Monthly Archives: November 2011
the time-lapse nature videos in the beginning of this clip are GORGEOUS!
i mean, how can you not love the idea of “open source collaboration?” along with others through social media, britta riley developed and perfected the window farms garden system. you can buy the group’s beautifully-made ready-made kit, or download free plans to build your own from soda bottles.
instead of being online with you, i’ve been enjoying the holiday with friends, at home and in the yard. although i took the above photo a while ago, it captures my mood of the past few days perfectly. cloudy day with a chance of rain. but so much color, beauty and abundance in all the possibilities of those clouds and that day.
thanksgiving was cloudy, rainy, cold. perfect for staying indoors and eating too much. perfect for going to see the new muppets movie. i want to travel by map exclusively from now on, and watch that chicken sketch once a day for the next week. i’ve also been prepping. holiday event season begins tuesday, the webstore needs holiday updating, the holiday mass email needs sending, and the yard needed to be prepped for winter. the weather has been obligingly crisp, cool and non-rainy for the yard work, so i began there.
i smothered the last patch of non-converted front lawn weed patch with several layers of wet cardboard boxes, then added piles of leaves on top to decay & make dirt over the winter. the leaves were courtesy of my own, my neighbors’ and my other neighbors’ sidewalks & street gutters. happy holidays neighbors, i swept your walks & streets for you [me]! the next step for lasagna gardening/lawn smothering is usually adding a layer of dirt or compost on top of that, but after i got done extensively trimming the front hedges i piled those branches on top of the leaves to keep them in place instead. in the following weeks as those branches make their way into the yard recycling bin, i’ll add the dirt layer. or it might just all sit there til spring. it’s not an eyesore. it’s behind a fence and right now while all the trimmings are green it looks like a bush.
rearranging all the dead leaves and matter is the prime winter-prep job in my yard. removing it from some planting areas to encourage the growth of the green left behind, adding it to other areas to smother and discourage the unwanted green weeds that would later smother my spring garden seedlings.
another prime job to do after a good hard rain is observing and assessing the new green growth. is this sprout familiar? it’s cute and green now, but what will it grow into come spring? is this a good spot for it? should i remove it or transplant it? living with this patch of land for a few years now i’ve learned about the plants that live here. it’s been interesting to see the progression of plants that come in and out of the yard each year and to cultivate them to achieve something resembling an attractive and food productive yard. it’s never finished. this is both maddening and exhilarating at the same time.
images from my autumn days here in portland interspersed with excerpts from the kickoff talk of the latest bioneers conference. ideas that are difficult and overwhelming to think about, yet constantly inspiring and ever more prescient every day. just like life.
the nature of nature is change, but sometimes it hurdles into fast forward tripping radical shifts. scientists call it “nature’s regime shift.” for the first time people are causing it on a planetary scale and it can be irreversible, at least on a human timeframe. when people talk about saving the earth, we would better frame it as saving ourselves.
every major empire over the past several hundred years has undergone a predictable cycle of collapse. the hallmarks are always the same: the financialization of the economy, moving from manufacturing to speculation, very high levels of debt, extreme economic inequality, and costly military over reaching.
every empire has had an idiosyncratic ability to exploit a particular energy source that propelled it’s rise to economic power. no empire has been able to manage the transition to the next energy source. the climate imperative today is to transition off of fossil fuels worldwide and it requires the most complex collaboration and urgent passage in the history of human civilization. nothing like it has ever been done.
as paul gilding writes in the great disruption, the science says we physically entered a period of great change, a synchronized yet related crash of the economy and the ecosystem. the great disruption will ultimately take society into a higher evolutionary state. we have the opportunity to build a society that represents our highest capacities, that works with rather than against nature. this crisis presents what may be a once-in-a-civilization opportunity. the severity of the crisis will drive a global response thats mammoth in scale and speed including the biggest economic and industrial transformation in history. the sooner we shift, the more options and the less pain we’ll have.
from chaos theory to the gaia hypothesis, a new cosmology is unfolding. in this paradigm the earth does not revolve around us… to move from breakdown to breakthrough we’re entering into the age of nature. this revolution from the heart of nature leads with a basic shift in our relationship with nature from resource and object to mentor, model and partner.
as janine benyus points out, “nature’s done everything we want to do without mining the past, polluting the planet, or mortgaging the future. the principles appear simple: nature runs on current sunlight, nature banks on diversity, nature rewards cooperation, nature builds from the bottom up, nature recycles everything, life creates conditions conducive to life.
nature also has a profound capacity for healing. the age of nature calls for a new social contract of interdependence. taking care of nature means taking care of people, taking care of people means taking care of nature.
when huge shocks transform the landscape, structures and institutions crumble releasing tremendous amounts of bound-up energy and resources for renewal and reorganization. novelty emerges. it’s a period of creativity, freedom and transformation. these times belong to those who learn, innovate and adapt. the name of the game is resilience… the heart of resilience is diversity. resilience teaches us. decentralized systems create backups and redundancy.
i knew it was coming and i tried everything i could to evade it, but with the weather change and the holiday season in full force there was really no way i could avoid waking up with a nasty cold this morning!
luckily @notcot on twitter mentioned free cabin porn… where i found this amazing starlings video. even better than the chapman swifts! oh, and there’s also lots of amazing pictures of amazing cabins. the perfect thing to look through in bed under the covers! sniff!
some of us girlz are taking over that bastion of boyz & graffiti – upper playground – just in time for the holidaze. [sorry, couldn't resist all those z's!]
saturday morning fun: gorgeous/cute/amazing visual overload!
are you KIDDING me with this breakdancing porcupine right now?! come ON!
animal photography prints by sharon montrose. thanks brainpickings for the tip!
this was brought to my attention recently: my nudibranch drawing repurposed as a poster for the california academy of sciences in san francisco.
before you get too excited and rush down there though, it’s important to note that this was a few years back, NOT in a few days!
for the past several years there’s been certain color combos [dark somber colors with bright pure colors] and aesthetics [small similar distinct objects in a solid field] that i’ve been drawn to [heh. pardon the pun!] within others’ work.
my visual exploration of these ideas starts with the work of jen garrido, whose work i’ve been familiar with for many years since my san francisco days.
next, let’s take a look at a cleaner reworking of the same ideas in the work of australian kirra jamison…
then it’s on to chicago’s essimar…
who works with cut papers and screen printed inks.
and finally back to australia to the work of illustrative zeitgeist chameleon beci orpin…
what do you think? is this verging on the new visual “trend” to usurp the new-agey/tribal diamonds-crystals-triangles thing everyone’s been doing?
my little post today about the school journaling class “copying” my work [see below] has led to a mini uproar on twitter, and a discussion on facebook. which begs the question “what is it about our culture that breeds blatant copyists vs. people who are inspired by the work of others to find & follow their own path?”
i’m actually very curious to hear your thoughts, as this is a central issue that comes up again and again when i’m teaching classes or talking with other creatives!