Golden Note

Last Sunday of 2013, and the sun slivered through heavy rain clouds now and then to cast a brief, golden light on an otherwise grey day. We finished off our Whisky Advent Calendar with a 40-year-old Glenfarclas, a real treat. I’ve had a bit of a cold, so I can’t really say as much as…

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Small Potting

Pothole gardens. Tiny gardens that fill urban potholes. The Pothole Gardener, Steve Wheen, creates tiny gardens in potholes (‘mostly on footpaths’), and takes pictures of them. Others do the same around the world. Act locally, think globally. These are almost snowglobe sized gardens – it doesn’t get much more local than a pothole. Steve Wheen…

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Solstice Unspools

Welcome Winter Solstice 2013. Last year I was relieved that the Mayan End of Days turned into just another day; this year, I’m relieved that the icy grip of early winter thawed for long enough to do some end of year, last-minute garden work. We’ve been keeping ourselves warm with our Whisky Advent Calendar, and…

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Pruina Indulgence

It’s not that the only thing in life is hoarfrost and fog. I know that. It’s just that hoarfrost and and fog are a big part of my own life right now. If Wikipedia is to be trusted, hoarfrost is one of many types of frost, and the name “hoar comes from an Old English…

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Sea of Sun

Yesterday I posted images of atmospheric life at our altitude, all fog and frost. Today, this is the view from several hundred meters above our heads, taken from a ski station web cam that’s twenty minutes from our place. The view is out over Lake Geneva, with the Alps in the distance. All of the…

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Frosted Fig

Last week, I went for a short walk in the late afternoon. It was sunny, and although it wasn’t warm, it was tolerably above zero. Then the temperature plunged, and the first real winter fog of the season settled in. I’m fortunate in that I don’t mind fog. Probably because I grew up along the…

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Between Bodies

An agreement being hailed by some as historic was signed this week between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. It has to do with one of the great motivations for both war and peace: Water. At heart, it’s a desalination project. Water will be takenĀ  from the Red Sea, pumped through a pipeline to a…

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Thank you, Dr. Mandela

One of the many legacies left behind by the great Nelson Mandela will be his attention to conservation issues and his awareness of the role these issues play in society. In honor of his life, I thought I would highlight one of his many laudable projects today, one that brought together the dual challenges of…

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Follow the Money (1)

One of my favorite data visualization sites, InformationIsBeautiful, made a Billion-Dollar-O-Gram awhile ago, putting into relative perspective the amounts of money that go into various human activities around the world. Data sets include activities of giving, fighting, losing, spending, and others. Earlier this year, they updated the graphic for 2013, and I thought before the…

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Bubbly Surprise

It’s been an icy couple weeks here in the foothills of the Jura, with a strong bise wind blowing down from the Alps, funneling down through the Lake Geneva basin and wearing itself out to points south of here. It’s dry, it’s cold, and it can be unrelenting for as long as it lasts, usually…

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