I had a chance to visit one of the new kind of dairy farmers yesterday – the kind who fills a farm with a variety of people, and animals, plants and trees, and new ideas. This kind of farmer is fascinated with the way things work: how water and air flow through soil, how organic matter is built up or depleted, the impacts of plowing, the intricacies of grazing, the behavior of cows, chickens, predator hawks, shepherd…
Bob Sh’mal Ellenberg
11319 8th Ave. NE Apt. 106
Seattle, Wa. 98125
word count 1482
BREATHING IN MT. RAINER
Harry was sitting on a bench near Puget Sound with a fixated stare 50-miles away at mammoth Mt. Rainer. He was feeling a connection, inwardly laughing, musing to himself: “we’re both part of the earth; she just happened to grow a bit larger than me.” He wondered if there was a way to make a tangible,… Continue
I wrote this story for an under 300 word contest. The story came to me after standing by a stream in a park outside of Seattle that had a sign about the stream, that fifty years ago, during spawning season, the stream was filled with salmon bank to bank. Next fall I’ll have to check out how few there are. And there was a metal statue of the otter in the park.…
Hiking on Paynes Prairie yesterday, we watched a large flock of turkeys strutting among the dog fennel and salt bush plants. But we were also a bit horrified. Here it is only a few days before Thanksgiving and they're wandering around without a care in the world. After centuries of being the main attraction on the traditional Thanksgiving table, you’d think they would have developed some instinctive aversion to all things human at this hungry season. They should feel uneasy and have an… Continue
Burning Man is an art festival that occurs annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Emergent community, radical self reliance and a gift giving environment are some of the attributes of this unique happening in… Continue
Florida has often been referred to as a paradise, partly because its abundance of beautiful palms. In fact, palms are a key element of classical versions of paradise like Atlantis and the Garden of Eden. Likewise, most of Florida's most iconic scenes include palms—holding the ends of a hammock on a sunny beach, being violently whipped by hurricane winds, silhouetted against a pastel sky as a smoldering orange sun sets into the Gulf of Mexico. But, as anyone who’s paddled Florida’s Gulf coast… Continue
I was driving my VW van, my seven year old son, Miguel, in the back, as our small, slow moving caravan of school bus, VW beetle and truck, labored up the dusty, dirt, Brown Mountain road to Nogo, Arkansas after a circuitous route, from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Austin, where others joined us to commence our adventure. This was the early contingent of sixteen hippies going to live on 40 acres on the edge of the national forest.
I remember questioning,… Continue
My brain. My poor brain. Why is it suffering so? What’s been going on inside of it now that they have opened it up and done something to it to keep it working? Damn, how am I supposed to keep going when they do all these weird things to it? It’s keeping me alive; but what’s the point? I have to go anyway, but they felt they had to do what they were trained to do; cutting into it and then cutting again into it. I know I’m fading, fading away, deeper and… Continue
The taillights of the black Cadillac disappeared and the sudden quiet gave way to an ambient, deafening screeeee. Treefrogs or cicadas in the dark trees resumed a clattering conversation interrupted when the now vanished car pulled off onto the gravel so the driver could, yet again, get out to open his pants...
Springtime is coming! The snow is melting (not in Florida!). I biked down to Lake Sybelia, here in Maitland, FL yesterday and caught this sunset photo with an iPhone camera. Click on the photo to see more sunsets from this ride and other days...
A neighbor had a garage sale and look what showed up! It's a 10' Jon boat. Weighs in at… Continue
With the assistance of a friend, I’ve begun brewing Kombucha Tea, a fermented tea with many perceived health benefits. It has been consumed for centuries across China, Russia and the surrounding areas. While I’ve now read much on Kombucha, I’ve yet to prepare my own. Hence, I won’t be talking about the brewing process until I’ve done it myself. I will soon begin bottling, where the tea goes through a second fermentation and becomes carbonated… Continue
I once mentioned to my young niece, Allie, that we were going to a “gum” swamp and her face lit up as though we were headed for the circus. It took me a moment to realize she was visualizing some kind of candy cane forest where honey dripped from the trees. I’ve never felt so reluctant to educate a young mind as I was at that moment. Under my breath I sheepishly muttered that the “gum” in this case was a kind of tree.
In Florida, we have two kinds of trees commonly called… Continue
Thailand in general is a mix of complete chaos and very kind, peaceful people. I have been treated very kindly for no reason I think other than it is their nature to do so. I met with the manager of the Thai Elephant Conservaton Centre yesterday, and learned much about the issues pertaining to domestic elephant conservation and the implications on wild elephants and conservations lands; more later with images… Continue
Abundant Edible Landscapes, (now a member here at Zoobird!) hosted a fall planting festival on 10/4/08 at INDIGO with workshops, food from Reggae Shack Cafe, and a wide variety of perennial edibles, vegetable plugs and compost for sale. Workshops focused on organic soil building…
Yesterday, we went on recording the forthcoming album. We finalized two more tracks with the rhythm guitar parts and some extras. Quite exiting.
After the session I was cycling home and I ran into a large group of sports fans heading towards the Olympic Stadium of Helsinki (home of Summer Games 1952) where Finland was playing againste Germany in the Football (Soccer for some Americans) World Cup qualifiers. Saw the game in tv, result was 3-3 - which is a good result - Germany being… Continue