The Wall Street Journal visits Big Sur.

Mickey Muennig, Big Sur architect, looks out from his latest sod-roofed house and sighs. Nature seems more intense out here, almost biblical. On some days the ridge is blanketed with fog, on other days there are forest fires, washouts, earthquakes, soul-withering storms and, like today, gale-force winds. But 74-year-old Muennig is used to it. He’s lived here since 1971, when he came for a visit and fell in love with the area’s wild beauty and the independent spirit of the bohemian residents—and became the first master of eco-minded architecture, perfecting green-roof construction more than 30 years before it became the fashionable way to build. – from WSJ