My name is Paula and I was raised in the southwestern corner of Kansas, three miles from Oklahoma and sixty from Colorado. It was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and always windy, but I grew up playing outside with my brother, sister, and an assortment of other kids from the neighborhood.
One of our favorite pastimes was building dams out of stones and mud, an ongoing attempt to stop the flow of water in the gutter. When we tired of our mini-engineering projects, we raced our bikes up and down the hard-packed dirt trails of the Haunted Hills between the golf course and our neighborhood.
The highlight of each summer was a family vacation, usually camping, usually to the mountains of New Mexico or Colorado. For a few glorious days all of our activities took place outside: hauling water in a green five-gallon plastic can, gathering wood for the evening campfire, eating Mom’s camp stove chili. We hiked and fished and visited the small mountain villages. I always returned with a treasure to remember the trip: a cedar jewelry box that smelled like the forest or a pair of hand-stitched moccasins.
These days I live in New Mexico with my husband Dave on an acre of land wooded with native pinyon and juniper evergreens in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Coyotes, deer, and rabbits are regular visitors to our backyard and once in a while we catch a glimpse of a bobcat or a bear. Our night skies are dark and clear, perfect for spotting planets and learning the constellations.
It has taken me a few months to get around to introducing myself. I needed time to get comfortable writing a post or two each week about what I see as I move through the world, whether it’s a deer drinking from the birdbath in my yard or a visit to a redwood forest in the heart of San Francisco.
And finally, I know that anyone can write anything online, so I think it’s important that I let you, my reader, know that I strive to be accurate and to tell the truth. No doubt it is slanted since it’s my view of the world, but I’ll do my best to be fair. I appreciate that you are taking the time to read what I write and want to hear from you when I do make a mistake or just to let me know what is going on in your backyard.