California’s Eastern Sierra Reminds Us There’s Life After Disaster

In the New Memoir Miracle Country, a Preview of Our Windblown, Fiery, Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic Potential

How will Californians ever recover from this year of apocalypse and conflict, of pandemic and fire, when landscapes and lives were broken, seemingly forever? Where can we find a miracle?

In California’s Miracle Country.

Miracle Country is the title of Kendra Atleework’s new and magical memoir about her life in the Eastern Sierra. The book begins with the 2015 fire that decimated her 200-person hometown, Swall Meadows, north of Bishop and 7,000 feet above sea level (“marking the border between desert and sky”). And it is full of unforgettable stories about how …

How We Discovered the Sierra Nevada Snowpack Is at a 500-Year Low

By Measuring the Widths of Centuries-Old Trees and Collecting Deadwood, My Team and I 'Read' the History of California's Climate

In 2005, I moved to the U.S. from Belgium to study the influence of climate on wildfires in the Sierra Nevada over the last five centuries. As part of this …