Dust in the wind
The wind is BLOWING right now. (Per my phone, weather is currently: “62 degrees and blowing widespread dust.”) It’s warm and very dry here in Colorado and one wildfire’s already burning in Park County. My wildfire anxiety is HIGH. Emma’s pressed up against my feet right now because the house shakes and the roof creaks with each particularly strong gust of wind. Making matters worse, tomorrow’s supposed to be even windier than today. Ugh.
I’m going to abort my writing plans and instead play loud music to drown out the nightmare outside while I create some art. Before I go, here’s a tree I photographed yesterday when we hiked at Castlewood Canyon State Park (where the wind had already started). We still had a lovely time.
I went searching for a wind-related quote and found this which feels like a good antidote to my current windy reality and a good match for this photo. Enjoy.
We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Seeing with our hearts
Climate Movement Monday: updates + quick action on old growth forests
Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I highlight frontline communities experiencing the worst of the climate crisis and then offer a quick way to take action on behalf people and planet. Confession: today feels especially difficult because:
- It’s the 20 year anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq despite the millions of us around the world who took to the streets to shout NO! (surprise: war causes ongoing harm.)
- The final report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released today and, among other things, says “The suffering is worst in the world’s poorest countries and low-lying island nations, which are home to roughly 1 billion people yet account for less than 1 percent of humanity’s total planet-warming pollution. But as climate disruption increases with rising temperatures, not even the wealthiest and most well-protected places will be immune.” But the report’s not all doom. Despite its stark language and dire warnings, the IPCC report sends a message of possibility, said Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London and a member of the core writing team for the report. “It’s not that we are depending on something that still needs to be invented,” she said. “We actually have all the knowledge we need. All the tools we need. We just need to implement it.”
All the more reason for us to keep on fighting for policies that ensure a just transition to clean, renewable energies for ALL. We CAN do this if we join together. So, please, read on. 🙂
UPDATE on legal challenges to the Willow Project:
Here’s the press release about Earthjustice filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration on March 15, just two days after Biden authorized the Willow Project. (Trustees of Alaska filed a separate challenge on behalf of Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic ((SILA)) and conservation groups.) From the press release:
This is the second time the Bureau of Land Management has approved the Willow project. The Trump administration first approved the project in 2020. Conservation and Alaska Native groups challenged the approval, and the court threw it out as unlawful in 2021. It instructed BLM to reassess the project’s full climate impacts and consider alternatives that would lessen its overall impacts. In approving Willow for the second time, the Biden administration has failed to heed these instructions, producing an environmental analysis that falls short in these same respects.
TAKE QUICK ACTION FOR TREES!
I received an email from Earthjustice this morning asking for action on old growth forests. On Earth Day 2022, Biden took an important step toward protecting mature and old-growth forests on federal lands. Now, we need to push Biden to create a strong, lasting, national rule to protect those forests from logging. You can do that here. (If you’re pressed for time, here’s my letter you can copy and paste:
Thank you for your executive order directing the conservation of mature and old-growth forests. The next step is to create a strong, lasting national rule that protects mature and old-growth trees and forests across federal public lands from logging. Protecting and recovering these natural climate solutions would be a key piece of U.S. climate policy, a sign of international leadership, and an enduring legacy of your administration.
Safeguarding and expanding carbon-rich forests on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands is an important, cost-effective, and timely approach to fighting the climate crisis. Mature trees store and continue to absorb large amounts of carbon in addition to providing the public with clean drinking water, habitat for imperiled wildlife, and world-class recreational opportunities.
Please, be a leader and act to protect these forests.
(Note to anyone not wanting to receive emails as a result of the petition: remember, you can always opt out!)
Thank you for reading and taking action. Solidarity! ✊🏽
Rorschach inkblot test
still, what do you see
Wordless Wednesday: cottonwood edition
Wordless Wednesday: forest for the trees
no orange no longer here
these trees marked for life
Who knows where the time goes?
Somehow it is seven o’clock and the daylight’s fading fast.
Here I am , still wearing the running togs I wore on the trails this morning, hair a mess and body somewhat odiferous. In between that run and this blog post, I did some stuff, mostly little bits of this and some of that. But instead of feeling anxiety at the end of such a piecemeal day, I’m at peace.
Who knows where the time goes? Who cares?
Listening to the trees
I like to take the time out to listen to the trees,
much in the same way that I listen to a sea shell,
holding my ear against the rough bark of the trunk,
hearing the inner singing of the sap.
It’s a lovely sound, the beating of the heart of the tree. ~ Madeleine L’Engle
Wordless Wednesday: aspens
While walking around our neighborhood this morning, we — Zippy, Wildebeest, Emma, and I — spotted what seemed to be a tiny bird’s nest dangling from the branch of a tree. Zippy went closer to investigate and declared it a seed pod. And after searching the ground below the tree, he brought us a sample.
We’d never seen anything like this . . . outside a Mexican restaurant. Using my keen online research skills, I typed in “bean pod that looks like taco” and learned this seed pod comes from a Kentucky Coffeetree. Who knew? Here’s a better shot of the interior that looks an awful lot like lettuce and/or guacamole, and enormous black beans:
As if that wasn’t enough natural wonder for our outing, there were also plenty of ice formations to admire along the way . I took this photo at the end of our driveway.
We’re supposed to get a bunch of snow tomorrow and again on Wednesday so I’m grateful for the blue skies and balmy temperatures of the past several days. Also? I’m exceedingly grateful that today’s High Wind Warning did NOT result in 80-mph gusts.
Wordless Wednesday: aspen edition
“from her heart grows a tree”
This post is inspired by Melanie at the blog The Nature-Led Life (shout-out to Mark at Naturalist Weekly for putting this cool experiment on my radar). While Melanie was reading The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge by Manuel Lima, the phrase “from her heart grows a tree” came to her. Melanie wrote about it on her blog (that post is “the trunk”) and invited others to contribute “branches” by posting on our blogs something that includes “from her heart grows a tree” (Melanie hopes to make a visual tree of all contributions and the deadline to contribute is Aug 2, midnight PST)
This is my “branch.”
I remember standing in these aspens two years ago, my heart expanding as I gazed up, up, up at this tree reaching for the blue sky. However, aspens are not only magnificent above ground, but also below, because groups of aspen share a root system. A system one might imagine as an enormous “beating heart” below ground.
“From her heart grows a tree.”
Her heart connecting with mine.
Twofer Tuesday: National Nature Photography Day edition
Because of Amy Law’s beautiful post, I learned today is National Nature Photography Day. But it’s also Tuesday, which means I need to do it up twofer-style.
First up are a Western Kingbird and Black-capped Chickadee:
Next are two trees I can’t identify except that one appears dead and the other is maybe not-so-dead?
Lastly, I can’t forget my love for ponds:
Obviously, these aren’t the most professional photos. However, they’re a good sampling of my aesthetic.
Hip-hip-hooray for nature!
Wordless Wednesday: tree canopy edition
Taking the risk
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Elizabeth Appell
This feels like a universal quote that applies to all of us, possibly on multiple levels. Here’s hoping we all blossom in one way or another this week. Remember, spring is the season of new growth. (And yes, I’m also speaking to myself here.)
Wordless Wednesday: cottonwood edition
Uprooted by wind
felled by slashing chain saw teeth
final resting place
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. ~ John Muir