Defying Gravity

Water can pool on near vertical surfaces. If it has a little help.

Moss transforming a vertical surface into a series of horizontal ones

Bella Vista Hills

A lake doesn’t have to be continuous to fulfill its function of being a læk, a watering held so it can be used. I am fascinated at how moss allows itself to stretch and flow, taking on some of the characteristics of water, in order to hold it in the air, right in the sun. That’s pretty close to the magnificent manipulations of photosynthesis itself. Perhaps the two gestures arose from the same power.

Island in a Grassland Sea

p1500421Rocks are one of the richest grassland environments. They turn bodies of heat into surfaces and surfaces of heat into bodies. They turn winter into spring, spring into summer, and low into high. We would do well to plant rocks. Planting the right ones would take place of much technology. Plus, fun work, right?

Gravity Pools

Soil.

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Not soil.

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9 years, nothing growing yet.

Soil

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Not soil.
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Nothing even germinates here.

Soil.

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You find soil where water pools. (Rocks, too.)

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It is life — a gravitational effect that manifests itself at boundaries.

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Mineral earth is just mineral earth. A good place for bees to burrow.

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Very small bees.

Plants prefer even rocks over that stuff.

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The life that grows in mineral earth is growing in the soil within the earth, not the earth.

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Plants, after all, came from the sea. They know about stuff like this. Gravity pools, a form of dry land tidal pool, help. Below is a pool of green water in a deer’s footprint (centre left).

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Here’s a gravity pool collecting rain within a stone.

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Here’s one flowing, as water will.

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Plants root in life like this. Dirt is just an environment of ground up mountains that allows soil, a kind of living weather, to form, if the conditions are right.

 

The Difference Between Earth, Soil and Dirt

Rock falls are earth.
frostmoss They power complex communities. Beautifully.frostmoss2 They speak of gravity and sun and air, and bring them to life.
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Soil is what water leaves.

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Dirt is tillage.

It is time to learn to work with the Earth.

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Beautifully.

Three Ways to Make Soil

One: You will need a poplar tree to drop yellow leaves on the ground. Leave them. Let it rain, freeze, thaw and snow in intervals. Two months later, drop one green leaf on top. Wait.

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Two: You will need a fir needle. Many fir needles. And some sand. See if you can borrow a road. Let it rain. Lots. On a gentle slope of hill, the soil will gather itself.

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Three: Cheat. No soil required. This is the way of rock and grasslands. Lichen and moss extract minerals from rock. Seeds that fall into the spaces between stalks of moss find water, warmth, shelter, dust that blows in from the stars, and those dissolved minerals — everything that soil can do.

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Soil is not rock. It is alive. I hope you make some today!

The Beauty of Spring in November

In November, in Cascadia, it is springtime, whether you are in the wetlands on an island  in the ocean …

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Oyster Bay, Vancouver Island

… or far inland, in the grasslands, where we are expecting snow.

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Abandoned Orchard at Turtle Mountain, Looking Down Priest Valley towards Okanagan Lake

No soil is needed to grow a garden here.
P2130759Soil would reduce fertility. Stone helps, though.P2130760 Where water flows and life flows with it, life pools.P2130761 It might freeze at night, but these domed shapes are warm.P2130769 Rocks, too.P2130779 Cozy!

P2130786 The pools within the pools are great places for seeds to catch and flow and sprout. It’s much like the folds of hydrocarbons in protein strings.P2130807 To flow, water doesn’t have to be liquid. That’s because it’s energy. It can be held in a matrix, which can become it.P2130810We call this matrix life. We call it green water. Green water can even drip and splash.P2130815 Life reaches out its tongues to stop gravity and opens its wings to the sun.
P2130821 It’s down to as much as 5 Below these nights, but only in the air.P2130822 Not here.P2130845 On volcanic earth.P2130878 Here, spring ice breaks the basalt apart, and life becomes the frost in fall.P2130889 Is it rain? Is it frost? Is it sun? Is it air? Is it stone?P2130906 It is all of them together. It is earth. This is earth… not soil.P2130936 This.P2130947 Life.

P2130948 Now. 55.000.000 years in the making, along the seam of two ancient island chains.P2130963 Once the stone crashed in a volcanic tide. Now that energy is a surging wave. Still.P2130986 It is still a splash of surf.P2130988

On Turtle Mountain, it is happening now. And not just here. On Rattlesnake Mountain, too.

moss Life is not built on the bodies of the dead. Not here. To come here in summer to see green lawns is to be poor beyond belief.P2120777

Here life is made within the bodies of the living. All are welcome.

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None are turned away.

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Is it the sun? Is it the earth?

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It is both at once, where we are.