Entries by Diarmuid McGuire

The Beaver Backstory

Imagine a perfect autumn afternoon at Green Springs Inn: that burger is more delicious and the beer more refreshing because you know that sunny deck days are in short supply. A hard rain is a gonna fall, my blue-eyed son, and then there will be snow. There is another reason why a burger, a beer […]

A Rodent Will Save Us

Can buck-toothed rodents save Oregon? We are talking about beavers and the answer is yes. There is no doubt that beavers can help humans survive in Oregon. But beavers can’t help us unless we help them survive and multiply. This will require winning a culture war. It’s worth the fight. If we lose this struggle, […]

What’s For Sale?

For Sale. Yes, it’s true. Green Springs Inn is listed for sale. You can find us on Loopnet. If you are among our many longtime friends, please don’t be alarmed. Change will happen but probably not tomorrow. On the other hand, if you have been putting off that adventure burger, don’t wait forever. When change […]

The Secret History of HB 2020

“We are here today facing the greatest crisis of our lifetime, but … all hope is not lost. We have a short window to act.” These were the words of Oregon Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie, speaking on Monday, June 17, in support of HB 2020, the Clean Energy Jobs bill. The good news is that the […]

Alive and Well

A couple weeks ago I ran into a good buddy at the YMCA. He told me that he was making plans for an alternative Mother’s Day brunch because he had heard that Green Springs Inn was closed. The next day, we served a Mother’s Day buffet to a packed house. This appears to be an […]

Living in a Blackout

Picture yourself in London’s Parliament Square just after 10:30 on a Wednesday morning, surrounded by red brick Neo-Gothic gingerbread palaces where the United Kingdom’s legislature gathers to squabble. Suddenly a column of around 300 police officers clad in high-viz lime-green tunics (with no batons, shields, firearms or tanks — how weird is that?) marches into […]

Listen to the Kids

“Why am I studying for a future I won’t have?” Go ahead. Answer that question. I dare you. A very young woman scrawled that question on a piece of cardboard and carried it from the high school down to the plaza one Friday morning a couple of weeks ago. She was one of 300 or […]

Green Art and Green New Deal

You are in a large room with a high ceiling. Gentle light floods the space through skylights and tall north-facing windows. Step outside. You see a forest of soaring firs. Listen. The call of a raven frames the silence. What would you do in such a setting? Harriett Rex Smith made art here for nearly […]

Changing times at Green Springs Inn

“… you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.” As people in the Maldive Islands, Bangladesh, and Miami can testify, Bob Dylan’s prophesy of rising waters has turned out to be more than a metaphor. But lots of things are a-changin’ along with sea levels. All of […]

Panic and Carry On

We have been waiting for this moment since the 1st century AD, when the Book of Revelations hit the streets. The end-times battle is finally starting, not at Tel Megiddo in Israel as some have predicted but in Paradise, California. Pardon the hyperbole. The ultimate struggle for survival that we call Armageddon actually has been […]

Let’s Jump

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are standing on the lip of a cliff. Far below their feet, a river rushes through a canyon. A posse led by the relentless Joe Lefors is closing in for the kill. Butch suggests jumping. Sundance declines. Butch: “What’s the matter with you?” Sundance: “I can’t swim.” Butch: “Why […]

Think Different.

Apple Computer launched an ad campaign featuring this grammatically controversial slogan in 1997. Apparently Steve Jobs and his Apple confreres took their own rhetoric seriously. They launched the iPhone in 1997. Today, a mere decade later, a third of the humans on the planet Earth are equipped to read these words instantly. Will 2.67 billion […]

Just Imagine

Of course we feel helpless. The train of seasons has jumped its track and is hurtling into the unknown. Our parks, trails and plazas are cloaked in smoke. We huddle indoors, breathing filtered air. Where is our careening climate taking us? We don’t want to think about it. All we know for sure is that […]


Crrrrackkkkkkk! Nature’s firecracker shatters a Sunday afternoon. More detonations follow. Wheels of thunder rumble down the mountainsides and across the valley floor. Crrrrackkkkkkk! The gods of physics are flexing their muscles. “We are releasing more energy in a few microseconds than your filthy fossil fired power plants can produce in a year. Match this, puny […]

Protecting Mom

Beautiful. Fragile. Recovering slowly from years of abuse. Facing risk of further violation by powerful men. I’m talking about our mother, the original Mom that we call Mother Earth. Well, not actually all of Mother Earth; for the moment, let’s focus on the part we call the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. How do we give our […]

Join the Choir

Yes, I’m preaching to the choir. People who read these words tend to be believers, so most likely you are familiar with the hymns: “Our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is a wonderful treasure, rich in ecosystems and biodiversity.” “We have damaged the natural world that sustains us and helped unbalance the climate. We must protect what […]

The Delusion of Separation

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us…Universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison… Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our … […]

It’s Personal

For me, this is personal. I hope you feel the same way. By “this,” I mean the struggle to protect our public lands and restore our damaged environment — starting with our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. My family and I have operated a business and, for many years, lived within the boundaries of this Monument for […]

It’s On The Table

The road from the Green Springs back to civilization crosses a summit and swoops down, tracing a series of curves across the flowing drapery hung by Cascadian vulcanism. Each swoop reveals a new panorama of the valley and lake below, the forested mountainsides and bare peaks beyond, and the vast, busy sky. Sometimes there is […]

Double Down on Science

Google “Santa Rosa fire,” then click on “images.” Unthinkable, right? Now Google “Ashland, Oregon” and click on the map. Scroll along the neighborhoods at the western edge of town, where streets and homes border the forested mountainside. Do you live on Tolman Creek Road, Morninglight, Green Meadows, Crestview, Peachy or upper Morton? Can you see […]


As you read this missive, the planetary clock will have struck 18. Gifts will have been opened. Family will have come and gone. Perhaps you will have taken a moment to wonder: did anything good happen last year? As far as bad news is concerned, there has been plenty. I’m not talking about the dangerous […]

What Can You do to Head Off Extinction?

Yes, that’s a tall order. We are talking about 7.6 billion human beings and 8.7 million other species, give or take a million or so. Each of us is an infinitesimal speck on the web of terrestrial life. Individually, we don’t have much influence. Yet your consciousness makes a difference. It’s part of human consciousness […]

Doubling down on our Monument

Who ever thought that a president of the United States would bother to attack us? Who are we anyway? Southern Oregon is way out on the margins of wealth and power, much like Puerto Rico. I have a strong suspicion that, if a stray hurricane destroys our infrastructure, we will also be on our own. […]

Identity & Survival

Deer season is upon us. A guy sits down at our bar and orders a Coors Light. He is all decked out in Mossy Oak Breakup. As the manufacturer says, “It’s more than a camo pattern. It’s who you are.” So I’m expecting the usual camo package. He will hate government, unless the government gets […]

Addicts in Power

Like many Americans, I have an addict in my life. He has taught me a lot. I know that he will tell me anything that he thinks I want to hear. I know that almost nothing he says is true and that he will not admit to any lie, no matter what facts have come […]

Biosphere III

On September 26, 1991, eight humans marched into an extraterrestrial colony called Biosphere II and embarked on a voyage to the future. It didn’t work out. The idea was to test self-sustaining, closed ecological systems that would enable humans to live (and, presumably, reproduce) in hostile environments far from Earth. But the three-acre facility ran […]

Welcome to your national monument!

Cascade Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) is located just 17 miles south and east of Ashland. Originally designated in June of 2000 for its unparalleled biodiversity, the monument has something for everyone — whether you like to hike, fish, horseback ride, hunt or take Sunday afternoon drives on historic Highway 66. At the beginning of this […]

The Hindenburg of Populism

On May 6, 1937, just after 7:00 PM local time, an airship the size of an ocean liner floated gently toward a mooring facility at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, at the end of a three-day voyage from Frankfurt, Germany. Just after the first mooring line was secured, witnesses saw light blue flames […]

Why We March

Marching is not about Trump. It’s not about pandas. It’s not about groping or tax returns or even deporting the mother of four U.S. citizens because she used a fake id to get a job cleaning motel rooms 20 years ago. It’s about survival. I’m not talking just about you and me. I’m talking about […]

Burning the White House

The last time the British got really annoyed with us, they burned down the White House. At least the issues behind the unfortunate War of 1812 were real. Our government objected to British insults like the impressment, i.e. kidnapping, of American seamen. In the spring of 1814, U.S. forces burned Port Dover, a village in […]

Bullhorn Conversation

An early morning snowfall was melting along the roadside around mid-day one Saturday in February when a man with an orange bullhorn started talking through a bullhorn. He said something about a ‘land grab.’ To be honest, I did not pay much attention to his words. Phil, a neighbor and a gentle soul, said that […]

Democrats are from Venus, Republicans from Mars

Back in 1992, when all we had to worry about was our marriages, a writer and counselor named John Gray published a pop psychology best-seller entitled Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Little did John Gray know that by 2016 Mars and Venus would have divided our country into warring political camps that […]

Wetting the Bed: a Wake-Up Call

The joy of travel: we stepped out of the tube station at South Kensington. A young man with a fistful of handbills spotted me and asked: “What do you think about that new president you’ve got?” Yes, it’s a global village and every villager knows that we Yanks just wet our bed, nationally speaking. It’s […]

Catastrophe: start small

Like you, I have just spent long hours watching and listening as a very strange man has told me that I live in hell. This character, a sort of Mr. Sweet Potato Head with marshmallow lips, piggy eyes and an orange toupée, claims that our nation is in free fall, we are all living in […]

Let Us Now Praise Wolves

Look up at Grizzly Peak. In June, a wolf killed at least two goats and a sheep just across that ridge. The perpetrator, OR33, a lone male, seems to have headed back to high country. Of course we regret loss of livestock. At the same time, we should honor the livestock owners who chose to […]

The Missing Story Line

Baton Rouge is under water. A huge swath of San Bernardino County is on fire. Your morning paper, the TV news, Google, Twitter et. al. relay the tragic details: homes destroyed, communities evacuated, lives turned upside down. But something is missing. Why are we seeing super storms that drop two feet of rain in a […]

Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’

Oh what a beautiful day on the Green Springs. Summer is half over and the forest floor is still carpeted in lush green. Balmy afternoons merge into cool evenings. The lakes are full and the fish are biting. This is paradise. Why am I uneasy? Is it the carbon dioxide that’s making me nervous? You […]

The Silver Lining in the Toxic Cloud

The party of Lincoln is smoldering wreckage, strewn across the political landscape. The casualties are not yet counted, but they will certainly include GOP candidates for U.S. Senate and other offices downstream to the state and local levels. The suicide bomber who perpetrated this disaster is currently a candidate for leader of the free world, […]

Spread the Word

Let’s say you want to change the world. We are talking about a world that is large, complicated, seemingly chaotic and notoriously difficult to manage. Just ask God. God has a long and successful history as an organizing principle but lately the power of that principle seems to be waning. Recently one of God’s spokesmen, […]