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.


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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

Ideas Popping Like Popcorn . . .

Bicycles. This is an interesting article on bicycles that might solve a number of problems in a small town like Jaffrey, or a bigger one like Providence. Maybe only in […]

Article to Read!

This is an interesting read on the cognitive dissonance we all live with. I might add that there is a lot of construction and buying of big, expensive buildings on […]

Missed Opportunities

I’m trying to get a foothold back into the blogosphere, and have been for months. Dozens of attempts fill up a document folder titled “Possible Posts”, and each beginning has […]

A Book and What’s Next.

What used to be my Darwin’s View 2012-2014 blog is now a 211- page book. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. Deletions and additions, pages of […]

More Chicken Rules!

MORE CHICKEN RULES We are in the midst here at Darwin’s View, moving the chicken coop and bus stop from their winter position—that we thought would be permanent—to where we […]

Now What?

A few weeks ago, I finished the twelfth draft of my memoir about life here at Darwin’s View, off-grid with chickens. Since then, I have been scrambling to get caught […]


I watched the lunar eclipse this morning. The start of it anyway. The moon set within minutes of the shadowing but still, what silent beauty. How awesome a thing, the […]

The Egg & I by Betty MacDonald

Within days of Betty and Bob MacDonald’s marriage, while still on their honeymoon, Bob announced that what he wanted, really wanted, was to be a chicken farmer. Shortly after their […]

One Way to Jumpstart a New Year

Yesterday began 2018. Some people hold the belief that, however you spend that first day of the year portends how the rest of the year will go. Which is only […]


I’m entering the fifth week of the healing of my hair-brain fracture. The cast has been on for two and a half weeks and makes the most basic actions, like […]

Civics Lesson?

I will preface this post by saying that I don’t want this website and blog to be political. I get too serious and on my almighty horse when I go […]

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

When I mentioned The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben to a forester I know, he scoffed. And the wildlife specialist we were walking with said, “Oh yeah, trees […]

De-cluttering & Repurposing

Part of the appeal of selling Providence, beyond the opportunity to practice relaxing my clinging muscles, was the fact that all our stuff would be in one place. Which seemed […]

The Significance of Sh*t in the Shower

En route to Providence this past April—a mere six months ago—my cell phone rang. Carl, as ever, chauffeured and so I answered the call. It was our house sitter extraordinaire […]

Daily Planners

Last December, while in New York City visiting my mother, I spent nearly an hour at Staples choosing my daily planner calendar book for the coming year. It was and […]

The Stoner Dudes and Solar Eclipse

I’d like to introduce the Stone Dudes, Mo and Muff. Like their sisters—Squeaky, Sparrow, Black-Gold and Gold-Black—they were supposed to be girls. Enter reality. The old hens—Ping, CooLots, Chickadee, Brownie […]

My Goals for the End of April, in Preparation for May

GOALS: On Saturday, today, attend the People’s Climate Mobilization March in Keene, thereby combining relative Climate Action with errands, thereby lowering carbon footprint by not driving to Concord or Boston, […]

Writer’s Block & Electra

I am not writing. I’ve been blocked for weeks. That’s my excuse anyway because then it is within my power to overcome the block and write again. Far worse would […]