Entries by Diarmuid McGuire

Green Springs Inn – A Tale of Two Women

A Tale of Two Women  by Diarmuid McGuire This is the story of two women who don’t know each other but probably should. One is an icon for those who know her. The other is our governor, perhaps a towering figure someday but currently a work in progress. The icon is former Ashland gas station […]

Methane and the Curse of Consciousness

A couple of weeks ago my head exploded. At least, that’s how it felt. It was a critical mass sort of thing. Look out the window: no winter. Google global temperature: 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded. Google CO2: The Scripps Institution’s Mauna Loa Observatory reports atmospheric carbon dioxide at 399.85 for January, 2015, […]

Missing Winter and the LNG Pipeline

Someone stole our winter. Look up at our mountain. You should see some white. This year, for the second January in a row, the forest floor around us is mostly bare. Our lakes are almost empty. Our snowshoes are in a closet. Something important is missing, like the snow pack that sustains agriculture in the […]

Ducks, Carbon, the Battle of Clover Creek

At 2:00 PM Pacific time on New Year’s Day, 2015, the Ducks of Oregon, will meet the Seminoles of Florida State at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl and on the flat screen at Green Springs Inn. This game will be one for the ages. The forces of rectitude, led by the upstanding Marcus Mariota (unblemished except for […]

Art & Community

From the bridge that crosses the Estuary of Bilbao, the museum looks like a gargantuan ship, perhaps a relic of the Basque city’s seaport past or maybe a visiting vessel from a distant galaxy. At night, the titanium skin of the curving hull glows with light reflected from the bustling downtown that surrounds it. Walk […]

The Invisible Kingdom

A gaggle of wildlife biologists landed at Green Springs Inn this week. They are sharing tall tales, like the one about the wolverine that walked from Idaho to Lake Tahoe. That story has a sad ending. No lady wolverine has showed up in Northern California to date. But stay tuned. As in any fairy tale, […]

Hanging Together

It turns out that there may be no such thing as a casual political conversation. The other night I asked our server in a local pub, a competent young woman, if she was registered to vote. In the ensuing exchange, she said of a certain elected official, “We sent him to Washington and he has […]

Water: so much to love, so much to lose

The Green Springs: we have water in our name, and water is what many people love about our little piece of paradise. Applegate Trail pioneers camped here and no doubt found fresh water bubbling from the ground to be a significant improvement over the sparse, tepid pools of the Black Rock Desert. Their descendants still […]

What not to eat: antibiotics, herbicides, Harriett

What’s the big deal about grass-fed, free-range beef? It’s nice to think about happy steers grazing peacefully in green pastures. But what’s in it for us? Our Box R Ranch neighbor, cowboy Jesse Randall, invests a lot of time and cash shipping his animals one or two at a time to a USDA licensed slaughterhouse […]

Jupiter, Venus, Jeff, Harriett

Back in the day, we believed that outsized personalities lived in the sky, also known as the heavens. They attended to important matters like the seasons, birth, death, war and sex. Occasionally, these characters would meet up. They still do. For example, Jupiter and Venus, i.e. Big Daddy and Oulala Mama, converged just above the […]

The Talented City Syndrome

It was love song night on the Wednesday before Valentine’s Day at Paddy Brannan’s Irish Pub on Second Street, with $100 on the line and the room packed with talent: Justin Gordon, Gene Burnett, opera-trained Sophia Palosaari, Kieran Devine and Frankie Hernandez to name a few. One great performance followed another. Somebody won, but, if […]

Ketchup, beef, the future of civilization

“It’s ketchup.” Chef Chris Kempf handed me a spoonful of sauce. It wasn’t ketchup as I know it. Ketchup is bright red, like a Mustang convertible. Ketchup is sweet, a sort of bright colored syrup to put on hot dogs. Ketchup comes in containers labeled “57 Varieties.” The stuff Chris gave me was complex, mildly […]

Snow, water, frogs, beavers, life

You may have noticed that the December Surprise storm that tied Ashland in knots brought hardly any moisture to southern Oregon, just enough to leave a dangerous, icy crust on hillside streets. What’s remarkable about this weather event is the persistent cold and overcast that followed.  As I write, the sidewalks along Siskiyou Boulevard are […]

Raise a glass to the 30-somethings

We dropped in on opening night at Swing Tree Brewing down on Hersey Street a couple of weeks ago. Wow. Great beer. Brandon and Tanya Overstreet have put their hearts into this start-up. You can taste it. A pint of Brandon’s flavorful Lonely Trike Red Ale got us thinking. Young, highly motivated, self-made entrepreneurs like […]

GreenSprings Inn: Tradition, community, friends, food

The literature of country inns: As part of our ongoing study of the hospitality industry, fact and fiction, we recently attended a performance of Fiddler on the Roof at Portland Center Stage. It turns out that, in Sholem Aleichem’s story about Jewish peasants in a Russian village, Mordcha’s inn serves mainly as the setting for […]

Green Springs Inn: A sustainable destination?

Back in the mists of time, Oregon planners realized that our green gem of a state could not thrive forever just by cutting timber. They included a provision in our land use laws to permit something called a destination resort. The idea was to create recreation facilities along with related accommodations and services that would […]

Economic development can be fun!

Green Springs Inn & Cabins wrote 25 paychecks this week. We have employees working in construction, housekeeping, gardening and all sorts of restaurant jobs. Some of them are heading households. Some are students or single adults. Our staff ranges in age from 18 to 63. Some work full time and some part time. These are […]

A little gummint, a lot of music

Ok, so you think living on a mountain in Oregon is all about banjos and “Don’t Tread On Me” banners. You’re right about the banjos and we do take pride in such adventures in self-sufficiency as milling our own wood. A young man of our acquaintance started a recent day with some big logs and […]

Big mountain, big ideas, big fun

Our mountain community tends to attract visionaries, geniuses, refugees from civilization and some heavy drinkers. Of these, visionaries are probably the most entertaining. What could be more fun than preserving cultural treasures or saving the world? In the saving-the-world category we have a contingent that wants to start with saving forests. Scientists, if you can […]

Tree pollen, flying ants, morels, wildflowers, owls

Our world started to wake up this past week. Of course, the mountain is always alive but for months it has been resting. Suddenly we found ourselves in a haze of yellow pollen about as fine as corn meal, which crusted on our vehicles and formed drifts along the highway. The tall firs were feeling amorous. Fortunately their genetic broadcast is too coarse to cause sneezing or anaphylactic shock, but it can cause itchy eyes.

Harriett’s Universe and What She Makes of It

Recently we headed up Highway 66 to the Green Springs for a meeting with artist Harriett Rex Smith.  Harriett’s studio is hidden in the forest, down a long, winding driveway. She has lived and worked here since 1979, the year she moved to Southern Oregon from Valparaiso, Indiana.   The studio is a large room flooded […]