Friday, November 27, 2009

In Front Of Our Eyes

I don't have to go out into the cities of industry with their opaque skies and brutal noise levels or to the mountain rivers where the salmon are dying to notice the changes in our environment which have taken place in, all things considered, only the few past years. I don't need to read the news about male small mouthed bass now having female characteristics, or the most recent addition to the endangered species list. Nor do I need to learn of yet another environmental violation to know there are many who think they can continue on in this ever escalating game of pillage for profit and remain unaffected. All I have to do is look out into my little garden and notice the redwood sorrel that now dies from lack of watering in the summer when a few years ago they needed no help from me to survive, or tip my head skyward to the diminished returning flocks of barn swallows and chimney swifts in the spring, or notice that the ever growing legions of cars has wiped out the sound of the ocean.

Every day, we loose something and what kind of void follows each loss? Every day excuses are made in the name of gain (who's gain?), and that which 'we' gain, what is it? A random void filler most likely. (The sound of cars where there once was silence? I'd call 'car noise' the void and 'noise stress' the void filler rather than referring to silence as a void, as some have been want to do.) As for random void fillers, I listened last summer to the recent novelty of hearing crickets chirping in dry soil which had always before remained too damp year round for their liking. I see this house being invaded by armies of piss ants looking for other than sugar, year round - this 80 year old house which has never seen colonies of ants within its walls before. What this house is experiencing is as nothing compared to other abodes out there in the world. Crickets are a sign of good fortune and piss ants are not venomous. Neither are toxic.

Whether we admit to it or not, whether those with the resources to do something about it acknowledge it or not, we have willfully engendered in our world too much loss and the effects of even the tiniest and most invisible of these losses touch every single person place and thing on this planet and beyond. Anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This 'rose scented geranium' is not that common in the garden shops that sell scented pelargoniums. It has slightly wooly leaves and might be Pelargonium capitatum sometimes called "Attar of Roses". I doubt it is the rose scented Pelargonium graveolens which is much more common in the gardens of this geographical area, the Pacific north coast of California, as the leaves are not lacily lobed. When the leaves are distilled, they give up the most lovely rosy scented floral water, the hydrosol. Every winter when there is a bit of snow, many of them die ulesss we remember to throw a light tarp over them in the evenings.

After the really cold winter we had a few years ago, it's taken many cuttings and until now for there to be enough to distill in my funny old pot still that we set on the top of the stove - one large grocery bag packed full of leaves.

I've never tried growing this plant indoors, though some sources say they do fine in front of a bright window. I think I'll take some cuttings before the night freeze comes which means I should do this tomorrow as their has been frost in the mornings and otherwise quite cold.

If I am able to keep the bulk of the rose geraniums from freezing this winter, next spring we'll be able to distill some hydrosol, perhaps a quart or two. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fern Bug in the Morning Dew

Each moment has the potential to expose a cosmos
that is not anthropocentric.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Convert

Today, I found
a new god. Tomorrow,
I will follow the sun.
I will rise just before dawn.
When the sun sets,
I will bow my head.

Tonight, I left
the valley of the moon.
I traveled east
a full night's walk
to be nearer the sun
when it rises.

Now,  I must sleep.
Tomorrow, I will have
to come this way again.