Oujournalist’s Blog

The blog of a freelancing journalist in Arizona

From darkness into light is the pattern I wish to follow today. April 14, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Candace Hughes @ 7:30 pm

March 23, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Candace Hughes @ 9:40 pm

North Market shares history, fun

Filed under: businesss,green,Ohio history,travel — Candace Hughes @ 4:17 pm

Martha Brian, journalism professor and former Columbus Monthly staffer, introduced me to the North Market close to downtown Columbus, Ohio. Before the North Short changes, it was a dicey area to enter, but had fresh food that was hard to find in the campus area just to the south. It did require a bus ticket or a car to get there, but offered a whole chicken my husband and I could make last for a week.

I return now several times yearly while visiting my parents in nearby Delaware, and find the same fresh whole chickens available, along with a variety of produce, flowers and meals.

The market may be expanded and remodeled soon, so now is the time to venture in, take a notebook or laptop, and spend an afternoon with coffee, tea, dessert, fresh pastries or bread, or a meal before carting home groceries.

My professor did a profile for Columbus Monthly magazine when the market was in danger of destruction, but the city of Columbus eventually purchased the historic property and now it draws convention goers, the lunchtime crowd, and people from all over the city.



I am a daffodil still sleeping inside a bulb but getting ready to sprout. February 14, 2017

Filed under: green — Candace Hughes @ 11:21 pm

I know I will like it when other daffodils bloom near me and we exchange pollen. I will feel the whoosh of butterfly wings and listen to the songs of birds. I rejoice in my sturdy, green stem and strong leaves. They support me with sustenance such as water and nutrients. I unfold from a tight bud with each day showing more fringed, yellow petals until the pistel and stamen are finally exposed. I love my brilliant color.

I see all this from the dark place inside the bulb where I am awaiting just the right signal. I know Mother Nature has a Plan for me and I will follow it. I anticipate only good things. Perhaps someone will pick me and I will grace a table or desk and give inspiration. I also know it is OK to just be and God’s Plan will unfold as I allow Grace to surround me. The bulb holds much food for me and it knows the correct time to start growing as a plant above the earth. It’s fun to know that all I need will be provided. I am Loved!


The Hidden Life of Trees January 19, 2017

Filed under: Books,green — Candace Hughes @ 7:01 pm

The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate — Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben with a foreword by Tim Flannery. Available as an audio book in 2016 and through Greystone Books $24.95 250 pages plus notes. Published 2015. English translation from German by Jane Billinghurst with black and white illustrations.

For more than 14 years we have been living on 1 1/4 acres outside of Phoenix where we have as many as 30 night-blooming cereus cactus. We have often wondered why as many as 20 bloom on one evening and plants in neighboring yards also choose to open their flowers on that one night.
Biologists at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, about 90 miles from our house, say they don’t know why, but speculate the plants send a signal to each other. On one hot night each summer, often around solstice, plants that look like dead sticks offer large white blooms. Bats visit to pollinate and bees visit in the early morning hours until the blossoms fall limply in the hot sun. Other blooms may occur in the next few nights, some the same night as the in the Tucson garden.
As I read The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, I see that author Peter Wohlleben has been gathering evidence — it’s not just a theory — that plants do “talk to each other,” assist struggling trees and even provide sustenance.
“Because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it,” German forester Wohlleben asserts that as trees grow together, they divide nutrients and water so each can grow to be the best possible living thing. This type of natural cooperation is destroyed when managers remove trees to take out “competition,” because as they look for help, they find only stumps. “This “Social Security,” he found through his own forms of assistance which he has ended.
While some of the author’s work is about European trees, his beliefs can be translated to other climes. The drought in the the Western United States and Canada that is giving bark beetles a head start in killing trees is discussed when he details the deleterious effects of repeated dry spells.
The writing is easy for lay people to understand, but also includes sound science for those wishing to study the author’s methods.
As E.O. Wilson notes, “To those who are steering the growth of nature reserves worldwide, let me make an earnest request: Don’t stop. Just aim a lot higher.” Wohlleben is aiming higher and encouraging everyone to look for better answers.
Deforestation and climate change are discussed, and the importance of leaving the old growth forests alone also is emphasized.
As Tim Flannery posits in the introduction: “Share with me the joy trees can bring us. And, who knows, perhaps on your next walk in the forest, you will discover for yourself wonders great and small.”
The book was written with support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia through the Book Publishing Tax Credit and the government of Canada.

Candace S. Hughes is an Arizona-based freelance writer. Her most recent work for Smithsonian.com is “How We Created a Monster in the American Southwest.”

Freedom of speech November 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Candace Hughes @ 12:21 am

 The nation is in danger of being controlled by fake news but the situation can be turned around. Conspiracy theories, algorithms that pick up likes on Facebook and send them to 1 million members and Fox News personalities who repeat made up “information”  all affect how we feel about our nation.

  • This can be changed by journalists who ask: Is it accurate? Is it fair? Is it honest? said Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor. A “report” that the pope endorsed Trump was spread as real “news” when the pope did not suggest or favor any candidate. This example, Pelley said, shows how a report was not checked out.

By investigating, asking questions and looking for several sources to verify a report, fake news can be eradicated. Entertaining and popular  “journalists” cannot accurately report unbiased news, Pelley said in a talk at Arizona State University earlier this month. Trained journalists talk to citizens, sources and public officials and use public records as part of their reporting. Fake news often is based on gossip, sensationalism or what will garner clicks and attention while ignoring how it damages democracy. 

For a republic to survive, we need more journalism backed up by solid reporting which will help with the eradication of fake news.


This is a photograph from North Market in Columbus Ohio. Go and visit Now before it is expanded and remodeled. I heard about it from my journalism professor Martha Brian who did a story about it for Columbus Monthly. November 18, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Candace Hughes @ 4:50 pm