Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Through my window: life in a woodland

So, what did I see this morning looking out the window? Baby bunnies. Baby bunnies are the cutest thing in this world. So little, I could easily fit one in the palm of my hand. I mean, hey, rabbits are adorable anyway. Bunnies??

Oh, and on the subject of cute baby critters, we have baby deer again. We've seen at least one momma and her 2 fawn. Last year we had 2 mothers and 4 fawns, I'd guess that there are at least another 1 or 2 mothers and their babes all fairly close. Last but not least, apparently we have our first chipmunk. I've not seen many since being back in Missouri. Lots of squirrels but only a couple chipmunks. This one (maybe two) seems to have taken up residence under our sidewalk and seems to be pretty happy in our garden.

The garden is now going into its third summer... at least the 60% that was put in the first year. The 40% I put in last year is now going into it's second summer. I think it's looking pretty good. Lots of plants are starting to spread through seeding. Most noticeable would be Columbine, Butterfly Weed, and Purple Coneflower. I started with 4 Columbines and now have 30 though most of those are still very small. They'll flower next year. I think we've gone from 2 Butterfly Weed plants to 25 or 30 some of which have already started blooming. The Purple Cone Flowers have produced maybe 20 new plants this spring via seed. I'm generally pretty happy with how it coming along. I've inter-planted herbs and a few veggies this year: basil, garlic chives, oregano, sage, thyme, tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkin as well as a few others. Got more to put out too as soon as I figure out where.

I didn't expand the garden much this year. Just letting things fill in a bit and trying to take extra care of all the little babies mentioned above. The two years of wood mulch are doing great things for the soil. As it is, there's lots of clay under just an inch or two of soil. Some places it seems to be just pure clay and almost no soil. When this third year of mulch degrades things will be even better.

Currently in bloom: Missouri Primrose, Foxglove Beardtongue, Columbine, Purple Poppy Mallow, Pale Purple Coneflower, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Coneflower, Butterfly Weed, New England Asters. Best bloomer of the spring, thus far, Missouri Primrose: Amazing yellow flowers that just keep coming.

One last note, I've been walking more these past few months... everyday at least an hour which means I'm seeing more birds. My favorite (changes all the time!) is the Indigo Bunting which I rarely see. I've seen at least three this year while walking.


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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Why I'm alone on my birthday... or, Feedback Loops In Global Climate Change Point To A Very Hot 21st Century

It's a strange thing that I'll be sitting alone as my family celebrates a couple June birthdays, mine included. I'm finding that as time goes on my ability to relate to my fellow humans, family included, dwindles. I'd like to blame it on Al Gore and his new movie but I can't. Since 1989 I've been freaking out about climate change and with each passing year I have become more alarmed. At the moment I'm just about to pull all my hair out. But you know, my words were for nothing. The words of others were for nothing. Here we are 2006 and the signs are all around us.

We. Just. Don't. Get. It.

We go on about our business and pretend nothing is wrong. But pretending does not change reality. Back to the point of why I sit alone tonight. While I may love my family out of obligation, I do not like the way they live their lives... and that goes for most of what I have seen of Americans. Perhaps it's not my right to judge, that's one way to frame it. Perhaps I'm being a selfish, judgmental, arrogant bastard. So be it.

How is it that you can have children and look them in the eye? Do you tell them its going to be okay? What other lies do you tell yourself and them so that you can bear each day. And what will you do when the day comes (and yes, it will be much sooner than you think) that you have to look them in the eye and tell them you are sorry?

I look around and I see supposed adults that act nothing of the sort. Where have all the adults gone? Just a bunch of irresponsible, gotta have my fun and entertainment teenagers. It's okay to be a teenager when you are a teenager. But when you are an adult, when you begin having children, perhaps it's time to grow up?

I cannot bear to look you in the face today. Is that harsh? Perhaps. But it is the truth. I cannot bear to look at your children whom you supposedly love. Perhaps I just don't understand love because I don't have any children... I've been told that before. It doesn't matter. You'll continue to do what you want to do. You will refuse to take any responsibility for your "life style". You'll continue to claim that you'd do anything for your children and that what you do on a daily basis is for your children. I think that's just a convenient cover-up and in the end your children will suffer greatly. So keep living without thought or concern beyond your next purchase or home improvement. Run those mowers, mini-vans, and SUVS. Shop till you drop. Keep telling yourself how you have no choice.

Keep telling yourself you have no choice.

But don't try to tell me because my ears won't be there as often. I'd rather be alone and sane. Perhaps I'm a coward but I cannot bear to watch anymore... certainly not as often. It's like looking at a car wreck and it hurts my brain. So if you don't see me around, you know why. You can take it personally because it is personal.

One last thing. Someone recently told me that she feels guilty when she's around me. I've heard that many times before and here's my reply. Don't feel guilty around me. This is not about me. Let me say that again, this is not about me. This is about you and your children or your grandchildren, you and your choices. So yes, please do feel guilty, you probably should. But it's not about me. This is about you and your choices. Own it. Look it straight in it's face and own it. But my guess is you won't. You'll shrug your shoulders and walk away. You'll think to yourself, "Denny sure does have some problems."

But do remember, you do have choices. Every single day you have choices. Every. Single. Day.

Here's yet another article that the vast majority of the population will ignore. This one from ScienceDaily, Feedback Loops In Global Climate Change Point To A Very Hot 21st Century:

Studies have shown that global climate change can set-off positive feedback loops in nature which amplify warming and cooling trends. Now, researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley have been able to quantify the feedback implied by past increases in natural carbon dioxide and methane gas levels. Their results point to global temperatures at the end of this century that may be significantly higher than current climate models are predicting.

Using as a source the Vostok ice core, which provides information about glacial-interglacial cycles over hundreds of thousands of years, the researchers were able to estimate the amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, two of the principal greenhouse gases, that were released into the atmosphere in response to past global warming trends. Combining their estimates with standard climate model assumptions, they calculated how much these rising concentration levels caused global temperatures to climb, further increasing carbon dioxide and methane emissions, and so on.





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