Darwin’s View Blog

161 posts

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.

Jaffrey Civic Center Event!

This is the press release from the Jaffrey Civic Center. I will be speaking there on Oct. 1 at 5PM. See details below. You can join in person or by […]

It’s been a while.

The reason? It started with MailChimp not sending out my newsletters. That was frustrating. Then this website won’t accept or upload photos which, frankly, are far more interesting and beautiful […]

Interesting Article On Bill Gates and Land

Is Gates doing good, or merely continuing the legacy of white domination and knowing best? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/05/bill-gates-climate-crisis-farmland?utm_term=4b09a95d693105de8f2c021208592970&utm_campaign=GreenLight&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=greenlight_email

Monadnock Tales Recording!

Here is the link to the Monadnock Conservancy event that I participated in. My piece starts around 48 minutes 30 seconds. It starts out a black screen but eventually gets […]

Heather Cox Richardson

I have been reading Heather Cox Richardson these past months. As a historian, she has a great perspective on what goes on in the world these days. Check this one […]

Repeat of Energy 108: 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 […]

Repeat of Energy 106 & 107: 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 […]

Repeat of 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 […]

Repeat of Energy 104: 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 […]

And now for something entirely different

If you are at a loss as to what to do today, reconnect with nature. Or find a cow to hug. Why better than tipping them over. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/03/08/cow-cuddle-sanctuary-covid/?utm_campaign=wp_the_optimist&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_optimist

Repeat 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 […]

In Honor of Texas

I thought I’d republish some posts from two years ago. They were and are my attempt at a 101 primer on things energy. The power outages in Texas in February […]

Plastics Lawsuit

For years, Carl and I have attempted to create as little trash as possible. Zero waste? Really? We have found that composting waste, and recycling only go so far. There […]


KITTEN ADOPTION You will be relieved, or dismayed, to know that my photos and all things web are in the midst of a tussle, the consequence being I cannot upload […]

Louise McCagg a.k.a. Mom

My mother. She came up to Darwin’s View on March 11. My sister and I figured it would be safer to bring her here for a short visit until things-coronavirus […]

New Review!!

Check out this review from Picture This Post. It ran on all of their sites in the following cities: Atlanta-Boston-Chicago- Dallas-Denver-Houston-Inland Empire-Las Vegas-Los Angeles   Miami/S FL -Nashville-NYC-Oakland -Orange Co.-Philadelphia-Phoenix-Portland-SacramentoSan […]

Nick & Nora

In my book, I didn’t write much about Nick & Nora. Maybe because I can share chickens but the cats? Too close to home. We adopted Nick and Nora 17 […]

bUneke Magazine article

Here’s the link to another article I wrote. https://buneke.org/extra-blog/f/we-can-steward-nature-not-control-it

Link to the Reading at Bank Square Books

If you couldn’t be there live, here it is recorded. A bit blurry but bear in mind I am streaming from the chicken coop! https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3713600348667315&extid=GhrCfhWQmYCV7gn9

Most recent article . . .

Here’s the most recent article that I’ve had published! Lessons Learned from Raising Chickens and Growing Organic

Interesting article

The article is apt, and the song “Drums”  . . . Please read and listen.   https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/this-land-is-whose-land-indian-country-settler-protest

Providence Journal interview

Here’s another interview! Did I post this already . . .? https://www.providencejournal.com/entertainment/20200618/hatching-better-life-how-ex-rhode-islander-embraced-off-grid-life-as-chicken-farmer

Keene Sentinel article

Here’s a link to an article about me at the Keene Sentinel site. Thanks to Meghan Foley! https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/why-did-the-writer-cross-the-road-to-live-off-the-grid/article_39c2c242-2085-582a-8b04-ccbad385e170.html

Review at Randy’s Chicken Blog!

Check it out! https://randyschickenblog.squarespace.com/home/2020/6/17/at-crossroads-with-chickens-a-book-by-tory-mccagg?fbclid=IwAR2vRbZ4ClsePZKgy6Q74hsiHDAHECRwcJBeZEWoVt95Gfni7ws0GDdi6xk

Live From the Coop!

I’ll be celebrating the publication of my book At Crossroads with Chickens this afternoon (Saturday, June 20th) at 2PM. If you go to this link, it should take you to the event. The […]

Book Launch!

In recognition of Juneteenth, I am moving my book launch from tomorrow, June 19, to the summer solstice, June 20th, at 2PM. Juneteenth, or “Black Independence Day” is the annual […]

Launch Day this Friday!

It’s awkward. This Friday my book At Crossroads with Chickens will be published and available to buy (as opposed to pre-ordering, both of which are best direct done through http://www.bauhanpublishing.com/crossroads-with-chickens/ or […]

Garden & Book Updates!

Whew! It’s June and I have no clue what happened to May. Or April for that matter. I was so proud of myself. In late February and March, I actually […]


We have Killdeer here. They remind me of the ocean with their calls, and of my childhood home in Michigan as I have an ever-so-vague memory of Dad telling me, […]

No Excuses. A picture or two.

I’m busy trying to figure out the (dare I say?) logic of injecting disinfectant into our mortal bodies. Meantime, our hens have been busy producing perfect eggs. Can you guess […]

Fabulous Ideas Defeated By Reality

For the record, writing a play is different from writing a book–fiction or non-fiction. And writing a script for a video is even more different. And then making the video, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]


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 […]

A Visitor

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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.” […]

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 […]


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 […]

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. 

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]