Friday, June 14, 2024

Build the Environment

Ladybugs Loving the Chamomile

When issues in the garden arise, avoid focusing on trying to solve a single problem.  Instead, step back, view it from an eagle eye view and focus on building the environment as a whole.  Provide nature with everything it needs to thrive and it will be able to take care of itself.

When you try to solve problems individually, you end up bouncing from issue to issue playing whac-a-mole as you try to contort and control the environment to your will.  If the environment has everything it needs, everything will stay in balance and issues will sort themselves out on their own.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Things Aren't Always as They Appear

Madre de Dios River - Peru - 2013

Sitting at a table on a patio at a restaurant with about 10 other people on the absolute edge of the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, the year is 2013.  Trees tower above us and I stare, mesmerized, at the slowly flowing Madre de Dios river which sits a few hundred feet in front of us.  The restaurant is empty except for us.  Hundreds of different types of birds make their presence known in the distance as the sun dwindles across the cloudless sky.

Hey James, what are you ordering?  John asks me from the other side of the table.

I think I'm going to get the fish - I respond as I glance back at the menu.

John leans in across the table and says in a quiet voice - Don't order the fish.

Why not?

Friday, May 10, 2024

The Curious Case of Total Solar Eclipses

"If you're outside the path of totality, if there's any way you can get into the path of totality for the eclipse, do it. Take the day off. Take the kids out of school. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people to see a total eclipse, and it is one of the grandest sights in all of nature. It's something you'll always remember, and you'll pass stories of it onto your grandchildren." - Fred Espenak

A strange phenomenon happens at eclipses.  It's not what happens in the sky but rather, what happens in the community.  Eclipses have a strange way of bringing together reams of random people, from all walks of life, from all over the world and uniting them together - despite their differences.

At the most recent eclipse that occurred on April 8th, 2024 I stumbled across the Los Rios campground in Camp Wood, Texas and found myself amongst the following notable characters among many others:  A retired billionaire from Australia who currently lives on a sailboat in the Bahamas.  A French lady.  A retired engineer and hobbyist deep space photographer.  A guy from Italy.  A high school astronomy teacher.  Families from all across the US.  Motorcyclist from California.  Family from Mexico.  Then there's me.

This is a very eclectic group of people from sea to shining sea whom would never ever find themselves in the same place at the same time, especially not in a very small town in Texas that currently has a population of five hundred and forty-four, except for one phenomenon:  A Total Solar Eclipse.

It's a beautiful thing, instead of letting our vast differences divide us, we all set that aside and let our excitement for the eclipse unite us.  It was the most kumbaya experience I've had in a while.  It was peaceful.  It was enjoyable.  It was fun.  It gave us all hope for humanity.