Black Oystercatchers

Around 6 last night I went to the beach. The tide was coming in, but part of the reef was exposed and I walked out on it. I saw these unusual birds, 9 of them, running around and pecking at mollusks and snails. I slowly moved to maybe 70′ away from them and just watched. After a while I inched closer and when I got to 50′, they took off, flying across the silver path on the ocean of the soon-to-be-setting sun.

   Reminded me of my first powerful connection to the natural world. When I was about 12, I was out in a hayfield near the Russian River, and I noticed some very small mice scurrying around. I stood stock still, and it turned out I was on the edge of Mouse City. They were running all over the place, going about their lives, unaware of humanoid eyes upon them. It was thrilling. I must have watched them for 10 minutes, transported into the unfettered natural world.

Photo above from

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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