstract abstraction is a metaphor for death. I can’t get any of my art friends to agree with this. So I offer this photo. The two rectangles are coffins. This is Death Valley after all. The blobs of light are the dead, not rising, but shining. If you are still not convinced, please submit your own interpretation by return postcard. All entries judged impartially.