Blog – Darwin’s View

We can save the world. We have only to go back far enough, remember and care enough. Permaculture and Agroforestry. Alternative energies. Water cultivation and carbon sequestration. And don’t forget the chickens.

Carl—a born and raised New Hampshire boy, and professional trombonist—and I—a homebody and writer—both have a degree of grit, also known as Yankee stubborn resolve. Five years in, we are still figuring out what we are trying to resolve, and learning about solar power and wind; gardening, biodynamic farming, permaculture and agroforestry; not recycling but repurposing; compost and, um, humanure. And just how much of one’s mortal time modern day dinosaurs, more commonly known as chickens, can take up. We are using old technologies made new to heal the soil. In our ad hoc, seat-of-our-pants way, we create our own version of chaos, joining the vortex of energies around us, because if we cannot save the whole world, maybe we can save a small part of her. Here. Now. At Darwin’s View. Please join us.

Meditation & Plants

Standing O: Out of bed and breathing. I dropped the ball yesterday. I’m in the process of trying to figure out this Cooped Up Book Tour and it took up the time. And then there’s the garden planning.     Here is a picture of the area that I want to make into a meditation […]

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It Starts Dark For A Reason

Might I note that these times are remarkably in parallel to climate disruption? Dramatic change, and we’re all connected. That good, old web of nature. Did anyone read the article that I posted this past Tuesday? Did it help you to feel better? I feel immensely better because it recognizes that, in times like these, […]

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The New Normal?

Well! The girls are outside clucking and cackling to announce the laying of their eggs. When not laying, they scratch and dig about, entirely oblivious to the nightmare haunting us humans but not of the ray of sun breaking through the clouds. By day’s end, they resemble five year old kids playing in the dirt, […]

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Thank You!

I just watched this video. One can find gratitude in the most contradictory places but this rings entirely true. I hope you’ll take the time to watch it. I hope you are safe and home. Reach out to others if you can. None of us are truly alone. Though it might feel that way. AND […]

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Making Lemonade

Yes, it’s time to practice making sweet out of sour and finding positive in the negative. My mother is visiting us at Darwin’s View. We brought her up about two weeks ago and our usual routine is as chaotic as ever. And I give her a kiss on the cheek every time I walk by. […]

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From My Cousins

This from my cousin. PLEASE stay home and safe. This tired midwife just coming off night call in the hospital. Online meeting this morning w stressed coworkers, trying to figure out how to attend to patients w drastically reduced face to face visits. Here’s what you can do to protect your friends in healthcare: STAY […]

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Dealing with the Situation

How are people who work “the Gig” economy going to survive this situation? And then the people who work for businesses who don’t fall under the government bill being worked on, that may or may not pass through the Senate. No money coming in means they can’t buy groceries or cleaning products. What’s to be done to […]

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Photos!

Rain, rain, Coronavirus. Cancelations. Likely pushing back date of my book. And: Nicky has a new bedroom. Here’s my play! On the floor. Pages of notes in order of story–past and present–and character. Now Ijust  have to write it!

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Running on Top of the 8-ball

I am really behind on publicity homework. I have to get my social media up and running for my book that is lined up to be published May 8. And then there’s my mail chimp which left me in the dust when it refused to mail my fall and winter newsletters and here we are […]

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Bad News, Good News, Wind

I learned a hard lesson last week. The cockerels are silent. Gone. I will be one of the story tellers at a Monadnock Conservancy event in Keene, NH March 26th. “Stories About This Place”. It could be very fun, or one of those horrifyingly mortifying experiences that one cringes to look back upon. I’m hoping […]

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Best Laid Plans

Once again, I thought I had my act together and boom! Feathers fly. I found a happy home for the three boys. Here they are just before I began to round them up for the trip to their new home: ELF: COCKLES: SANTA Texts sent to the new Rooster steward, Alyson, during my solo capturing […]

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Oops!

I was traveling last Friday and entirely forgot to post. And then, reentry mode. So I’ll post today three days late and a day early. Carl and I have begun planning our cross-country road trip. It’s been delayed for myriad reasons to June 21, at which point we will tally-ho! Three and a half weeks […]

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A Visitor

 Yup, s/he’s hungry. . .. Beautiful cat.

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Wildlife and Chicken Updates

Well! If his/her visits keep up, I’m going to have to name that bobcat and adopt him/her our own. S/he’s probably really hungry and cold and dreams of a nice chewy chicken . . . In the meantime, we still have three cockerels and they are getting be handsome fellows. Santa and Elf and, the cockiest […]

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Questioning Reality

Bobcat tracks on the driveway, circling the chicken area. Bracing, having lost four chickens to said bobcat. And without our clumsy, yet charming rooster Schtude as muse, how am I to write my children’s book? “Uncle Schtude” was to represent hope in change. Must I now write a pretend story, a story told to children […]

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Tracks

Yup, the bobcat came for a walkabout yesterday–tracks go aaaaaalll around the fenced in garden area. Bracing. Fortunately, the remaining 16 chickens were in their coop/run and are present and accounted for. I am focussing on my play and so will leave words for next Tuesday.   Cheers!    

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The Best Laid Plans or Obituaries

This past Saturday, that followed a dark day on Friday: Guests from out of town and the stars and sun were aligned for a walk. Yahoo! But first, we had to explain to three of our chickens, who usually don’t take walk-abouts but do not ask questions. They are chickens—Wilma, Pearl, and one of Pearl’s […]

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Anxiety

I just got a poll asking if I think Hillary Clinton should run for president. I knew it was coming. I knew that the powers that be still think they are smarter than the rest of us and that’s why I was all in with Marianne Williamson. She said it: the powers that be like […]

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Punting

Below is the link to a New York Times article that I found interesting by Ezra Klein. “Why the Democrats Still have to Appeal to the Center, But Republicans Don’t.” I think it clarifies the challenges our Republic is up against. Meantime, my brain thirsts for more than the stress and disbelief of daily politics. […]

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What is Wrong with this Picture?

Another case of a picture is worth a thousand words. Photo by Carl

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Politic Politics

For those who are as obsessed as I currently am by the politics of the day, it’s a bracing time, isn’t it? Choices, choices and the system is based on money, not We the People. What are we to do? Whom do we trust? Sometimes, it feels as if the only positive news is that […]

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Posts

I think it might be time to hit a reset with these blog posts (again). On one hand, the twice weekly posts are a good habit to maintain. On the other, I have noticed that I’ve been on the edge of delinquent lately, allowing pictures to replace words. I need to focus, not just on […]

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Crowing Cockerels

Ooooooh, they are getting so old. And cocky. And aggressive. But they are beautiful. Might have found a home for them. Time will tell. 

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Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road?

Along with the mystery of life, and on the tail end of the question about chickens and road crossing I must ask what happened to this week? I only just realized that it is 4:55 on a Friday afternoon and if it’s Friday, that means it is Friday.  How did that happen?  Hacking and coughing […]

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Blood on the roost and Links

I’m fighting off a cold. And have five roosters to rehome because Elmer and Diablo (renamed from Fonz) are fighting and, though I see no blood on any of the chickens, yet the blood on the roost is unmistakable. It’s time. I have one home for one of the five. Any takers? I would draw […]

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Roosters and Climate Change

I’m trying to process it. And note how parallel my own blithe actions and their consequences are to human actions in this world. It burns and our governments do little to change. Our conveniences and wars and profits dominate the conversations. As do six cock-a-doodle-dos. Once again, I managed, with a broody hen’s help, to […]

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Okay. Here’s a question: How long will it be before for the nightmare in the White House takes Mr. Ghosn under his wing?  That was my first thought when I read that the former Nissan boss fled Japan for Lebanon claiming he was escaping “injustice and political persecution”.⁠1  It sounded so much like Orange Julius […]

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Blow Out Sales!?

Don’t get me started on the absurdity and warp-ed-ness of the holidays. . .. I woke up the day after Christmas and nudged Carl. “Guess what!?” He grunted. “It’s blow out sale day!” Yes! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are gone. The Christmas shopping hell is over and now we get the blow out, end […]

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Happy Christmas Eve!

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Marianne Williamson and Brain De-Clutter Time

Politics and handwringing! The holidays and travel! Writing a play! Publishing to dos! Worrying about the chickens and Nick! As ever, distraction rules. I practice meditation. It is a rare moment that my mind is calm but, during the time I sit, I give my self space to let the ideas fall in a pile.  […]

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Another Snow Day!

Well! Have you noticed the sun factor these days? Rain, rain and now snow. I have a rough draft of a post but no time to write it. How can that be? I’ve been prepping for a certain event . . . but can’t give details or it will ruin what little surprise there will […]

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Two Articles & Chick Picts

Speaking of grief, here’s one by Michelle Goldberg. About fits my mood, thus, again, none of my own words: From The New York Times: Democracy Grief Is Real Seeing what Trump is doing to America, many find it hard to fight off despair. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/opinion/sunday/trump-democracy.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20191213?campaign_id=39&instance_id=14511&segment_id=19577&user_id=e88ac58ff94900e67942e43bc78d736c&regi_id=7892923920191213       And then this from Paul Gilding. The Cockatoo […]

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Rain?

All the snow is gone, replaced by torrents of rain and slush. I spent the morning working on my play. Most satisfactory but now it’s noon and the rest of life calls. Not least, Splotches and her four adolescents. They keep shoving under the fence, freeing themselves to walk about where any bobcat or hawk […]

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Perception, Veganism and Datebooks

A pescavore from age 16, I gave up fish in 2013⁠1 and have since been an octo-lacto vegetarian. . . . Not really. I eat oysters on occasion. Ironic as I rarely, if ever, ate oysters before I gave up fish. But since giving up tuna, swordfish, and salmon? Oysters have become a compromise option […]

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SNOW DAY!!

You guessed it: a day for pictures.   Do you see the problem with this picture? Carl saw it right away: the bubbler, meant to keep the water circulating and the frogs alive, is entirely buried…. Chicken Condo Complex:   Just picts of the as yet sex undetermined chicks.   The solar panels are clear […]

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Koalas, Chickens and Thanksgiving

As my body and soul adjust to the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, also known as the assault of Hyper Commercialization on One’s Sense and Sensibility, a.k.a. Capitalism on Steroids, Buy Now or You Aren’t a Patriot, a.k.a. Support Christmas or Be Damned—which some might consider irrelevant to the here and now […]

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Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and . . .

We head out today for Friendsgiving in Providence, and Thanksgiving in New York City, leaving house sitters to tend to the chickens, cat and house. We just got a call our dentist saying they can fit us in today at 12, thereby moving our departure time up from 11 to 10. No, to 9:30 because […]

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The Trials of First Adopters or Further Thoughts on Electric Vehicles

A few weeks ago I wrote a ditty on electric vehicles. Given our circumstances today—some of us, perhaps, waiting with baited breath for the next installment of Democracy at the Guillotine—I thought now would be a good time for an update.  Background: on November 1, we disconnected our lead acid batteries that have served us […]

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Not In My Words

I had a vague idea for a post but then, in my distraction to avoid actually writing it, read this article. It strikes at one of my daily heartaches. To know something is happening and yet doing nothing tangible is one of the conveniences of our society and culture. Rather like Germany in the 1930s. […]

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Road Trip?

Is this just another crazy idea for a road trip? It uses the same logic (sic) that Carl and I used for our last cross-country trip: a book and a mission. For Bittersweet Manor, the idea was that we would support local bookstores and public transportation while in the process of selling lots of books. […]

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A Question for the Day

We are back home at Darwin’s View, and I am looking out at a fog bank. The weather outside is frightful and it’s raining, not snowing. An excellent excuse to curl up and nap, read, be cozy. Or to ask oneself this question . . . but first some background: Toward the end of The […]

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What I’m Contemplating

As feared, the book titled The End of Animal Farming by Jacy Reese has me teetering toward veganism. Even as I settled into the train yesterday, and began to peruse its pages with presumptuous self-satisfaction—after all, most of the cheese and milk that I consume is “happy” Reese managed to burst that bubble in his […]

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The Definition of Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over Again and Expecting a Different Result.

Remember this past (already!?) summer and our broody hens’ defiance of my law and determination not to have chicks? Toey’s two that we got from a friend of ours are now young adults and one is a confirmed cockerel, every morning tuning up to Schtude’s crow with what sounds like an old car horn dying. […]

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Food for Thought Video/s

November? How did that happen? Time ticks. Life.  Carl and I watched this the other day: Zach Bush’s Keynote speech at the Rodale Organic Pioneer Awards.  If you want to skip his bio and just hear him, he starts at 4 minutes 5 seconds.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXIketg-NHk If you want to listen to shorter clip of […]

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A Cockerel Crows and Choosing a Direction

Carl swears he heard an adolescent rooster attempting to crow yesterday morning. We’ve heard it before. A ca-ca-doodle-cough-cough. Typically, it’s a rather shy and retiring attempt that’s cut off, perhaps, by one of the hens pecking the head of said cockerel because it is way too early in the morning for two roosters to be […]

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Fried Green Tomatoes

As to the Friday energy articles, clearly they are off the rails and down the tubes. Rather like our government. Regarding all things energy, I’m at a loss for words on what to write about because I’m so far behind the learning curve and no time to read up on it due to influx of […]

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A Book & More Picts

Isn’t it interesting how a book falls into your lap at just the right time? I bought Howard Mansfield’s book The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down over a year ago but only sat down to read it this past weekend. The book addresses, in part, the American attitude toward land: how to grab it, own it, […]

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History and the Dawning

I started a post but it was bleak. Instead of working that out, I am off to pack for NYC. But this picture describes what I was attempting to say in words: that darkness. It takes up so much space. And yet then the diverse grays and pinks and whites and blues of the dawning. […]

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NH Saves Event

The link below is to the flyer for the NHSaves event this Thursday in Jaffrey. I’m going to post more of them around today. And am left with that uncomfortable feeling that no one will show up. JafferyBU-2019-proof2 It’s interesting, trying to write a play as opposed to a book of fiction or non-fiction. A […]

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This is the How the Future Will Happen

Have you heard about what’s going on in California? Pacific Gas & Electric, in their  infinite wisdom–or greed, depending on one’s perspective–deemed it important to cut off millions of people from electricity. The company noted that it was held liable for the fires last year, sparked by high winds knocking down poles that sparked wildfires. […]

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Just Pictures

Working on a deadline and so just pictures today! This morning at Darwin’s View: The Generations yesterday: Collette & the others at their toilette:   The Adolescents.   And the 7th generation at Darwin’s View with their mother Splotches.   And, because I miss her, a picture to explain why we called her our marmalade Buddha, […]

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Renewables & Nora

Birth, then death, then rebirth. Is that how it goes? I find the dying process is a step-by-step spiral. We, sometimes, don’t take note of it until in retrospect and then Eureka! Badabing! Oh, shit! We see the process clearly.  Our sweet, fluffy-tailed marmalade buddha cat died yesterday. Nora. For months, in retrospect, she has […]

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Pause

Paws. Our marmalade Buddha. Nora. And the chicks become adolescents with hairdos.

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Is it Inevitable?

No, I’m not talking about impeachment, though that’s in the works. I’m thinking about the demise of the earth. It’s a depressing question, is it inevitable? but one worth asking since it’s within our power to do something about it. Sort of. Though changing lightbulbs is not, apparently, enough.  We had a long drive home […]

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Splotches Part Two

The good news is that Splotches showed up again. I went out to meet and greet the chickens the other morning and noted that sweet hen out near the green quonset hut coop a.k.a. the nursery area. Toey and the two adolescents—Snow White and Schwartzie—pecked about while Schtude looked in through the fence at Splotches, […]

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Electric Vehicles

We participated in an Electric Vehicle (EV) event in Keene this past Saturday. I felt like a Trekkie at a Star Trek gathering. Volts and Bolts, Teslas , Priuses, and Leafs. Carl and I had a great time comparing notes with other EV owners. How far can you go? Is not the torque phenomenal? How do […]

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Splotches

I’m a little heartbroken. Well. A lot heartbroken but that’s another story. This part of my heart concerns Splotches, one of our three Speckled Sussex hens. She was hatched in spring of 2017. Speckled Sussex are a wonderful breed, especially curious and perky, they tend to be friendly and ever so helpful. They are the […]

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Nature cycles. But does she cycle like Mary Poppins or the Wicked Witch of the West?

Lately, there’s been a lot of focus on carbon and how to get it out of the atmosphere and back into the ground but there are other important cycles of Mother Nature that we might look at. Phosphorus. Nitrogen. Oxygen. Water. . .. There’s a great book out there titled Water. Written by (aptly named) […]

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Transition

64.4F/18C. That’s the temperature of our swimming pond yesterday morning. I swam one breathless lap and leapt out, having learned two things: Hands down, that is the most refreshing, bracing, glorious way to start a day. And 64.4/18C is as low a temperature as I can tolerate. This morning, the temperature had risen to a […]

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Yesterday . . .

. . . we discovered two excellent recipes that one, use cucumbers and two, use tomatoes. If that’s not a find, I don’t know what is. Smashed ginger and garlic added to thinly sliced red onion, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil transform the cucumbers that we have been overwhelmed by into a treat for […]

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Climate versus Weather

People get confused about the difference between climate and weather. Let’s contemplate it, shall we? Today, I look out at the weather. It is perfect: blue skies. A light breeze. An occasional white puff of a cloud. The sun is free to charge the batteries of our house and our cars. Fun fact sidebar: Did […]

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A Circuitous Route to One Way to Save Energy

For me, September 1 heralds the end of summer, a habit of feeling and mind leftover, I suppose, from my school days. I think of it as a transition from summer chaos to fall’s dying off. Speaking of dying, since arriving in NYC yesterday, I’ve read a number of interesting articles with my mother, two […]

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A New Phase?

I am entirely aware that I have lurched off the “energy” articles. I contemplate the hydrologic cycle and where it might take us . . . but hasn’t it been an energetic summer? I might go so far as to say it has been chaotic, enlightening, social. We have even had the pleasure of meeting […]

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What We Are Doing Here

My issue? I am entirely unconvinced that I moved up here to farm. Live off grid? Yes. Grow some degree of food? Yes. Eat happy eggs, thus become a crazy chicken lady? Yup. But actually farm? No.  Granted, I took some initiative a couple of days ago and went outside to practice my scything abilities. […]

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The Oxford English Dictionary and Words

I thought the OED never threw out words. That way we can always go back and reference them somehow.  I am correct in that.⁠1 However, that doesn’t mean you’ll find them in the OED. There’s not enough room to print all the English words that have evolved and devolved, and so the OED editors have […]

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In Brief

I told Carl that I cannot get attached to the chicks. They are most likely boys. Sure, sure. We can return them from whence they came . . .  which means certain death. But, watching Toey’s attentiveness, hearing her guttural calls, and amused by the chirps and skeeterings of the chicks, how can I already […]

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Where to Direct One’s Energy

I woke up and thought of guns. Ever on the look out for self-judgment and negativity, I consciously shifted my thoughts to baby bunnies, kittens and puppies, ducklings and, need I mention, chicks. Innocence. Soft and cuddly. Vulnerability. I didn’t think about human babies because that would have led to thoughts of Texas, and what […]

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Plastic Straws anyone?

I thought I’d share this posting on plastic straws. It kind of shows how we can make a difference. Or maybe not? Choices. It’s all about choices. And convenience. And exactly when are we going to start to do something to change. Tomorrow? How about now? Yesterday isn’t an option. So? Now? The Environmental Impact […]

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Welcome to the Peeps!

We have a very happy hen on our hands.  Two days ago, we returned to Darwin’s View from my annual family reunion, and I moved the broody hen, hissing and screaming, to the Quonset hut where she paced for the rest of the day. I suspected that she would lose her desire for chicks just […]

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Broody Hens versus Me

I gave the impression in my last post that we’d be adopting chicks because chicks are in our future. Conveniently enough, the Cheshire County Fair happened last weekend. In anticipation of the event, I set up the quonset hut coop with Carl’s and my cousin Nate’s help. And cleaned it out and spread fresh pine […]

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It Must Be Summer. . ..

It’s Friday and I haven’t had time to write, never mind research, the next official energy post. I have had time to rough out a post that updates the chick situation. To visit a new born colt named Sam. To swim in our pond-pool with frogs while planting more water plants. And to take pictures of the […]

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RIP Steve Sawyer

I only met Steve and his wife, Kelly, a few years ago. Steve was a childhood friend of Carl’s.  Steve and Kelly live in Amsterdam but would come to Antrim, where Steve grew up, every summer. We made a habit of getting together with them for an annual dinner, to catch up. I can’t believe […]

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JCI, Chicks and Publishing

For those who don’t know what the JCI is, it’s the Jaffrey Climate Initiative. A group of us began to meet back in December. Here’s the mission statement that we developed: MISSION:  We are a citizen action group dedicated to creating a resilient future by promoting careful and informed stewardship of our environment in the […]

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River Fest in Jaffrey!

The Jaffrey Climate Initiative has a table at River Fest tomorrow. I’m spending the day prepping for that. Energy, Permaculture and Food (waste) are the chosen topics for discussion. Free books. Future event sign-ups. Suggestions on what individuals can do to save money and the planet at the same time. Stop on by!

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Punting Tuesdays

Have you ever had a hot flash? It’s usually a woman thing, the body heats up to an intense flash point. Whew! It’s hot! You are drenched in sweat, and everyone around you is going about their business as if nothing unusual is going on. Your face is beet red. You are shining, and please […]

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Hydrologic Cycle Intro Continued . . . a.k.a. Hiatus

A rainbow, according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, “is an arc or circle that exhibits in concentric bands the colors of the spectrum and that is formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun’s rays in raindrops, spray, or mist. This is a (panoramic shot from my iPhone ergo slightly distorted) […]

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Introduction to the Hydrologic Cycle

I’ve always joked about my tendency to bury plants and my subsequent inertia in regard to watering them. But I got a lesson yesterday. I’d just finished pursuing the most recent Mother Earth News magazine and had read an article by Joel Salatin in which he writes that we are responsible for what we know. […]

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Crossroads

I am in the midst of writing a play. I’ve never done that before; kind of like brain surgery. And so focussing on researching about energy has lost its attraction. The play? Triage: An American Experiment in Existential Arbitration. The question: Who will save the Haze Justice Healing Center? I find the question fascinating. And it’s […]

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A Day Late

I forgot to post yesterday. I even had an alarm set on my phone to remind me. It buzzed. I turned it off but didn’t connect the alarm to the fact that I was supposed to not be working on my play but on a post for my blog. It was an example of not […]

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Energy 109: The Renewable See-Saw and How To Go Forward

Energy 109: The Renewable See-Saw and How To Go Forward Sun. Wind. Water. It’s all so old-fashioned and natural. But, as ever, in our 21st century, Anthropocene age, things don’t happen unless they are economic and convenient. The good news is that renewables are now entirely economic. In fact, this past April, renewables surpassed coal […]

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On Gardens and Compost Consequences

Maybe it was because I had made it clear that a short cut lawn seems wasteful–what use is boring, old grass, after all? Unless it is very tall grass, surrounding and protecting our very short High bush blueberries, and waving luxuriantly in the stiff breezes coming over the mountain. Carl prefers short grass, not for […]

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Chernobyl & Energy

Just a postscript on the nuclear energy post. Addresses the no regrets issue. Or maybe it doesn’t. In any case, it brings to mind the book The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Part of the book concerns what will happen if we forget to turn off things like nuclear plants. https://www.rt.com/news/155072-chernobyl-images-now-then/

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Elementary Gardening

This February and March I set up shop in our greenhouse. I bought seeding mix. I gathered our variety of seedling containers, flats and trays. And brought out the four boxes of seeds that I had ordered the previous fall and divided into root, fruit, flower and leaf. I had put them in alphabetical order […]

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Energy 108: Espresso, Fossil Fuels and the Transition Conumdrum

The following really does have to do with things energy. It has already been a fabulous day here at Darwin’s View. To begin: my morning latte. After two days of no caffeine—preparation for a too familiar, routine procedure—that limp, low energy feeling of blah was replaced by the joyous surge of I-can-do-anything espresso. Ideas popped […]

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Birds 101

Our four resident frogs are enjoying the lap pond’s 66.4 temperature. More my style would be a balmy 82 degrees but that’s not going to happen any time soon due to clouds and rain and cool weather. But that’s okay because that allows for time to clean the pool of green algae, and to listen […]

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Energy 107: The Nuclear Option

Let’s say those people who believe we have a climate crisis on our hands agree to disagree with those who don’t. And that those who don’t agree—or don’t care—agree to look at the true cost-benefit analysis of energy in the U.S. Of A.. If such were the case, there would likely be agreement that it […]

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Why I Was MIA.

I fell off the blogosphere last week. Myriad excuses but it all comes down to this: I lost heart. It’s overwhelming, trying to be positive in the face of so much horror. Especially when people laugh about it. It’s like the “Springtime in Germany” scene in The Producers: making farce out of events that prove […]

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ENERGY 106 Part II: A Dirty, Little Secret

Roy Hopkins writes in his book Transition Handbook, that digging out the tar sands—from whence comes much of our fracked gas—is “akin to arriving at the pub to find that all the beer is off, but so desperate are you for a drink that you begin to fantasize that in the thirty years this pub […]

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The Day After

Carl and I spent Memorial Day in the garden, moving rocks, digging, planting, connecting to the land. Sometimes, it’s too painful to remember and yet, even without intentionally going about it, we do. I remembered my father. My aunts. My grandmothers. There they were, with me, in the garden. I did have a moment. After […]

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Energy 106: Lead up to a Dirty, Little Secret

Ever hear of Liberty Utilities’ Granite Bridge pipeline project? It’s remarkably similar to all the other pipelines that have been proposed that web across the United States. It is promoted as a job creating, economic investment that will save money in the long run, and create a secure and dependable supply of fuel. The project […]

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Black flies, Newts, and “The Biggest, Little Farm”

What do I love about New York City? No black flies. I’m scratching the welts received during a bout of gardening a couple of days ago but fear no more—at least, until I get back home. Meantime, honking and shouting, car alarms and sirens, and heat. I take on the façade of a true New […]

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Energy 105: In Defense of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels helped to create this country.⁠1 Coal, gas and oil enabled mind-boggling growth and progress, and improved the quality of life, (if not always the health), of humans, (if not nature). America, in a heyday of change and development, built up a culture, an infrastructure, a world that promised milk and honey, and required […]

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Off Grid? What’s That Mean?

Different things to different people, for Carl and me, “off grid” means living in a normal house with flush toilets and showers but no dishwasher. The difference is, we get our power from the sun via solar panels, and have no wires connecting us to that inefficient, uneconomic thing called the national power grid. Thus […]

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Energy 104: The Politics of Energy

Fossil fuels or renewables? Is energy access a right or a privilege? Is it a service or a commodity? Is the sourcing, development and distribution of energy a social justice issue? Do we celebrate if we’re old, and apologize to youth because we’ve screwed them? Who really is in charge and who’s paying attention? Who […]

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This Is Not What I Intended.

What’s so interesting about these troubled times is how ignorable the whole “we are totally screwed” concept is in our daily lives. I write a post about OMG-we-have-got-to-do-something-immediately—and then go about my day. Sure, simmering in the background is fear. Depression. Anxiety. But hey! I have a broody hen to contend with. Her determined fluffiness […]

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Energy 103: Demand Response and Solar Flares

The grid is an edgy basket to put all your eggs into, though we do, thanks to our ever burgeoning, bigger-is-better attitude and economy. We, Americans, need our power when we want it. Not only is that expensive, but it’s risky because the grid isn’t as elastic as it needs to be, given its uneconomic, […]

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What I Did Do and What Might You Do.

Sometimes, when overwhelmed by the energy that swirls about, the hyperactive doing, the sense of not enough time, I think of the Laws of Thermodynamics. I wonder if that’s why everything feels so out of control these days: all the energy that used to be stored (in the earth,) has been freed by us, and […]

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Energy 102: Energy in the U.S. of A.: Definitions and Infrastructure

  Do you know how energy works in the U.S. of A.? A lot of people at all levels of society don’t. That is a problem. How can we deal with the energy side of climate change if we don’t understand the problem, or even the right terms to use? We need facts, not opinions. […]

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Interstices

Are these energy articles worth our while? I’m not sure. Rather, it will be a case of the blind leading the blind because I don’t know “energy” any more than the next person. Or maybe I do. Because, in the years since moving from Rhode Island to New Hampshire to live off-grid at Darwin’s View, […]

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Energy 101: Introduction

Apparently, we are in trouble: Icebergs melting. Waters rising. Species dying. The last five years, the hottest ever recorded.⁠1  These are facts, not conspiracies, and I see the hand-wringing of people—myself included—who want to do something to stop our sprint to extinction. We know that this environmental devastation is due, at least in part, to […]

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