Pinch of Dirt

Jessica McKenzie
A little of the outdoors in your inbox — monthly dispatches by Jessica McKenzie
Created 01 Feb 2019
  • Another weekend thru-hike
    02 May 2022 7 0
    Three years ago I wrote about a weekend thru-hike along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail for the New York Times. I chose that trail because it traversed nearly the entire length of Harriman and Bear Mo...
  • False spring
    11 Apr 2022 7 0
    False spring is a period of unseasonable warmth in mid- to late-winter that tricks plants into starting to bud, followed by a hard freeze, which can kill or damage the newly exposed leaf and flower bu...
  • Rosemary roots
    07 Mar 2022 6 0
    Notes on a Sunday evening This afternoon I pulled a desiccated rosemary bush out of a pot and was engulfed in its woodsy, floral, almost medicinal scent. It had been terribly pot bound and as I pulled...
  • Plunging into the new year
    15 Jan 2022 5 2
    My last email of 2021 was about new year’s resolutions and my first of 2022 will be, too. Snow in the Engadine, Ferdinand Hodler I’ve resolved to spend at least 30 minutes a day outside, and I’m holdi...
  • Counting miles
    31 Dec 2021 6 3
    Content warning: I’m fully aware that there is no non-obnoxious way to talk about one’s fitness activities, and yet here we are.1 Hopefully there is something worthwhile here, whether entertainment, c...
  • ‘We’re not interested in the welfare of individual animals here’
    30 Nov 2021 5 0
    This month I went home for the first time since late April/early May 2019. Home is an old patchwork farmhouse in Kansas, on a dusty dirt road. I don’t live there anymore, obviously, although my books ...
  • Big news & changes afoot!
    18 Oct 2021 7 2
    …and we’re back to our usual(ish) programming! I have some big announcements today so buckle up. But first, I’d like to extend a hearty welcome to my new subscribers! If you found me because of my Coh...
  • Canada was so close, we could see her
    12 Oct 2021 8 9
    I woke up early, shortly after 6am, and went out to sit by the dam, feet dangling, to watch for moose and soak up the last of Nature before we finished our hike. A sudden movement at the far side of t...
  • Easy days like this allow more time for boredom and Thought to creep in
    11 Oct 2021 9 4
    Another easy day ahead of us, just 10 miles of breezy terrain. We got a late start, well after the speedy father-son duo. The trail that morning was delightful. We walked over an 800-foot bog bridge, ...
  • Two big dogs leapt up and came running down the road at us
    08 Oct 2021 6 0
    I woke up before 7am, sans alarm. Even though we had tried our darnedest to stay up late eating pizza, drinking beer, and watching old tv shows like Perry Mason (a banger) and the Andy Griffith Show (...
  • View More on Substack »