Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Invisible changes

 Michael is gone skiing and Selkie is stuck with me and unlimited fox tails waiting to enter her body almost no matter where we go here on the land. Mostly I am walking her on the road now but did go on a wander to get these shots. (No matter how short you mow the foxtails they will still put up a seed head.) She got a bath yesterday and crude scissors cut before Michael left as the temps are in the high 90s now. I'm glad she's patient with me. I'm not a good ball thrower even in the best of times.
 The time of pollination continues. Bees are on the sunflowers and poppies in these shots. I also have one below of them clustering at my hummingbird feeder (organic sugar and good water.) I wrote to the man who keeps bees on our land to ask him what to do but I'm taking down the feeder. Even though they love the sugar water it distracts them from their duties...there is accessible water here on the land and their sources of energy need to be the traditional ones. It was a selfish thing to get the hummers attracted to being right by my kitchen window--two feet from where I'm sitting. I relinquish it once this current syrup is sipped.
 I may have to relinquish a lot. It is too soon to tell. I had a complication with a simple procedure and it's hurt my lungs and possibly my heart. This week I am taking things very, very slowly and waiting for healing to take place. It was a very surprising thing-- I had the complication all through that last post and could even have died in the midst of our wonderful Veggie Voyage but Grace was there for me. Now all there is is to support my body in its process. Dear life doesn't mean to be harsh. It just plays with the elements it is given.
 And, cycles move slowly forward. It's only May but the tomatoes have been coaxed to believe they are in July so an earlier trip to the market will benefit all of us but mostly our Riparia farmer, Bruce, who earns every advantage by his hard unrelenting work on the land. The land that I love so much.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Lassen Caribou Loop

 We had a little window and we took it to get out of the valley and up into the mountains. We started off Wednesday afternoon and stayed at what I am calling the Meadow of the Big Frogs. Walking along in the full moon we still had to use a head lamp to avoid a squish event with a giant frog. Why they were out wandering the forest on such a chilly night I don't know but in the light of day there was no frogs to be seen. After that I took some clear cut photos along the Mineral-Viola road... the one above shows Sierra Pacific Industrial logging right up to the National Forest Boundary, guaranteeing a blow down effect in the national forest border trees.
 We didn't go far that day. Stayed a long stretch at Broke-off Meadows, an idyllic meadow and creek backing up to the west side of Broke Off Mountain where we saw no one for the full time we were there.
 Next day we rounded to the North side of Lassen Park and found out it was the "car free weekend" which meant we couldn't park in the park but we pulled the bikes off, loaded Selkie in the cart and pedaled off for some long hills into the stillness of mature forest without the vigilance normally required for road riding.
 That night we found ourselves on the Hat Creek Rim Overlook for the sunset. Next morning we walked a bit on the Pacific Crest Trail... remarking on the dryness that is already locked in to this burned over ridge line but also on the beauty of the views-- Lassen to the south and Shasta to the north.
 We went back into the park with the idea to visit Butte Lake and ended up taking a nap on it's black sand beach with not another soul around... the cold wind across the fronts of us and the deeply warm sand at our backs.
 Then last night we camped at Caribou Lake and hiked into the Wilderness area this morning. Michael can't resist even a patch of snow so my two snow angels had some creative time before we had to close our loop and head back to Chico for another chemo day tomorrow. So much beauty and peace out there in the pines and sweet smelling mountain air-- so grateful we could be there to restore our bearings.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Moms of two generations

 Happy Mothers Day and Happy Birthday to Mary Carmen. It was a wonderful afternoon at the little walnut orchard oasis of Olivia's mom. I am so grateful to Orien and her dear old friends for including me.
 Mary Carmen has three kids now and Ema has two. They are wonderful moms of wonderful children and I feel graced when I'm with them by their elegant embodiment of motherhood.
 In every new generation the mothers emerge strong and glowing and balancing many things with grace and the love of their families and friends. It is a wonderful skein to be part of... I've known Ema since she was the age of her girls and now she is the center of her girls' world.
 And Mary Carmen's mom, Mary Jane, is the grandmother of 10. Their family is a strong farming family that has created both deep roots of family but also made a good living from the bounty of this earth.
And Olivia and her mom Andy. Olivia is our acupuncturist and her mom was my La Leche league teacher so many years ago. We appreciate their generosity in having us over today. Happy Mothers Day to them and all of you Moms and children of Moms! May you have peace and all you need for yourselves and your children.

Monday, May 5, 2014

5th of May

 The roots of the 5th of May were in the 3rd of May when we all put out such a great push on the Fracking Ban petition gathering. At one point, by great serendipity I found myself at the International Festival at the re-dedication for the Tree of Peace, planted in 1988 in order to heal our communities. Above Chico State University President Zingg addresses a Native American audience and uses the paraphrased apologetic phrasing... Thank you for letting us borrow this land where the University sits today. I don't know how folks heard it but it does acknowledge for me that he knows the issues...the Mechoopda land was not traded for and there were never any treaties. Everything that was theirs, including where I call home right now, is rightfully theirs.
 After gathering some more petitions on Sunday we hit the road for a wander up toward Little Grass Valley Lake. We passed clear cut after clear cut on Sierra Pacific Industries land with terrible erosion on many of them. These clear cuts have timber harvest plans that are supposed to act like environmental impact reports but they are completely privatized. SPI won't let the public on the land to comment and they hire the foresters that make the determinations about the road cuts and the timber harvests with just about no outside over-sight. They file them with Cal Fire which has no biologist or forestry science people to review the plans. It's really hard to see what is happening to all these trees of peace... In the cause of profit the earth is raped.
 We wandered off the road we were on and spent the night next to what we think was Fall River. The dogwoods were dancing over our heads and the place we stayed was peaceful with not a single vehicle passing in the night.
 Today we walked on the Fowler Peak section of the Pacific Crest Trail. At one point we found a little north facing snow patch and Michael implemented some skiis for a photo op. Selkie was fairly confused by this but played along. It was lovely being out in the just blooming early spring of the high country with Michael. Feeling good and just being present to everything Mother Nature and our own bodies are up to.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

One earth many creatures- Endangered Species Faire (cont.)

In Beauty may you always walk dear children.

Children of Endangered Species

 It was a surprise to me when the Endangered Species Faire led the Spring Parade this morning. I was out there gathering signatures for our Frack-Free Butte County effort when I saw these lovely people and Mother Earth puppet headed my way. I jumped on my bike and made it to One Mile in time to see a parade of children go by.. each little earnest person knew the name of his or her animal. (Steve Tchudi - shown here -and his wife Susan, went to classrooms through the year to help the classes make their animals.)
 It is my belief that these will be the warriors who will try to protect these creatures if the creatures survive until these young ones grow up. They won't forget the animals they have studied and crafted with their own hands.
 Even if the animals may be imperfect in the way they are expressed they are known by these children. Loved. Respected. They won't forget to care. I'm almost positive.

I don't know any of these children but feel very appreciative to them for their projects and their caring. I'm going to post two more posts so the community can find the link. It will be on the Butte Environmental Council Facebook page and my own. No more words. Just photos.