Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Honeybee Hum


pixabay.com

Sitting under the huge old apricot trees, fragrant as bridal wreath, and full of the sound of bees among the blossoms...

Snow melted at last, the sky shone cerulean blue and the soft pollination hum felt like gossamer, an om thrumming.

I remembered visiting the beehives of my grandfather in my childhood, their buzzing and the scent of wildflowers and honeycomb. I've loved the honey-scent of beeswax candles ever after.

Fruit trees are blooming in the Rocky Mountains, which lie far from the GMO'd US heartland. One crop to rule them all, one crop to find them... that heartland of glyphosate-spray-monsters and death.

I say "far", but the world we steward is small. Winds blow; ocean currents bring distant distress below the jet stream.

Will the grandchildren of my kin know wild bee hum and diverse wild honey?

They just may!

There's a feeling of celebration, of Independence Day, just on the edge of knowing, as towns, states, countries refuse to be made corporation wasteland.

More and more refuse in the midst of threats: Abusive  government witholds aid for non-compliance!

Such a deal for independence, though it may come hard.

We began as settlements of farmers, not so long ago and now blighted city lots are coming to life as community gardens. With beehives on roof tops and street-wise kids enchanted!

We may yet turn this around. And if not...?

While meeting a friend a local beekeeper, I learned that our mountain forests and pastures are unusually bee-blest.

There are many organic farmers here; they do not poison their small family farms. Abundant life can prosper.

An Asian behemoth, the beekeeper reports, which exports faux-honey, is not so blest. Choking pollution has killed off their pollinators, that and clear-cutting bee-habitat for commercial mono-crop.

Fruit trees, somehow still blooming in the midst of industrial clanging and belching, now have to be pollinated by hand.

chinadialogue-production.s3.amazonaws.com

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ankle-Biter

I took a friend home today and heard their early warning system, shrill yip-yip's, before opening the door to their pit bull wannabe.

An invasive bugger, it peeled back its lips and snarled within an inch of my ankle, fortunately shod in a hiking boot. Friend and I tried to speak while their minute ferocity stalked and snarled, a guard-chihuahua!

The dog soon attained PIA status (pain in the arse.) I let it smell the back of my hand... to more baring of teeth.  Leaning down, I offered a commitment in friendly tones:

"I like dogs, but here's the deal. You bite me, I'll drop-kick you."

My friend laughed, but knew I just might do it. I continued futzing with little chores to help my elderly friend get settled while the dog feinted and lunged.

I admit it, I do enjoy God's creatures great and small, but have a preference for working breed dogs, bred for intelligence. Decorative yip-yips are a struggle for me. 

The chihuahua eyed my departure, with an air of self-satisfaction, as though successful at last. 

I gave it the beady eye, with the message: I'll be back. And my bargain stands, Toots.

I have waded treacle trying to find a chihuahua photo. They're small; they're cute; they have little outfits: santas, angels, Easter bonnets... I found chihuahua counselors, chihuahua insurance. I leave you with this:

chihuahuaclothes.co 
The dog's a "rescue" and goodness knows its life events before the wife scooped it up out of traffic and brought it home. A lot of rescue dogs are skittish and belligerent from their abandonment/abuse and feral training.

Pretty much the same can be said of abused kids, who grow up to become abusers, first shellshocked and frightened, then rage-filled and hurtful. 

Bless the folks who mentor damaged kids and try to break the abuse cycle curse. I have cousins, grandparents with a good life on a ranch. They decided to become foster parents and share that good life, which has turned out to be a joyful and a PIA experience. Stars in their crowns.

My next exposure to a small-fry canine came at the library. I turned off the car, and sat there grinning. With the spring thaw, though snow's not done, a grassy area and line of trees in the parking lot have erupted into a prairie dog colony!

zooborns.com
Two poked their goofy-looking heads out of big and numerous burrows, then stood up with litle paws dangling. I sat and watched the show for a bit.

Poof, they suddenly scuttled underground. 

A Jack Russell terrier, harnassed and leashed to its human, was in the process of dragging the owner into the trees. Jack Russells were trained to tunnel work in the long ago.

bearcreekrussells.com 

Its spikey hair bristling, the fiesty critter pounced into a prairie dog tunnel, and nearly spread-eagled its human across the dirt mound!

I had the car window open and choked back a guffaw. Looked away as the owner re-asserted dignity and verticality. Brushed dirt off its front.

Woof, woof, just be still for a minute and no telling the entertainment in the offing!

Thanks for reading 
Storyteller Books

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dandelions, Harvest & Recipes

Brrr... It's Cold
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"It's snowing like crazy in Angel Fire!"

Yes, there really is such a place, high and wild, redolent of Ponderosa pine and sage. A broad, cattle ranch valley with snow peaks and big sky and views to forever.  

And right now, a lot of goofy-grin skiers doing March snowstorm jigs!

My firewood guy had reported in with the weather report and will bring a cord of piñon tomorrow. I've been rationing the diminishing woodpile. Dear friends sent me home with a goodly amount, stuffed in the old car to tide me over. 

Counting blessings, a warm fire and warm feet, and good-hearted folks can change a day, even a life. We never know.

Second eclipse today in two weeks; the vibes in town were a little off-key. But a big guy bundled up with muffler and wool cap, a guy I don't know delighted me with gallantry.

My face lit up with the joy of surprise. I grinned and said, "Thank you, Honey!" while he made room for me and my awkward bundles.

Business done, I turned to go, nodded and thanked him again.

"No. Thank YOU, for calling me Honey."

"Well, I guess we all deserve to be called Honey every now and then!" 

A big old fire is crackling in the woodstove. Am sipping dandelion root tea. During the astonishment of faux-spring, I started preparing a new flower bed, which meant a density of tap-rooted dandelions.

Once upon a quieter time, country folk gathered early dandelions for a spring tonic when most of the world still looked gray and brown, and will winter never end?!

Here's what you do:

The roots are a premier liver/gallbladder tonic. After you've grunted many roots to the surface, topped with the dandelion leaf rosette of back-pointing "lion teeth" (dent de léon), save yourself some kitchen mess.


Hold a root in one hand, and strip away any dead leaves; toss it in a basket. Once in the kitchen with a basketful, slice off the leaf rosettes and set aside the roots. Wash the leaves and salad-spin dry.

I was at the end of a long day so did fast prep:

Cover leaves with water.
Add a splash of cider vinegar, salt pepper.
Simmer till tender; add butter or olive oil.
Puree in a blender with garlicky roasted potato.
A vividly-nutritious cream soup and YUM.

In Pennsylvania-Dutch country, a sort of wilted sald is made, with the first tender dandelion leaves, before they get stunningly bitter.

Leaves gathered, washed and separated from the rosettes, bacon is fried till crisp and crumbled. Bacon and hot grease are poured over the greens, drizzled with cider vinegar. Chopped hard-boiled eggs can be added and garlicky croutons.

And those roots you set aside? You can chop a handful and simmer till the tea tastes rich and earthy. The roots are often gently roasted with their cousin, chicory, for a hearty tea, sometimes construed as a coffee substitute, though by few coffee lovers!

Nonetheless, Spring's gift to health. 

ediblewildfood.com

This morning, I walked westward to watch a chilly, early-riser show. The full moon, Jersey-butter-gold, was settling through bare tree branches, and mauve and azure sky.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Foretaste of Spring & J.I.T.


False Spring, 
Crops This Year
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

Pulling a baby carrot from his compost-rich garden, Granddaddy handed it to his little sidekick, me, wiping off the dirt. 

I held onto the feathery leaves, which smelled like Queen Anne's Lace, and crunched it down in little bites like Peter Rabbit. Granddaddy watched, and grinned.

I had never in my short life tasted such crispy sweetness. My eyes got big. Pre-dawn on a summer's morning, Granddaddy had opened a door into a mystery I've sleuthed ever since. 

I've followed trails to bountiful land, to taste and fragrance, bright life force, and magic of discovery of Burnett's, The Secret Garden... 


publicdomainpictures.net

How could we be so slumberous as to let chemical companies offer produce, poisoned, ever more tasteless... but lucrative to the perps?

I remembered that watershed moment with my grandfather while shovelling snow around roses and trees to "water" my Rocky Mountain garden, in a euphoria of surprise warm weather and false spring.

This may be the year we stumble our way to the old lineage of gardening. It may be time: Just in Time. JIT delivery could surprise us with empty shelves.

Plenty of "doomporn" on the Net of just-comeuppance for our preoccupations with a faux-world of buy-buy and click-click.

Hunger is a great leveller. 

In Great Depression One and World War Two, the US was still agricultural, small family farms. Big cities were surrounded by truck farms, not malls and suburbia.

When rationing was imposed for the war effort, the wealthy could afford black market. 

Country folk already planted gardens and canned/dried/stored for the winter; they planted more. 

www.crazywebsite.com

Victory Gardens were encouraged then, not yet having lost our bureaucratic minds.

Now gardeners who dig up useless lawn to plant fruits and veggies are punished by uniformity-obsessed Neighborhood Associations, municipalities and alphabet agencies!

Will gumint provide plenty, if store shelves go empty? 

25 Feb. 2016:  
Cosmologically speaking, fwiw, much strange activity: bizarre weather, early retirements and movement away from dense megalopolis and coastlines to higher ground, or underground: NIBIRU PLANET X ~ The BEST EVIDENCE to DATE ~ PREPARING FOR 2016! (A MUST SEE!)-JOHN MOORE

Chop wood; haul water...

publicdomainpictures.net

Organic Farm Stories 
& Recipes,
Earth-Whisperers:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sun-Warmed Apricots & Winter Reading Adventure

Storyteller Books
Download for Holidays
Cozy winter or Golden summer Reading:
www.wayfaringtraveler.com 
 
Days Grow Shorter

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/apricot-fruit.jpg

November: I revisit this lucious August memory, looking out on nearly two feet of Rocky Mountain snow, conifers heavy with it and wind blowing plumes of sparkle from the deciduous trees!

August: I've been gathering bounty of apricot-gold under huge old trees, wildings from long ago. Savoring their sun-warmed fragrance, I munch the rosy-cheeked imperfect ones, spitting out seeds into the high grass!

In the dappled light, am haunted by the specter of their origin...

Spaniards burst upon the New World, smelling gold, glory and slave labor. The natives, expecting bearded gods from across the sea, smelled unwashed bodies in quilted velvet and sun-broiling armor. But like native gods, invaders canny and dangerous.

The conquerors, empowered by royal decree and steel weaponry also brought horses, much later a power item among Plains Indians. Spanish muskets and cannon over-ran spears and bird feather capes.

 http://www.discoverseaz.com/Graphics/History/Rem_Horse01.jpg

Jesuits brought the Inquisition rack and forced conversions: Escaped and recaptured slaves had a foot amputated to drive home the new Zeitgeist. No whistle-blowers allowed to alert the country.

Franciscans, in a cognitive dissonance among rapine and plunder, planted gardens. Sandaled, in robes of brown homespun, they arrived with seeds and cuttings, tending orchards and roses.

All along waterways of the high desert and mountains, great great grand-trees of that legacy begin fruiting as the days grow shorter. Rose hips of the Rosa de Castilla are turning crimson under cool mountain nights.

The Conquistadores became The Powers That Be (TPTB) of that era, among enslaved peoples. Why might this cross one's mind?!

Current TPTB have cut corners, calling job losses and low wages robust economic gain. For themselves.

The bounty of the country, now mostly GMO'd, is funneled through remote distribution hubs. It's called "JIT" for just-in-time delivery. Little is stored and market shelves soon empty in emergency.

"Little is stored" by government or humans which brings me to the beginning of my cyber-adventures, seven years ago.

I had watched the government response to Hurricane Katrina, both inept and malignant, and realized "we" are ill-prepared for the unexpected and the unknown. In so-called normal times, we let fruit rot on the ground.

Disturbed at likely future ineptitude, I considered Joseph's Dream: http://feastandfamine.blogspot.com/2008/06/7-fat-years-7-lean.html

In the midst of wild plenty, I wonder about JIT and this coming winter, filling my wicker basket with windfall fruit.

What if trucks cannot or will not make it through, through unknown conditions? What about empty store shelves and empty-larder food banks?

What about Vitamin C in flu season? (I add fresh lemon juice to the apricot jam!)

When the British Isles were blockaded by Nazi U-Boats, school children were sent into the hedge rows to gather wild rose hips: http://wayfaringtraveler.blogspot.com/2014/09/pocketful-of-rose-hips.html

http://womenesi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Health-Benefits-Rose-Hips.jpg

No oranges were to reach the Blitz'd and food-rationed Brits for long war years. Can we imagine such a thing? 
 
Rumor has it that underground installations and bolt-holes of the so-called elite have imagined it very well. They have been stuffing their lairs like sausages. For themselves.

So, on the planet's surface where humans live, what's the Plan B?

Does eating out make sense right now? (Eating GMO's, and paying for it?!!) Buying the newest and greatest smart phone?

Will we come in for a landing? Will we join with good neighbors? Do we have any? Will we find ourselves in a dusty attic of the Great Depression?

Am noting the most vivid general angst since y2k... when those who thought to prepare ended up looking like idiots, with all but inedible food stores.

Nor am I altogether certain about the Net, and about utilities-power through what may be a "dark and stormy night" winter.

Greece, disemboweled by EU banksters, at least has gardens.

For seven years I left my true love,
Seven years I left the valley.
Now I'm going back tomorrow
To see...
Across the wide Missouri.

Not being certain, am posting this here in storyteller land, and at f&f, my pro bono wellness article venue created for "7 Fat & 7 Lean Years."

Thanks to readers all over the world for journeying with me through my writings and books. Well-met and Godspeed to us all.