Posted on February 10, 2014
Posted on February 9, 2014
Sonoma County has been suffering from a very severe drought for almost 3 years now and Sarah’s favorite birding place has been essentially dry and empty of the water-fowl that winter here every year.
However, thankfully, a deluge of rain has fallen for the last 4 days and the dry marshlands are beginning to fill up with water and because of that, their usual winter residents are returning. We got completely soaked this morning but it was worth looking at the almost magical transformation the rains have wrought.
Posted on February 8, 2014
We’re currently in Petaluma, California and it’s raining like hell. A flash flood warning was just broadcast by NOAA and 3 to 6 inches are forecast before this is all over. Everybody around here is happy about getting drenched, because the drought in the western states has been terrible. Winter should be the north bay area’s rainy season and as far as the locals are concerned, it can (and probably should) keep raining for weeks.
Yesterday was my wife Sarah’s birthday and her son and daughter-in-law, who live in Boston, sent her these lovely flowers. Her other son, who lives near here, also brought her some flowers. They were lovely too.
Nowadays, the flower trade is a booming global enterprise and it is very likely that some of the blooms in this arrangement came from South America. Ecuador would be a good guess.
We like to think of ourselves as environmentalists and California is certainly on the cutting edge of that movement . Yet when it comes to celebrating a happy occasion, especially in the middle of winter, flowers are often the gift of choice and it is my guess very few people would have it otherwise. Carbon footprint or no carbon footprint we seem to crave these lovely things.
Changing the habit of getting flowers flown in from thousands of miles away will be hard but I’m afraid it needs to be done.
For now though I thought I’d share a little beauty and try to stop thinking gloomy thoughts.
Posted on February 8, 2014
You see it everywhere. People clutching small electronic devices….staring at them, tapping them or talking into them.
I do it, god knows, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced we need to back off a bit from this growing obsession because it’s becoming an addiction. Facebook will still be there in an hour and that flashing light on ones cell phone doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end. One can take a walk and leave one’s phone behind. And checking ones email at a meal with friends should mean that it’s your treat.
Being always connected is not good for us. Studies are already beginning to confirm this.
Why? Because it chokes off the creative side of our brain by tempting us with a never ending stream of relatively meaningless entertainment.
There is a little quiz on the FAST Company website that asks some probing questions about how a person relates to digital media.
I took it and didn’t like my score. The next step is doing a somewhat lesser version of what a recovering alcoholic learns to do which is admit we are becoming powerless about how we using social media.
And then take some corrective action.
Posted on February 4, 2014
California is in the clutches of a VERY severe drought. It’s obvious everywhere. No matter where you look, the land is brown and parched.
Last year these ponds were filled with water and teeming with all sorts of ducks, swans and geese.This year there are very VERY few birds, maybe a few hundred when last year there were many thousands. It is scary how parched everything is.
We are so arrogant when it comes to nature. We think we can bend her to our will and whatever consequences might happen we can fix those too.
It is hard to see these empty ponds without fearing for the future.
Posted on February 3, 2014
Posted on January 27, 2014
Cats don’t give much of a damn about us humans. I know that intellectually of course but, emotionally I’d like to believe otherwise. Take our friend Dennis here. We are about to go away for a while and he will be staying behind with a very nice girl who “cat sits” him. All Dennis really cares about is having enough food and water, being comfortable and watching the birds at our bird feeder.
However when he climbed into my suitcase this morning I was absolutely sure he was going to miss us. At least I hope he does because we will miss him for sure.