21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth

This is not a normal gift guide, where you see something you like in an ad and run out to buy it. Actually it’s a gift guide that might empower you to avoid doing that. I always feel sad when I hear about people who max out their credit cards, going into debt and evenContinue reading “21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth”

20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water

There’s a scene from the movie El Norte that’s still with me 35 years after I first saw it. Actually, there are two other scenes I remember as well: the one where the father’s severed head is swaying in the breeze, and the one where Rosa and Enrique are crawling through a tunnel and areContinue reading “20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water”

19. Girl Power

When we left our protagonist couple in the last post, they were facing a seemingly impossible dilemma. Should the chickens get to keep their freedom in the back yard, creating havoc and hastening its demise? Or should they be forced to give up that choice territory and be relegated once again to the 185-square-foot coopContinue reading “19. Girl Power”

6. What I Did on My COVID Vacation, Part 3

So this is my “new stuff”—these hymenoptera homes (see my last post), along with bird’s nests, caches of lizard eggs, the squeaky-high calls of young hawks, mushrooms that could be psilocybin, jade-and-gold scarabs with their gleaming green undersides, a feathery cassia coming up from the spot where it died eight years earlier, a caterpillar that looks exactly like bird shit (for camouflage), a big black marble of a carpenter bee hovering in my face, then flying off, satisfiedContinue reading “6. What I Did on My COVID Vacation, Part 3”

4. What I Did During My COVID Vacation, Part 1

In short: I built a chicken coop without leaving home. It’s embarrassing how long I’d been thinking about it and talking about doing it. But it wasn’t procrastination that kept me from it—it was caution. A big ogre owned the place next door, next to the side yard where the coop would have to go.Continue reading “4. What I Did During My COVID Vacation, Part 1”