Hiking a trail along Squaw Creek near Lake Tahoe

Aspen leaves quake.

Wild delphinium riot blues.

Columbine blaze the trail in clumps along the way.



Watching the wind quake aspen leaves , I wondered about leadership, about tribal leaders.

I wondered about leaders in tribes of small people.

Not presidents of hundreds of millions and of corporations worth hundreds of billions.

Tribal leaders were, I’d bet, expected to be wise, fair, honest and “of the people”.

I’d bet a stinker, a liar, a wealth-grubber, one who enriched himself and his family, would soon face the wolves.  Literally.

I’m watching what’s happening in the United States.

Like all cultures, we have the men and women before us to thank for where we are, and the wealth of our natural resources.  Until recently, we also had the benefit of resource wealth far larger than our numbers could spoil, consume, and eliminate.

Now, we seem to have forgotten to steward our wealth.  We have forgotten to honor our elders, and to live in a way that demonstrates that honor.

We have raised up leaders that relish setting people upon each other while they enrich themselves, leaders who take pride in environmental pillage.

There is no such thing as “arriving”.  The United States never arrived at greatness, never lost it, will never be made great again by the likes of the Trump administration.

We do believe that we have always strived for greatness, based in equality and justice for all, hard work, free from religious tyranny, free from religious tyrants and demagogues.

But sometimes what we believe and truth are far, far apart.

The fact is that as humans, each of us is not that far apart from each other.  We like to laugh.  We like to eat.  We like to create useful things.  We love natural beauty.  We do like competition, but we don’t like destructive conflict.  We don’t like free-loaders, cheats, liars and thieves.

We are not each other’s enemies.


Boundaries are often places of turbulence or conflict


Immigration is on peoples’ minds a lot, all around the world.

In America, turbulence at tribal boundaries ebbed and flowed for centuries — until Europeans came, fleeing their own, miserable countries.  The Europeans were strong enough, numerous enough, and disease-ridden enough, to eventually win the conflict in America.

But now the world is full.  There’s no place to go.  At boundaries everywhere, the strong and comfortable are set against the numerous miserable.

People often think that instead of fleeing, migrants should fix their own countries, their own problems, at home.  That’s like telling a suicidal person — one who is alone, dis-empowered, beaten down — to pull him/herself up by his/her own boot straps.  It does take a stronger, helping, caring hand, and time, to help that person up.

On the world stage, in a full world, we are really in this together.  Those of us in stronger countries can continue to use our resources to punish and isolate refugees, lest they overrun us.  Or we can involve ourselves in other peoples’ business — in their countries, their politics, their wars.  That’s a tricky business, too.

I’m not sure where we are headed with all this in the United States.  I saw this recent, opinion piece from an Australian, and I think it is our most likely, near-term future.


I hope we can do better, but if we can, it will take strong, effective, committed, international cooperation.

Boundaries are often turbulent.

Masterpiece Garden

In this garden (pictures below):

Apple trees (black Arkansas, Granny Smith)
Apricot tree
Armenian cucumbers
Beans pole
Blackberries (thornless)
Boysenberries (thornless)
Cherry tree (sour)
Cork oak (seedlings from acorns)
Crop List:
Gladiolus (literally thousands)
Lima beans
Pear tree
Pepper bell
Pepper hot
Raspberries (red and golden)
Squash eightball
Squash scallop
Squash yellow
Squash zucchini
Sweet potatoes
Tomatoes (30 heirloom varieties)


What we can and cannot afford

Great visual in here, along with other significant info.

via What we can and cannot afford

Meanwhile, here on the ranch, we hooked the tractor up to that tree on the hill (we hauled a lot away over the last two weekends and then had about seven big sections we pulled down the hill to cut up and split in easier-to-access locations).

Also got some off-grade cherries from friends to turn into cider.

David prepped the area for the 25 turkeys, and I continued to tear-down and haul away a lot of old, faded, white, wooden fencing that we felt was not contributing to the look and feel of our landscaping!  (Reducing fire risk and weed-trimming chores as well)!

Thirty-Nine Degrees!

No photo for that, but you’ll have to take our word for it.  The outside temperature this morning was 39.9 degrees F. !  Nice.

So, we cut firewood from that tree that I made a road to — Getting to next winter’s firewood — then we worked in the garden and tackled overgrown landscaping.

Also, we tested our interconnected boiler system and I think we are ready for the next heating season with the new, Central Boiler — The 2000 lb. outhouse has landed!

David just made smoked turkey enchiladas with our turkey, and Spanish rice with our salsa.  I made margaritas — with Costco Tequila.  Oh well, not everything comes from here!

Oh yes, we moved the new, young chickens into the pasture to make room for the turkeys in the stable where we keep them.  There will be a lot of pastured birds this year — twelve chickens and twenty-five turkeys — the turkeys get to run from stable to pasture each day.

Bucco (the goat) didn’t come in tonight for his oats.  We found him stranded in pasture four (where he is not supposed to be).  Do not ever use chain-link fence for goats.  Worthless!!


3-D Printed, Concrete Houses!

No, this isn’t happening at the ranch … but it is amazing and will catch on here, especially where homes will benefit from resiliency to climate extremes, environmental regulations and risks from fire and earthquakes.  Makes them ideally suited for California.  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jun/06/netherlands-to-build-worlds-first-habitable-3d-printed-houses

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