Burley Market Cross in England’s New Forest National Park that is filled with enough stories of ghosts, witches, smugglers, and Ronald Reagan’s astrologer to make every day seem like Halloween by David A. Laws
Evening shadows fall on Burley market cross

“I see little difference in magic and science, except to have the opinion that magic is one step ahead of science” — Sybil Leak

For most of us, dragons, ghosts, and witches raise goosebumps but once a year. …

Gray skies enhance color saturation in the Portland Japanese Garden

“A touch of color ‘neath skies of gray … But then the sun came out again, And sent us happily on our way” — Dyrenforth James and Gibbons Carroll

Story and photos by David A. Laws

The landscape artists of Portland, Oregon, have crafted prize-winning gardens that glow with color…

The Camden House at Christmas. Photo: Eden, Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Winter 2021, Volume 24, Number 1. pp. 52–3.

“Success was called LUCK by those that failed. From observation, nine-tenths of the ‘luck’ came from hard work and judgment.” — Charles Camden [1]

According to forty-niner Charles Camden, it took hard work and judgment, not just luck, to make his fortune prospecting for gold. These same characteristics in later…

Fishguard, Lower Harbor. Photo: Courtesy of The Manor Town House

Story by David A. Laws

That one nation’s hero is another nation’s terrorist is seldom addressed in school history books. Most children learn of the villainous redcoats in the American war of independence. Few texts tell of American-led attacks on the British Isles. Or that the last invasion attempt led to the printing of the…

Abandoned Cold War Naval Facility (NAVFAC) building with view of Point Sur

“We had heroes in the Cold War” — Carol O’Neil, State Park Volunteer Historian

John le Carré dismissed Cold War spy heroes as “ A squalid procession of vain fools” in his 1963 espionage novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Volunteer historian Carol O’Neil at the former…

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October 2021

A ranch in “the wilder hills” from Old Stage Road

“I would like to write the story of this whole valley, of all the little towns and all the farms and the ranches in the wilder hills. I can see how I would like to do it so that it would be the valley of the world.” …


“One of the most haunted lighthouses in the country” — Travel Channel

The volcanic outcrop of Point Sur stand high above the beach
Point Sur Lightstation from Highway One. The lighthouse is on the right shoulder of the rock. Photo by the author

Story by David A. Laws

Towering three-hundred feet above the Pacific Ocean’s crashing surf, one of the West’s most faithfully restored ghost towns occupies prime ocean-view real estate just 25 miles south of my hometown of Pacific Grove, California.

Inhabited by chickens, a cow, and families with children until less than 50 years ago, the…

How a signature Silicon Valley start-up’s success decimated the company but led to “the greatest legal accumulation of wealth in history”

The first Fairchild integrated circuit contained four transistors. Photo: Fairchild Semiconductor

Sixty years ago, start-up Fairchild Semiconductor of Mountain View, CA, introduced the first practical integrated electronic microcircuit to a gathering of press and industry insiders at the 1961 IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers) Convention in New York. …

Artist’s rendering of a futuristic off-planet settlement floating in space.
Image: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

Sixty-five years ago, William Shockley laid the foundation for the region’s domination in tech

With the past year’s rise of remote work and exodus from the Bay Area to cheaper cities, many people have wrung their hands about whether or not Silicon Valley is dead. The truth is that Silicon Valley has gone through many eras of boom and bust over the decades and…

David A. Laws

I photograph and write about Gardens, Nature, Travel, and the history of Silicon Valley from my home on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

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