Sunday, November 15, 2009
Hard to beat free fuel, so wind will be part of the mix for a while.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
These guys are getting ready for the upcoming winter by skiing with wheels on thier skis. In the rain. This is in Houghton, and I've seen the same thing in Marquette. So what was I doing out in the rain? Our gang was heading to a cozy brewpub downtown, thats what. I recommend the http://www.keweenawbrewing.com/
The place is nice, the beer is good, and I took this photo from the liftbridge featured on thier liftbridge brown ale.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Not a great photo to capture the size of this thing, but it is quite impressive.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
A cold beer was pretty good also. I didn't take too many nature photos, we had many better photographers in the group than I, I'll wait till they post theirs.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I went to Isle Royale for my annual Sierra Club trail work trip. We had rough weather at the start and at the finish, the boat had to wait a day before bringing us back. Gale force winds and 10 foot waves on Superior are to be taken seriously. Our overall week was good, and our trail reroute looked very nice when finished.
I used two different camping ovens, and the crew really liked fresh warm brownies for desert.
Of course, when we arrived in Houghton, we had to do a little window shopping while waiting for the boat to make way. Here is a shot from the outdoor store we browsed.
It was a relief to see such a well stocked store up in the UP, as I only had one set of nunchaku in my backpack. Several of us stocked up.
More photos from the actual island coming soon.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Above shot is of the wood chips we made. Last trip up was for a week, and we did a lot of working and playing. One day we rented a chipper and chipped up the prickly ash we cut and piled this spring. We'll use this for mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Here are the chives that are growing just outside the sliding doors. We were snipping them and using in the kitchen earlier, but this is the first time I'd seen the blooms. We saw our first hummingbird come by to take a taste of chive (pollen, nectar?). I wonder how the different plants taste to them?
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
We have several dead elms on the hillside, and that is one of the best places to find morels. We cut out a lot more prickly ash this past weekend, and plan to chip them up and use as mulch.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Going up to the farm this weekend, for more tilling, more brush clearing, maybe some more planting. Will meet with a solar panel installer, just to show him the place, we won't move on that this year, but mabe next year. We'll see how the roofing and other priorities go first.
Here is an older photo from another early spring. This was a screened culvert at the outlet from a wildlife sanctuary. The carp were all crowding around, wanting to get out of the murky river in to the clear, warming wetland the water is flowing out of.
I'm glad they are keeping the carp out.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Tis the season for communities to pay lip service to the environment and do earth day events. I sat at a table promoting the organic farm today, but these events just seem halfhearted and too little too late. Some people get it, but most are still along for the ride.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Here is a photo of me cutting down brush around the chicken coop. We won't do chickens this year, but it will take time to clear out all the brush which had grown up around everything.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We pick up our utility trailer Thursday, so we will be able to haul furniture, boxes, firewood, building supplies, equipment, and just stuff.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
And this is a photo I shot on the way to work one morning. And you thought cell phone talkers were dangerous! Actually, I took this at a stop light.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Anyway, this is an article addresses the same concern we discussed when the boys were up in Chicago this winter. It is by Tom Friedman, well known of the NY Times.....
March 8, 2009
The Inflection Is Near?
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Sometimes the satirical newspaper The Onion is so right on, I can’t resist quoting from it. Consider this faux article from June 2005 about America’s addiction to Chinese exports:
FENGHUA, China — Chen Hsien, an employee of Fenghua Ningbo Plastic Works Ltd., a plastics factory that manufactures lightweight household items for Western markets, expressed his disbelief Monday over the “sheer amount of [garbage] Americans will buy. Often, when we’re assigned a new order for, say, ‘salad shooters,’ I will say to myself, ‘There’s no way that anyone will ever buy these.’ ... One month later, we will receive an order for the same product, but three times the quantity. How can anyone have a need for such useless [garbage]? I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I’ve made for them,” Chen said. “And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible.”
Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”
We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese ...
We can’t do this anymore.
“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog climateprogress.org.
We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows.
“You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate ...’
Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”
Over a billion people today suffer from water scarcity; deforestation in the tropics destroys an area the size of Greece every year — more than 25 million acres; more than half of the world’s fisheries are over-fished or fished at their limit.
“Just as a few lonely economists warned us we were living beyond our financial means and overdrawing our financial assets, scientists are warning us that we’re living beyond our ecological means and overdrawing our natural assets,” argues Glenn Prickett, senior vice president at Conservation International. But, he cautioned, as environmentalists have pointed out: “Mother Nature doesn’t do bailouts.”
One of those who has been warning me of this for a long time is Paul Gilding, the Australian environmental business expert. He has a name for this moment — when both Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once — “The Great Disruption.”
“We are taking a system operating past its capacity and driving it faster and harder,” he wrote me. “No matter how wonderful the system is, the laws of physics and biology still apply.” We must have growth, but we must grow in a different way. For starters, economies need to transition to the concept of net-zero, whereby buildings, cars, factories and homes are designed not only to generate as much energy as they use but to be infinitely recyclable in as many parts as possible. Let’s grow by creating flows rather than plundering more stocks.
Gilding says he’s actually an optimist. So am I. People are already using this economic slowdown to retool and reorient economies.
Germany, Britain, China and the U.S. have all used stimulus bills to make huge new investments in clean power. South Korea’s new national paradigm for development is called: “Low carbon, green growth.” Who knew? People are realizing we need more than incremental changes — and we’re seeing the first stirrings of growth in smarter, more efficient, more responsible ways.
In the meantime, says Gilding, take notes: “When we look back, 2008 will be a momentous year in human history. Our children and grandchildren will ask us, ‘What was it like? What were you doing when it started to fall apart? What did you think? What did you do?’ ”
Often in the middle of something momentous, we can’t see its significance. But for me there is no doubt: 2008 will be the marker — the year when ‘The Great Disruption’ began. =
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Thanks again to them for making the trip, and trying to keep family connections. (and sleeping on air mattresses).
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Here is a shot of our solar oven. Yes, a cloud was passing over, but on clear days, it works quite well. We didn't use it as much this past year, but I plan to use it more, and experiment with seeing which recipes work best.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
No mojitos and al fresco dining on the deck for a while.
Driveway clear till the snow plow comes by again.
Friday, January 9, 2009
A couple more pictures. The noodles drying on the rack are from last summer. We had a lot of extra spinach one week, so we blenderized them and made spinach noodles. We also made some basil noodles. They both worked pretty well, and would do it again if we have extra next summer. We store them in mason jars so they stay dry. We also find the noodle drying rack quite handy for drying sweaters.