By Christine BylEva Saulitis was a writer of uncommon insight. She was a field biologist, a soulful mentor and teacher, a passionate advocate for the natural world and its creatures, and a remarkable friend to me and to many others. Eva was also a Beacon author, which is why I write of her here. She died at age fifty-two on January 16, 2016, in Homer, Alaska, of the metastatic breast cancer that she journeyed with so mindfully for two and a half years. Surrounded by her treasured family and held up by a community that spans continents, Eva piloted the end of her life like one of the small boats on which she spent years doing field work—nimbly, with curiosity and stamina amidst difficult conditions, an ear cocked toward the engine, alert to the beauty and the losses that pepper the world. In her passing she leaves a wake of influence that belies a life ended much too early.
Rampant wildfires across the West, venomous sea snakes on California beaches—sound familiar? Rarely does a day pass without a headline focused on climate-related news. Every time I read one of these stories, my mind goes to the people living amidst it: exhausted hotshot crews in Twisp, WA, barefoot beachcombers in Oxnard, CA. Though national in distribution, every story begins in its own neighborhood.
By Christine Byl Photo credits: Christine Byl I've lived in Interior Alaska for the past eleven years, about 100 miles, as the raven flies, from the highest mountain in North America. I have always called this formidable and beautiful summit...
DIRT WORK author Christine Byl reflects on the eternal question for a first-time author: To promote or not promote. Maybe it's time we changed the conversation.
Summer is a time for getting outdoors, listening to the birds, taking long walks in the woods or long naps on the beach. With that in mind, we bring you five books to accompany your summer adventures, or inspire your next trip outdoors.