Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sun, Moon & Life on Earth; Food Stamp Update

It's cold. Nonetheless, I've been rocking in the swing, bundled up, looking east. As the sun settles westward, rose pink glides up mountain flanks to snowy crest, alpen glow in the Sangre de Cristo.

Some evenings the color shines just for a moment a brazen red, blood red, hence the name.

When mountain light dims, the sun having set, I trot toward the southwest view to ogle crescent moon and Venus. The sky at first cerulean, then lapis, midnight blue, and starry night black.

We are at so-called solar maximum, but with few flares, though X- and M-class have spewed incandescent in the last days. Few flares may forebode long cold winter.

As a child I had an oblique glimpse into the Little Ice Age lingering into the eighteenth century. I was struck by two structures at Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson:

A large indent in a south facing wall sheltered and warmed a fruiting fig tree, a horticultural unlikelihood! The tree had surely been wrapped with burlap in the harsh winters. This excited my imagination and sent me to the library where I learned about walled gardens and espaliered fruit trees.

The second structure was a deeply earth-bermed hollow on the north side, and it's there I hit a cognitive dissonance. In Jefferson's day, the river far below froze deeply and predictably.

Ox carts were sent down the switchback road, huge chunks of ice sawed free, and hauled ploddingly back up the mountain. Lowered into the excavation resembling a big root cellar, the ice was packed with sawdust, the heavy door closed.

All through summer, ice was chipped and rinsed of sawdust for sorbets and chilled drinks. The river has not frozen in living memory; I lived in those Blue Ridge Mountains in my organic farm days.

It was colder in the Little Ice Age of Colonial America, at a time of prolonged solar minimum.

I mention this because we may be teetering on climate coldness, while news-mouth media shill for global warming.

Government has corrupted scientists into skewing climate data, in the interest of profiting from carbon credits, yet another boondoggle.

Down on the ground where people and common sense live, it might be worth pondering long winter for a moment: warm woolies and warm bedding, remembering those who'll have little to none.

I'll soon be helping set up for a big church rummage sale, geared to quality and lowest pricing. Volume bringing in good return.

The parish hall will be mobbed by people who've known pink slips, foreclosure and reduction in food assistance. Children's toys and clothes especially are set at pennies to dollar prices.

7. Nov. 2013: Ripple effect ripping through local economies as food stamps are reduced:
The rummage sale proceeds go to the food pantry and to urgent necessaries of displaced families and the frightened lonely. More cold and anguish than most of us know. Churches and local charities and mentoring are becoming labyrinth threads for people in community.

As to pathologies in power, God knows. I can see Orion now and the Pleiades, older than linear time.
moon photo: Nader Daoud, AP