Apples Make Their Own Heat

Here’s my Spigold opening up last week. Note how the sun drew the leaves out quickly, but the flowers take their time, drawn out more slowly by the heat their fur traps close to their skins and the heat the red spectrum of their first show of petals gathers from the sun. What tiny worlds. What tiny energy effects!

This isn’t global warming. It’s local warming!

In the end, 500 gram apples are the result. It takes time. We have that.

Gardening in the Petro State…Is that Possible?

How do we save the planet? By planting rocks in our gardens to “prevent global warming?” Isn’t that murder?

Or by planting rhubarb?

The second garden is mine, across the road from the firs, which is the global warming it is trying to invent. It is amazing what a country addicted to oil will think of next. Actually, we don’t save the planet. We ask it to save us. Then we listen. I planted this salad one day between snow storms a month ago.

Gardening in the Land of Peak Oil

How do we save the planet? By planting rocks in our gardens to “prevent global warming?” Isn’t that murder?

Or by planting rhubarb?

The second garden is mine, across the road from the firs, which is the global warming it is trying to invent. It is amazing what a country addicted to oil will think of next. Actually, we don’t save the planet. We ask it to save us. Then we listen. I planted this salad one day between snow storms a month ago.

Gardening in the Okanagan in 2017

Some things are sobering. Here’s a cold frame (a glassed-in seedbed, for early growing) from 1978, updated for the new Okanagan in the age of vineyardization. Before 1978, this was an orchard, that supported a family and grew apples, peaches, cherries and plums. After 1978, it became a place where people could raise that food for their families themselves. As people turn away from the land today, hire Mexicans on special temporary permits to do “their” agricultural labour (actually, the produce is for export, a series of capital-intensive cash crops; the produce locally eaten comes from California and Mexico), and pressure the water system with overpopulation (yet blame the water deficit on global warming) while continuing to extol the fruitfulness of the land (heavily-taxed wine, affordable only to tourists and the wealthy), gardens transform into a new image of society. 
A couple things to notice: the black cloth is intended to allow water through but to prevent weeds (or life of any kind). It has been augmented by some rocks, likely formerly a decorative garden wall, to keep it down, and has been growing some cheatgrass (like the green stuff in the foreground) in the fir needles (the tree is an important local hawk perch) that the stones have gathered. The yard is decorated with a pre-fabricated aluminum garden shed. The yard next door, which has replaced its garden with a small, decorative  patch of lawn amidst a vast swath of rocks and gravel (because of that global warming, but also because yards are now large barbecue entertainment areas, not spaces for gardens, i.e. they are now interior spaces), has collected un-needed garden equipment behind its new (large) garden shed, which mustn’t be for garden tools. It’s likely for general storage. Welcome to Canada in 2017. It took us some work to create this, but we managed in the end.

Filthy Air in the Okanagan

The difference in colour between the air in the foreground and the background of this image looking from Bella Vista (surely a misnomer) to Okanagan Landing and the Commonage in Vernon yesterday is a measure of how much filth we have put into only five kilometres of air.p1450985

Every cubic metre of that air holds extra heat from the sun. The colour shows that. It is as much a part of global warming as the weedy trees that have crept down the grassland hill, whose dark colour holds the sun’s heat in winter, melting snow that should be melting into the grass later, and then ejecting it into the atmosphere as water in the summer heat, where it is blown away to the east, and gone. The grass wouldn’t have done that, but in our ignorance of grass we did. Forget global C02 measures. We just need to step outside and look at the water. This is what “development” as an economic strategy leads to: dirt. Wear a mask. Because, when you get up to 650 metres on the hill, you can smell this stuff. Here’s what 15 kilometres of it looks like.

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Let’s stop selling the Okanagan as a place with a clean environment. It just makes things worse.

Daughter of Fire

She lives in the sky.P1030714 Daughter of the earth.

P1030724Born of the wind.P1030875

Flowering one.

P1030893Weaver. P1030897

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Maker of needlepoint.P1030902

With skeins of light, all atangle.P1030905

Spirited one.P1030912 Everchanging. P1030938 P1030961 P1030975 P1030999

At one with the water. P1040048

And with shadow.P1040057

Light whisperer. P1040065

Wind talker.P1040072

She is blue-bunch wheatgrass.P1040075

Ancient daughter of fire.

 

Okanagan Lake is Not a Lake: a Lesson for Global Warming

It is cold 10,000 years old, left by a glacier, which harvested it for 50,000 years.P2250443

Okanagan Lake, at Okanagan Landing

It’s not a lake. It’s an inland fjord. Its bedrock descends over 1500 metres, 1000 metres below the surface of the sea.

It’s not global warming which is the issue. It’s the loss of local cooling.

It’s Better Than Migrating: The New World of Winter

Just hanging out in the snow…P2140227

… with these other robins …
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… with friends …

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… blending in with the maple spinners …

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… and a flicker …

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… and a magpie, too.

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Everyone just chilling out today. Keeping the feet out of the snow.

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Starlings hopping from tree to tree.

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Settling down …

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… anywhere …

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… ANYwhere.

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Starlings a little crazed, really.

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Robins more than a little.

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But everyone beautiful and curious in the fog.

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Pretending to be a nest (Hey, you work with what you know.)

 

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Pretending to be Leonard Cohen.

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Hiding, in a quick, hopping sifting through thistles and saskatoons down the hill, the wind given shape. Gravity given to wind.

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Not alone, though. (How many can you count?)

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Such attention in the world, everyone watching the man walking…

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… the man walking, bound to snow, where dogs have been before …

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… everyone curious, waiting, circling around, waiting some more …

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… always leaving, always moving on …

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… always coming back, always welcome.

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In the grass, everyone needs a tree.

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It’s how you get around, carrying the sun within you…

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… , in the ocean of the air.

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Global Warming, Human Made

It ain’t just smokestacks. Here’s a field of stones …

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The panels were made to cover with plastic sheeting (now removed), into which were planted tomatoes. Here are some of them, looking a lot lie stones themselves…
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The point of the panels was to heat the soil, so that tomatoes could be harvested in the early summer, rather than at its end, and harvest season could be moved up to fit with school schedules and holiday time for families. In the process of this socialization of the earth, the soil gets baked out of all organic matter, which is replaced by petrochemical fertilizers piped in through the water system. This, friends, is global warming.

Sagebrush and Global Cooling

The image below shows a water strider. It uses the intermolecular bonds of water to hold itself up. If you look closely you can see the water bend beneath it, as if these creatures were walking on a film. They are: a film of energy.Meet the dry land water strider: big sagebrush.P2010108 The leaves of this aromatic plant are covered in tiny hairs.P2010101 These hairs trap the water which the leaves breathe out while they’re making sugar by eating photons from the sun.P2010096 They hold it in place by using those hairs in the way the water strider uses its legs. The result is a bond between the hairs of the big sage and the intermolecular bonds of the water.P2010095 This provides a high water atmosphere above the surface of the leaf, so it doesn’t lose water in the heat of the day, by augmenting the surface tension of the water — water’s own energy — to prevent the movement of water molecules across the barrier.P2010093

Just as water striders use the bonds of the water to hold themselves up in the air. This has been a summer of drought and fire. We would have gone a long way towards preventing it if we had adapted this technology and made membranes for our open water five years ago, or even this spring. It has the same effect as shade.

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In an atmosphere in which the loss of water, even from human skin, to the atmosphere creates heat, global cooling can start with the big sage.

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Sometimes walking on water means holding it still.