Imagine the Technological Possibilities!

Imagine if you could regulate heat loss and roof melting simply by switching from a flat roof to a roof covered in river rock, or a lightweight approximation of it. The insulating properties of the rock would keep the cold of the snow away from the roof, while the relative warmth of the snow would insulate the rock. Temperate change be gradual. What’s more, air flowing around the rounded forms of the rock would draw off the heat they give off while cooling under the effects of the snow, which would draw off the snow in channels, while allowing the insulating processes of snow and rock to continue. The rounded rocks are essential to make the process work. 

One Day After the Snow

Such a construction technique applied to even greater open spaces would allow for the gradual melting of snow, preventing sudden run-off events and allowing for a steady pumping of water through an environment. Notice how cheat grass uses thatch (below) to incubate seed in warmth, along a similar principle…

… while using the thatch to keep a warm layer of air next to the soil. By the time freezing happens, the soil will be drenched with melted snow. At that point, melting will add heat to the soil.

Three dimensional roofs with channels, that manipulate freezing and thawing processes to maintain steady states or gain an advantage on climate, that’s the way. Of course, you could farm like this, too. Then again, is that not the general form of Cascade, with an uneven surface generating warm valley floors?

The Big Bar Esker Against the Marble Range

And again?

My Grandfather Bruno Leipe and His Dog Pootzie Above the Similkameen, c. 1963

photo Hugo Redivo

In the case of the Similkameen, the warm valley floor is a sea of infilled river gravel in a deep glacial trench, which takes us back to where we began…


Cascadia is a dynamic land, isn’t it! By reducing run-off, and spreading out growing seasons, much of the work of industrial agricultural systems can be done at no cost, after original set-up. And we’re still talking about systems of depreciation and extraction, why?

Birth and Life in the Grasslands

In the grasslands of the intermountain west, a seed doesn’t need to be planted in the soil. It falls into a crack in the living skin of the earth, which grows over it, takes it into itself, stores it water and brings it forth.crust

Big Bar Esker

The grasslands of the intermountain west are not a series of mountain valleys but cracks in the earth, in which people live. The forests high up above these hot cracks, which protect humans, deer, bears and fish, and concentrate the energy of the forests so these peoples have sustenance, are identical to the cracks that take the grass seed in, only larger, and on a mammalian scale.


Vaseaux Lake

The Earth is alive here.

The Hidden Water of the Grasslands

A grassland slope…

P1980244Big Bar Esker 

(An Esker is a river that ran upside down beneath glacial ice.)

Flowers in Big Bar Lake.



Grassland ground up on the esker…



That’s not soil between the bunches of grass and the flowers and herbs but a layer of blue green algae, lichens, mosses, bacteria and invertebrates…about 100 species per square foot.Here, look closer:




Blue-green algae, mosses, lichens? It’s a lake without the water (or a glacier without the ice.) Don’t be fooled. Even without the water, the lake is there.


Writing With Light

The blue sky? The yellow bird? The green pine?

P1200192Female American Goldfinch in a Lodgepole Pine the Beetles Missed

Big Bar Lake

Hardly. Those are properties of human sight, and of American Goldfinch sight as well. We are creatures of the earth, on Earth. Should we ever leave Earth, we will still see with the earth’s eyes. What does that mean, to see with the Earth’s eyes? Ah, this, I think:

P1190850Pond and Aspen, Big Bar Lake

Because of the earth-based properties of human sight, the nature of the universe can be worked out in terms of colour just as powerfully as it can in terms of logical processes. Both are science, which is nothing more nor less than the creation of knowledge out of experience. There’s nothing in that that says that the knowledge created has to take the form of a set of universal laws, or that the creation of a vast intellectual pattern superseding physical perception is the only way of thinking. That’s only a cultural bias.


The World Turning Blue Late in the Day, Big Bar Lake

Photographers and painters have known this for a long time. Now that culture has gone visual, writers are freed from texts and can start sculpting the world again.

P1190822Walking on the Big Bar Eskers

This is our book now. What an exciting time to be alive. That’s the observation. Now, to publish in that space.