In Memory of Hans Rhenisch, Gardener, 1932-2017

Hansel in 1935

It begins with a grandfather taking a boy out into the garden. Then comes eight decades (and a bit more) of working with the earth to keep that moment alive. Such energy along the way!

Hans Throwing Hay in the Black Forest, 1947

Then we say good-bye and take up the flame. Aufwiedersehen, Vater. Hello.

Thanks for taking me out into the orchard.


And thanks for all the kale and the gift of stories.

Love, Harold

Of Universities and Love

Universities are  the place in which Western societies educate their youth, create knowledge, and pass on social values. I wonder why that doesn’t happen here:

SALMONThe Salmon River Enters the Snake

It used to. This is an old Nimîipuu village site. Increasingly now, the  model of the university is replacing other social structures with a particular kind of  knowledge arranged in  branches of learning,  organized in faculties, such “Arts”, which might include “Theatre” or “Germanic Studies” and “Science”, which might include “Biology” and “Physics”. The image below is not physics, or biology, or theatre or Germanic studies, and it’s not art, and it’s not science:

P1010543 It’s three horses of the Deadman Band of the Secwepemc Nation in a field of weeds. The only indigenous plant there is the sagebrush, and it’s a weed, too.  What is it, then? History? Reality? The world? There’s no name for it, because it’s not part of the scheme, nor is this …IMG_0734Chopping my Beetle-Killed Pines into Firewood

… nor this …P2000855High Density Apple Orchard in the Summer Fires

These are the things that a university might study, but the categories in which they would be studied do not rise from them. This system creates a particular type of technical knowledge. There are assumptions behind that choice, which is problematic in the grasslands of the Northwest, my country.

P2050745Yelllowstone Grasslands

The eastern rim of the North West. The other rim is the Pacific.

Notice the image above: it is not science, not art, not theology, and yet study of the place illustrated above, in Western culture, requires the application of training in at least one of those fields, which will create knowledge, within the hierarchical system of one of those fields. You can’t escape it. Even my photograph belongs to one of those systems: technical science. If it could be called “art”, then it would be a consequence of a human creating a bodily space within that technical field. This humanization is what humans do. It’s very urbane social behaviour, which universities attempt to train in particular directions for particular ends, yet let’s not forget that there is a Yellowstone, and there is a grassland, and none of the fields of organized study say very much about it as it is, or interface with it except through the hierarchical systems of their disciplines. Why is that? Is it something to do with the act recorded in the image below, in which a grassland hill, again in Yellowstone, is turned into a particular social space by placing a cairn of stones at its crest?

P2050646It changes the hill, for sure, yet before that change any human perception of that hill was also a perception of human space. Even the pine below, at the Norris Geyser Field deeper into Yellowstone, is a perception of human bodily space, despite its great foreignness to what has come to be called “human”.P2060045That means that that tree is human, but not necessarily socialized; its pine-ness, its foreigness, its mystery, is, in this conception, as much human as is, say, this …

P2000683Messing Around at Chukuaskin’s Grave While the World Burns, Keremeos

… and this …

P2070327Fishing in the Firehole River, Yellowstone

… and even this …

P2080007Young Black Bear Chawing Down, Kaslo

That is all self evident. The system of thought dominant at today’s universities would point out its irrelevence: it’s just observation. It hasn’t been organized. Well, that’s speaking from within the paradigm. From outside it, this linkage, this extension of the human beyond the human body and its structured, cognitive social expressions also expands the range of human experience to include the earth, and to respect the importance it has in human affairs. That bear is not important because it is a creature representing diversity, or because is integrated into an ecosystem, or because it is beautiful. Those are all expressions of minds culturally divided into categories. That bear is us. It is, of course, a bear — not because it’s also a bear, or because there are two ways of looking at it, but because We and Bear are the same thing and different. Sure, it’s a paradox, but paradoxes are real. Similarly, the following three images from Big Bar Lake capture light from the same being:

P2020866 berry3 P1970786 Yes, they’re taken at the same place, with the same apparatus, by the same person, on the same day, but beyond that commonality, those three things are also the wealth of difference within the beings and objects within the images, and that difference adds up to unity: not as 1+1+1 sequence, but opening out of each other all at the same time. It is not the job of universities to teach this process, but here’s the thing: this unity is the conception of land of this country’s indigenous peoples. Dismissing it is the same as dismissing them. It is profoundly disrespectful. So’s this, actually:

P1870928That’s an image of Yellow Jacket and Wasp, above the Clearwater (Kooskookie) River at Lapwai. There’s a highway pullout so you can admire this ancient Nimíipuu story of a yellow jacket and an ant fighting and refusing to stop until Itseyéyeh, the Trickster (aka Coyote) turned them into stone. It has been afforded some respect, for which I am grateful, but what’s not respectful is that this story is presented as a belief, and the rocks as  eroded basalt. No, respect allows them to be both: not to be studied, or analyzed, but to be entered into in all their dimensions at once.

P1870919There’s a second silence here: the old village site now at Lapwai, five miles up the valley, and fifty years ago at the Spalding Mission, a mile up the river, was actually here, but is now buried under that highway, and the parking lot you stand on to view this story from the beginning of the world. Until these things, story and understanding arrived at by science, are one, our universities are not a part this land. This hill in the Snake River could easily be the focal point of a school of Social Work.

P1880636 The walls of the Canyon are far back. Above them are the Camas Prairie. The centre of women’s power. Under dominant contemporary culture, and the systems of its schools of learning, it is “nature”. P1880577This silencing and silencing through abstraction has a long history.

mosesMoses Coulee

Just a glimpse from the road today, without a marker that this was the winter village of the Sinkuse people for many thousands of years, or that here, beneath these cliffs, was the ancient road from the north of the world to the south, which had been there since the glaciers melted and the vast river that cut this channel had flowed to sea. It was also the old Hudson’s Bay Company Road, and the road 10,000 genocidal miners took to the gold fields at Fountain, on the Fraser River, shooting Syilx people as they went. If this was Europe, the road would be celebrated and honoured. It is likely older than the Silk Road, after all.  Here, it has been “returned to nature”, although “nature” is one of the classification terms of university science and doesn’t exist in the world. This is a form of racism. Racism is not just a social problem, not for people who live as the land. This is one face of racism, or at the least profound disrespect:

P1860349This the Camas Prairie. This is the food basket of the Nimíipuu, before it was wrested from them through manipulating their treaty, plowed, and sown into wheat. The one good thing, is that the people are no longer in the cross hairs of rifles, although road signs have taken their place, as a kind of symbolic reminder of the power inherent in the scene. One way of eliminating camas was to remove the people, but another was just to plow it under. In order for all that to be possible, people were categorized, along with their ways of viewing their land, on racial terms: the Skoeilpi, the Palu’us, the Syilx, the Smlqmx, the Sinkuse, the Kittitas, the Nimíipuu, the Wanapum, the Klickitas, and all the other peoples of the grass, became “Indians”. The people who had been there for decades trading with them, who were the sons of native women (usually Cree or Iroquois) and Quebec or Louisiana Canadians, and who married local Cayuse, Couer d’Alene or Umatilla women, and raised families with them, were suddenly politicized as Canadians (a bad thing, when the land had just been whisked away from Britain by illegal settlement), and racialized as métis. Their futures were limitted by these categories, while the newcomers, a collection of Americans, Brits, Scots, Germans, Finns, Norwegians, Poles, Bohemians, French, Danes, Italians and many others, became “Americans” and “Whites” due to the categories allotted to them by what was, at that time in the United States, a slave culture. Black people were blacks and Chinese were Chinese and both suffered the categorization that came with that. Chinese and Indians were particularly vulnerable to torture and murder, for sport. I’ll spare you the horrible details. The land, though, and this is my point today, suffered  segregation and dehumanization along with the people. After all, it was the people. White, Brown, Black, or Red, as they were called, it didn’t matter, each one of these designations removed people from the land that was there and which was there to experience in its wholeness. It was all consciously done, by followers of a Methodist Christian system, who believed that the path to God was through American-style civil works: land ownership, work within approved social norms, courts, a system of government and education, military obedience, and so on: only that way could a body be purified of nature and made ready to receive the graceful inhabitation of God. Beauty, or a belief in the physical world and its spiritual presence, were strictly scoffed at as being womanly and weak. I have the texts here. I won’t burden you with them, except to point out that following the belief system that broke the connection between people and earth here, the following was not considered a right point for spiritual contemplation or illumination:

P2040358Mammoth Hot Springs

This would have been:

P1820720CN Rail Line, Vernon

A shack like the one below was more than sufficient to remove a piece of land from indigenous inhabitation and transform it into private property. Now that the land serves no purpose but to be weedsprayed in the spring so nothing will grow there at all, it does not revert to indigenous use. It remains forever alienated.


Priest Valley

Take a look at it. It was originally meant to be a Syilx Reserve, but that got manipulated. Look at it again. That’s much like this image below of a bunch of men hauling red listed sturgeon off of the isotope-poisoned bottom of the Columbia River in the shadow of two military grade plutonium reactors at Hanford while the Yakama grasslands, removed from the Yakama people dishonourably in the Yakama War, fill the air with smoke. Then the men drop the poor ancient fish down again and then haul it back up. This is called sport.

sturgeon This is the replacement for living as land. This madness is nature. Take a look. That’s what she looks like. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be like this, and universities don’t have to play this game. Here’s one that doesn’t:

n’awqen” ~ En’owkin

The word En’owkin is an Okanagan conceptual metaphor which describes a process of clarification, conflict resolution and group commitment. With a focus on coming to the best solutions possible through respectful dialogue, literally through consensus.

En’owkin Centre

The En’owkin is a dynamic institution, which puts into practice the principles of self-determination and the validation of cultural aspirations and identity.

This institution is in Penticton, British Columbia, in the Syilx Illahie. It could as well be in the land forms below, in the midst of the village complexes at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in Idaho. Under a hierarchal scientific system, they became “cliffs” and “basalt columns” and “part of the Columbia Basin flood basalts”. They were once as much story as wasp and ant at Lapwai. The fear of the “other” remains latent. I walked out there in June of this year, on a day of 105 degree Fahrenheit heat, a woman called out to me by a boat in the river, about where I took this image the next day, “Aren’t you afraid of snakes?” Why would I be afraid of snakes? I grew up with rattlers, for god’s sake, and that river trail was no place for rattlers, and they knew it and I knew it, too.

P1900245I long for universities, beyond the En’owkin Centre, that actually live in this place, and rights these divisions, brings ancient knowledge, and the languages that support it, forward, and build a right relationship with the earth through alignments of structure and logic that come from the process of the grasslands themselves. I long for a university that does not ultimately discredit the very information contained in an image like this…

blueBowron Lake at Dusk

…by describing it as beauty, an historical artifact, or abstracting it as “a human projection” without also embedding it in the earth, or one which describes the information contained in this image…

P1870284Heart of the Monster, Kamiah, Idaho

… as a rock onto which ignorant people projected comforting stories. This is the  centre of the world! I find it profoundly disrespectful that the centre of knowledge of greater than 12,000 years is dismissed by a system a couple hundred years old. Look at it. This is the cut up remains of a monster that swallowed all the Nimíipuu people at the beginning of time. The people came from here. It is described in university culture as a volcanic plug, onto which a people have projected their creation story as a social act. Well, no wonder, that’s the society that dominates today, but, you know, the En’owkin Centre doesn’t play this game. The students come because they need that program, because it is anchored in their lives, and because it is embedded in their land and culture. It doesn’t work against those, to embed them into a system of abstractions anchored elsewhere and which are ultimately placeless and, placeless, ultimately destructive of the earth. It doesn’t matter how you apologize for it or how much good you do within your discipline. At some point, it must touch the world and abandon all it knows for all it can be. Many scientists and artists work to that end, but they do so against the system that is always biasing them against it. You can’t get to the earth by going away from it.


You can’t keep yourself alive in the broadest sense without keeping the earth alive in that sense, too.wings3It’s a paradox, but paradoxes are real. It’s time to stop teaching racialized knowledge. It is time for brilliant university educated people to stop attempting to solve vital environmental problems solely with the tools that created them, as if you could just go further and further and further into technology and come out into unity at the other end. Unity is not something to observe, dissect, analyze or critique to excess. It is something to embody.  In the world of Charles Marie Pandosy, Oblate Missionary to the Yakama during and before the Yakima War: “We have to love them enough.”


Where the Heart is Home: A Celebration

I love this land. I guess you know that. I am this land. Other writers might talk about identity and ego and alter ego and personality, but I just want to take you out to the bitterroot, to the old ones, and help you to see what I have learned to see. Look!


Straight out of volcanic ash 55,000,000 years old, way down south in the John Day Hills. This is the land itself. Look at her. I don’t expect you to understand. How could you? But if you want to know why I keep at this, look.


Isn’t my country beautiful? Aren’t I blessed to be a part of her? Isn’t this a great responsibility? I used to think my country was the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Now I know it is a collection of tropical volcanic islands that are continuing to collide with North America, stretching from Yellowstone and the Giant Redwoods, north to Alaska. I live in the middle of all that, but way in the south, ah, my heart is there as much as it is here. Others who live in my country, who call themselves Canadians and Americans, as I did before I began these journeys of close attention to the red earth, have their universities and their literatures, their psychologies, their economies, their arts councils and business investment banks. I just have the land now.


Ah, but look at her!  Today, it has been 1000 journeys into the grass for us here on Okanaganokanogan. I have learned to read the land’s stories. Look.

turtle3That’s an ancient story, in the bed of Dry Falls. Most of the fresh water of the world, when the world still had fresh water, flowed over this stone turtle, and made it in its shape, out of basalt cliffs like the one you can see in behind. Now I get to walk through it at 45 degrees Celsius, which is about the right temperature, if you ask me. I’ve learned to see gravity, too.


And good friends have battled up against it with me, in a kind of dry land surfing. Oh my. I’m still the farmer, though, although I’ll never have a farm. I’m the man with his roots in 10,000 years of a conversation with the land, or is it 20,000 years, or 50,000? Look below. This is the place. It’s on the John Day River. It’s seen better days, sure, and has been replaced now by the industrial farms of the Columbia Basin, but look at her. I could live there, if borders didn’t cut my country into bits. The junipers on the hills, with my grandfather’s spirit in them. The volcanic rock, the only rock for me. The bunchgrass, that drinks the sun and the rain. The willows on the river, that speak the wind, the river running over tumbled stones, that sing, the sagebrush that drinks the heat, the heat, the mountain’s shadow, that is always moving, and the trees, with their peaches and cherries for Portland, all grown in conversation with the land. It could be ancient Persia. It could be Afghanistan. It could be Iceland, but it is here. This is my rock. The reward for working here is just the chance to be here, talking to the earth with my hands and my eyes and the heart in my chest. Go ahead, click on the picture. It’s wide. It might not speak to you of the coming together of forces it speaks of to me, but then, perhaps, you didn’t learn the world first from peach trees, as I did, and only then from books and people, in that order. These are my people. Look at them, thriving there in the sun! Look at them catching it in their arms.



A thousand posts! Look at my people, soaring above Umatilla Ridge.



So what now, eh? Well, there have been efforts to turn me into a salesman, to sell this story. There have been efforts, to take the vision out of me and replace it with arguments of utility, for the building of new agricultural technologies, but, come on. This is my real story. This is why I’m here. This stone raven at Peshastin. Click on it. Look at the head that’s in its eye.  Someone has to tell the story of how to live on the land, and how to be it.  Someone has to say, we can do this. It’s easy. You just have to give yourself away with a full and open heart.


Oh, I have new crops and new technologies here. I have a history, that starts here, not in London or New York. I have a book about the sun, and about rethinking nuclear fission, using this land and its sun. I have all that, and you soon will, too. The books are in the works, but it’s a huge job. After all, I don’t have the university to do this work, and my brothers and sisters, the writers of this country, they’re largely writing for Canada and the United States.They might not want to be, but we have to walk this path together, step by step, with the bunchgrass brushing at our thighs. We’re getting there. By the end of the year, things should look pretty grand. Look at what I’m working on now…

When I raise my arm to point out a hawk diving on a quail in a field of wild grass, I am plunging my arm into the sun. It’s all sunlight, right down to the surface of the soil. I walk through it. It flows over my skin.

I love that. I love living in the sun. It’s like that here. I can’t explain it. I’ve tried. But, hey … it’s a big job. Look, I can take you there, if you like.



Yes, that’s right. The sun is the earth. The earth is the sun. They complete each other. They were never apart. That’s Mount Hood above there, to give her a traditional name, if that helps. Beautiful, isn’t she. In my country, the earth is within the sun. I can’t explain it. But I can take you there. That’s what I can do. Here’s where I found my heart in the land.


That’s my self portrait. That’s Palouse Falls. Does it look like a man? Of course not. But it’s where I am now, after 1000 posts on Okanaganokanogan. We’re not done yet. We’re still walking. There’s still so much to love here. Thanks so much for walking with me in this grass, and through this rock. I could not have done it without  your encouragement. A thousand posts. 30,000 photos. 20,000 hours.That’s just amazing. This, though, just below, is what it’s all about. Look at the goddess of this land, the cicada, shedding her skin.

Isn’t she beautiful? Isn’t she worth living for? Isn’t she worth great praise?


For the Love of Birds

My mother, who died a week ago on Sunday, did not like starlings. This was not because she did not like birds. She loved those. As a girl in the 1930s, she fed goats by bottle, scattered grain for birds, and marvelled at every living thing. In the 1960s, when my father got the idea of shooting sparrows for dinner, she put an end to that real quick. Stray cats found a home with her. Dogs, though, she had not much use for. They weren’t independent enough for her. No, with the starlings it was about the land itself, and social privilege. “Some confounded Englishman with no more sense than brains got homesick and brought the silly creatures over from England because he was homesick.” That’s how she put it. And it was an Englishman, actually, in Central Park, in New York, who did the deed. My mother, Dorothy, who grew up in a community of immigrants excluded from society by the Great Depression and left to fend for themselves in the woods, did not have much room for people who traded privilege for work. To her, work was life, not something that could be socially purchased. It was a way to defend yourself against the pressures of social privilege. It had an ethical dimension that exceeded individual rights. “Some Englishman, who was only in the country for two weeks and wasn’t a Canadian at all,” she used to say, as her way of bringing me up into the world, “could get any job he wanted, over a hard working immigrant with Canadian citizenship, who had a family to feed.” Well, that’s the way it was, and that was my mother’s objection: the land, and its people come first, before anything else at all. In other words, for my mother, the people and the land are one. The thing about starlings was not that they didn’t live well on the land, but that they took crops from the field and fruit from the orchard, that could have gone into her apron. They were a  tax, in other words, little different than that of the Canadian government itself, which favoured, as she saw it in her childhood and no doubt learned at the feet of her communist father, Englishmen over Canadians. Now, citizenship does not work out that way anymore, although maybe society still favours people of privilege over people living off the land and as the land or over new immigrants. At any rate, though, the starlings are singing today, in the poplars down the street.P1570578

When this land was converted from a Cowboy and Indian culture into a fruit-growing culture 116 years ago, it embraced two complementary energies: the energy (at least as society defined it) of men, who built waterworks, cleared sagebrush, planted trees, built packing plants, and so on; and the energy of women, who revelled in beauty, kept homes, raised children, and when the men died in the Great War, took over, still wearing their aprons. These were the roles that society gave to the two main human genders, and the relationship between them, the society that grew up into the one we know today, came from the interpersonal relations between these men and these women. My mother is not doing that work anymore, I’m sad to say, but I am, still, with her in my veins, and I’d like to make an observation today about the state of affairs after 116 years of love-making, if that’s what it should be called. It’s this: those starlings are killed by the thousands now, to keep them from eating grapes destined for ice wine for chinese billionaires. Maybe you can hear my mother’s voice in that bluntness? I can. This work is done secretly, but it’s done, and the wine industry’s success, and all its lake view bistros, have this mass electrified slaughter to thank for the romantic dinners for two, with a glass of sweet, fruity white wine, that drive this industry and draw tourists to it from cities far away. This compromise is our dirty secret. And what of the true wild birds? Well, there are still a few stalks of mullein here and there, in the weed land below the vineyards, for them to feed on in the cold.


And there are thistles for those who prefer them, although the thistles are mostly immigrants too and pretty nasty to cattle, and since cattle are socially the affair of men in these parts, the thistles are usually poisoned with some pretty nasty stuff. Here are some poisoned, nasty thistles on land no one uses for anything except for the nasty poisoning of pretty thistles, and one blurry bird feeding, so to speak.

P1570557This is where the beauty of this land has come to, incredibly enough, out of the love-making between men and women. And what of those orchards, that were planted to support everyone together, and their children? Ah, here, you have a choice: either an industrial workspace for temporary workers imported from the Caribbean, paid wages less than I was paid to do this work thirty years ago, and with as much room for beauty as any other factory floor…


… or here, in a peach orchard kept by a woman of my mother’s generation for as long as she could.



These are tough choices, and they are both ruins: one a widow’s vision, without a husband to do the work anymore, and one a man’s vision, in a fruit factory that has no female touch. Fruit growing is considered an industry in these parts, but it never was that. It was a dream, a hope, a love, a making, a life. The “industry” side of the whole thing was there to support those values. Against the pressures of Canadian society, however, which demanded profit to be drawn from this love, those orchards and home and human relationships are no longer in balance. The houses below, my neighbourhood, were one of those orchards once, and children, no doubt, once learned the world by climbing the cherry tree on the right in the image below. For those kids, a house was a place to go into, from their life, and when they left that house they were home again. The children of today, however, seem to be learning to play in a house with a curly plastic slide: a fun thing, but with a serious end. They will be children of houses and play. For these children, the earth will be a place to go out to, from their life, and when they leave their houses they won’t be  like my mother, who was at home in the earth and was very, very clear about the work that that took.



These are profound changes. As for men and women, a century ago they promenaded together in “Nature” on Sundays. Now they walk their dogs on the old industrial water canal of that age, the Grey Canal, of Earl Grey Tea fame. The canal is filled with gravel and lined with weeds, and offers convenient plastic bags and disposal barrels for every dog-walker’s duty.



There’s something profound about this, about how my mother’s world has vanished as profoundly as she has, and at the same time. The land has been taken almost completely from what were defined as female values a century ago. I’m not sure that this has worked out particularly well. Against this loss, here I am, though, the result of this love making, still walking the land, for as long as I can. It’s that love I have tried to pass on here every day for more than three years now. The day I heard that my mother was in hospital, I was in Prague. I went out and watched this woman feed the city’s swans with a small mountain of leftover bread from her restaurant. Here she is with the last few pieces, although “bread” might be an understatement. That looks like Czech pastry at her feet, with honey-nut-poppyseed filling!



We live the earth by loving it. Loving it together is best.


This is For My Grandmother

Martha (Marsel) Leipe liked to laugh and hum light opera tunes from the theatre group she was the secretary for, back in a country that doesn’t exist anymore. During all her years in Canada she kept a copy of a painting of poppies on her wall (while she hummed those old light opera tunes.) She didn’t know the words. Who needs to. I don’t think there are words for poppies. I don’t think there should be.

P1360665 copyPoppies Scattered on a Roadside Bank …

… by someone who knew about the secrets of the world.

May we all walk with our grandmothers, from time to time. They had dreams for us.


The Waxwings are Here!

As the snow sifted down yesterday afternoon, the  waxwings appeared, just in time. They settled in the poplars down the road, looking like winter blossoms.


These most wonderful birds devour all the berries left from summer, moving from bush to bush and tree to tree across the landscape as the winter progresses.

P1370067And they take turns! They are very polite and generous that way, and in the end everyone gets fed.

P1370077Some days I’m full of ideas, but right now I just want to say I love waxwings!

P1370065And that, I think, is a physical kind of idea that fits into a human rather than a statistical science. Humans and bohemian waxwings … together they make light.


And reflect it perfectly.

Fusion Reactor Update, Really

Last year, I built myself a nuclear fusion reactor, on the principle that the sun is a really great one but that its reactions are only completed when they strike the earth and are given form by matter. So, I built a reactor core, and installed my fuel cells. Here’s the core, if you remember:

Bare hillside rimmed with rocks.

Fusion Reactor Core

Natural materials are used to stabilize gravity reactions.

What I was aiming for was a wild reactor, one that was part of a complex, ongoing series of chain reactions, in which the earth was operating with dynamism and complexity — something like this:

Wild Lupines Transforming the Spring Sun into Bees

Don’t worry, the bees will come.

To remind you of the technology, here are the cells, when I inserted them into core, in preparation for initiating the reaction:

Hillside planted with sages and gloriosa daisy.

The Core After First Addition of the Catalyzing Agent (Water)

Water collecting on a stone eroded a channel down the slope. Obviously, gravity needs to be watched carefully in these tricky processes.

And the year went by, and birds came by, and mice, and cats. A few dogs crashed through the reaction, unharmed, and swarms of bees. After all that here’s the reactor at year end:

Reaction in the Process of Shutting Down Due to the Distance of the Earth from the Sun

Note how the reaction overcome with stray reactions of vetch. Some fine tuning of the apparatus is called for.

And then the snow came, but even it didn’t end the reaction. Look who has come through the winter in great shape, busily humming away at its transformations of light…

Sage, Blue Oat Grass, and California Poppies

Notice that the vetch infection has been cleared away. The slope is close to stable now. Gravity is no longer a strong force in this system, even though it is only a year old.

How glorious a fusion reaction can be! Industrial fusion reactions promise energy that can be used for industrial processes, yet we are surrounded by fusion reactions that power living processes. There’s our choice. Talk about serendipity. Look what showed up at the mailbox yesterday, and disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived:

The Goddess Was Here or What!

Or was it the Goddess? Look at the car’s butt:

The Goddess and the God’s Chariot of Fire

With the Green “N” for “Novice Driver”. You gotta love it. The world’s all right.

I promised a peek at the new Okanagan Academy. Ah, glitches. Long story of technological rat-cheese-mazes, actually. Here’s a screen shot, to give you an idea where we are going…

The Okanagan Academy, in Progress

Note how Okanagan Okanogan will be embedded and highlighted as daily research.

Tomorrow, hopefully, all glitches aside, a better glimpse. Since 1974 I have lived in a world divided between horticultural and literary passions, never far from science. That they have now all come together is an incredible gift. I don’t think it was any accident that the Goddess was in town. Given all the years, I think it’s OK if it takes a few more days to de-glitch the band aid solutions I applied to my relationship with my service provider five years ago  and get it right. In the meantime, get out there and enter that reaction. Do you feel it? Do you feel yourself standing within the sun?