Sunday, March 16, 2014

Monarch Butterfly


One day when I was about eight years old, my father, standing in the front door, said to me, "Son, come take a look at this." I stepped out onto the sidewalk, looked up, and saw that our basswood tree (which was really five genetically identical, mature basswoods, from one original,) had turned orange. It took me a moment to understand what I was looking at. There were 30,000 monarch butterfly, resting on that tree, fluttering their wings; as a chorus.



As marvellous as that was, I think I thought, that is what happens to people: tens of thousands of monarch butterflies stop and rest on a tree in their yard. I looked for them every year after that, but they never came back. Not like that.


As an adult, I have planted butterfly-friendly flowers wherever I could. My garden has 200 species of plants, many of which are butterfly friendly, especially liatris, blazingstar. Three summers ago, one of my liatris had peaked, standing almost six feet tall, six stems fully flowered; from sunrise until sunset, 40 monarch butterfly feasting, at any given time, for most of the month of August. (People stopped by to film it, I heard; I wish I had; no money no camera.)




I have scattered common milkweed seed in this garden, by the bedroom, because it smells great; which common milkweed, monarch butterfly lay their eggs on, the leaves of which are the only thing the caterpillar will eat (common milkweed makes the monarch caterpillar and butterfly toxic to predators.)

 


For some reason, swamp milkweed thrives in my garden, which is attractive to the mature monarch butterfly, but not so much to the larvae; the common milkweed didn't take, at least not where I scattered it. It popped up in a place I didn't scatter the seed; unfortunately, where it doesn't get enough sun to bloom, shaded as it is by the neighbor's looming, aged silver maple dooming my house, and the elderberry in the corner, by the garage and the fence (keeping watch).

Last summer, 2013, I saw a monarch butterfly most days, into September. Usually only one at a time though. I rejoiced the few days I saw two at a time. One time, two summers ago, I saw a pair mating, which they did while the female was flying, the male hanging upside down, under her, like a rudder (of a ship on the sea.) They fluttered back and fourth through the garden at least six times (nowhere else in the neighborhood so friendly.) Last year, their numbers were down Continent-wide, throughout the season. This winter, 33 million over-wintered in their forest resting places, in central Mexico. Historically, there are more than a billion.

homero aridjis

I only saw as many as I did in 2013, as my garden is surrounded almost entirely by wasteland, which makes my garden an oasis. Yes, I am in the midst of a 3-million person metro; from a butterfly perspective, it is a wasteland.

Not as much the wasteland America's "breadbasket" has become. Wherever corn is grown, and corn is grown intensively from central Mexico to South-central Canada, is hostile territory to monarch butterfly. That's a long way to have to travel, everywhere toxic pesticides/herbicides, roads like an automated river of air full of deadly projectiles, nothing to eat. Add to that, last year, severe drought in Texas and Oklahoma, northern Mexico. (Severe drought this year in California.)


Monarch, leaving their heavily logged over-wintering rest, in the mountains of central Mexico, are not the monarch that return to Mexico. It's the fourth generation that returns to Mexico; the first breeds in northern Mexico, Texas lower breadbasket, bayou, dies; second generation flies to the upper Midwest, central valleys, rust belt, Atlantic coast, breeds, dies; third generation hangs around, as far as southern Canada, heads south, breeds again wherever they are, die; fourth generation catches the high winds and heads for central Mexico (aggressively-logged) highlands.

If any of these stages are interrupted, their numbers drop. Which hasn't been too much of a problem, the last 10,000 years at least (since the end of the last ice age); until humans got it into their heads that it doesn't matter what we do to the earth, 7+ billion of us now, 320 million here in America in the most turbo-charged of all nation states...

Drought in northern Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma has alleviated, somewhat. The central breadbasket is worse every year, for toxicity and loss of butterfly/wild habitat; they are forced to follow rivers, from city to city, where they can still find a few edible flowers. There has been some planting along roads, but then, they get hit by vehicles. Most people plant flowers that are great for GDP, super showy, for ego - of little use to butterflies. And city people esp in the suburbs, love their pesticides. Add in vehicle exhaust, coal burning; they have to breathe the same air we do. If you know health care is 20% of GDP, you might imagine monarch butterfly are a bit more sensitive.





Then of course you have international finance in control of most of the breadbasket/growing places; all that free QE money (same way they are trying to take the Ukrainian breadbasket; that and debt; you control the food, you control the people.) George W. Bush returned millions of acres of fallow, semi-wild CRP land (Conservation Reserve Program), to big ag, GMO corn, and broad spectrum poisons, esp Monsanto Roundup glyphosate. Obama acts more like a monarch than a butterfly. EPA?; see aforementioned International finance, bank, corporation, Monsanto etc.

In other words, the monarch butterfly is on the verge of extinction.

More horrific than that - the monarch butterfly going extinct - who cares (if the 23 people making 35 comments to this article is any indication?) Stupid bugs. Congratulations Science, Church, Commerce, you have successfully separated people, psychologically, from the natural systems all life depends upon.

Monarch butterfly extinction, would break a lot of hearts. Including mine. And, canary-in-the-coal-mine extraordinaire, THE bellweather: it would be clear at that point, esp if people are mostly indifferent, this megalith we call civilization, will collapse before it will question BAU, Leviathan, Great Beast, even unto all species extinction, even unto our own...(as if Fukushima isn't canary enough.)

I hope that doesn't happen, either the extinction of the monarch butterfly, or the extinction of people. So, in good faith, plant flowers that monarch butterfly need, if you are in their path; any flowers with nectar; there are all kinds of butterflies, moths, bugs that need flowers, people too; the best way to fight bad bugs is with good bugs, lots of flowers/habitat. LOL. Plant flowers wherever you can, anybody. If the monarch butterfly survives, it won't be because of big banks, big corporations, or big government. It will be people, casting seed, tending flowers, even housing the caterpillar or the chrysalis, to keep it safe.

Which is where I have failed the monarch butterfly, insofar as I didn't save any milkweed seed last fall, when I could have. Floating about, with it's parachute-like filigree, in the fall (I know two places close by.) Hard to find in the spring, the seeds scattered.

 

I'm planting several gardens this spring. Here, @ Off The Grid in Minneapolis; the second, surrounded by corn; the third, urban like this, but wilder and younger. Fruit trees and big gardens, grape vines, berry canes; even citrus.

If you have any common milkweed seed, let me know. (Maybe besides good monarch butterfly habitat we need to create good people habitat too...) 


 









       


Friday, March 7, 2014

Feedback for Obama


I got an email from the White House. They wanted some feedback. For the record:


The White House
  
We're looking for your feedback
As a subscriber of White House email updates, you get messages from us from time to time to keep you in the loop on the President's priorities and what's going on at the White House and around the administration.
Today, we want to hear from you.

What's the most important policy area to you?

Energy & Environment:

There is no serious, nor honest conversation going on about either energy or the health of the earth in America, in the mainstream. Cornucopian abundance is the only topic that can be discussed. Fracking exempt from the Clean Water Act? Fracking as a new energy revolution? LOL. Fukushima? Anyone? Anyone? Aging nuclear all over America. Systemic pollution? Loss of habitat? Extinction of the monarch butterfly? The only thing that matters to this administration and most of the American people, is economic growth. To hell with the health of the earth. Burn up it's resources as fast as possible, to maintain growth. Growth, growth growth. Like it's the ONLY thing that matters. Well, guess what, there aren't resources enough to keep this leviathan going. But, ever the word in the media, and from the Administration - American Energy Independence, the economy is improving!


Second most Important:

National Security:

The Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade pacts being negotiated in secret, are treason. Patriot Act, NDAA indefinite attention, the killing of Americans, suspension of Habeas Corpus? Drones soon to fill the American skies? NSA into EVERYTHING. Sixteen, Sixteen "Intelligence" agencies! A Constitutional Lawyer President has overseen the construction of a total surveillance state. All that is required now, for totalitarian takeover of America, is a crisis. Congratulations. But then, most of consumer America seems content with it - except for all those guns the people have been buying. (I don't own one, so don't send the swat team in, please; just sayin'.) BTW, all those 40cal hollow points you Feds have been buying, all those executive orders to streamline the plans for martial law, I know you know a crisis is coming. Lame duck prez, it's well past time to be honest with the American people. Your legacy is in the balance; it doesn't look good for you at this point, all those banks bigger than they were, that asset bubble they've been building in the stock market, car loans, the rental housing market, that military/police state that is now such an integral part of the Economy...my recommendation is, nullify the Federal Reserve and start a new currency. But that is never going to happen, is it? Well, best of luck. Starting a war with Russia, over those neo-nazi's in the Ukraine, and the desires of the IMF and International financiers, by proxy to get into Syria and Iran. Best of luck, seriously. You are going to need it. That, or better yet, divine intervention. :) 
 

What would you like to see more of in White House email communications?
Honesty.

What would you like to see less of in White House email communications?
Propaganda.


What would you like to see more of on the White House website?
News about steering Law enforcement away from petty non-violent offenders particularly about cannabis, toward the masterminds of this economy, gov, total surveillance military industrial complex. The Decriminalization of cannabis. Degrowth. Decentralization. (Hey, a guy can dream ;)

What would you like to see less of on the White House website?
Propaganda, the same tired repetition of stale, ideological issues, divide and conquer.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? :
I already published this on my blog @ offthegridmpls.blogspot.com, and @ doomsteaddiner.org, where I am an administrator. So if the FBI, or the IRS, or any other of the like show up, it will get around. Best of luck, really, I am on your side. And I don't mean I'm a Democrat, nor a Republican; I'm an American. I love my country. I love the people of my country. Blessings. :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pandora

So I've been thinking about this Ukraine thing...


So here are the rumors: Ukraine is deeply in debt without any domestic energy resources in any volume to accommodate Ukraine consumption. The IMF "offers" a deal, here is cash for a pittance of what you owe, austerity for everybody but the oligarchs and secured bondholders, a free-for-all for Western monied elite in your breadbasket, find your own fuel. Russia sayz, 3x's the debt forgiveness, a third decrease in the price of natural gas. Neo-nazis ever eager to kill, hired to sabotage Russian/Ukraine deal, by EU/America/IMF. Like Al Qaida in Middle Eastern countries.

Mayhem. Petty Yanukovich ousted, free-for-all for monied western elite still possible.

Official story: Putin is anti-gay, anti-freedom, imperialist bad guy. America is the good guy, supporting the good Ukrainian's pursuit of Democracy.

Pardon me if I find clarity in rumor. It seems to me, Western monied interests are investing, to the bond subservience of my sister's kids, and their kids and beyond.  Everything and everybody on planet earth. Using guys like that and much worse, to keep everyone in line when "necessary"...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was at one of the houses I help manage, today (after a clothes dryer that started to smoke, in a different house, that I fixed - a bad wheel-guide and belt; holes in the walls at another house, a thermostat cover ripped off.) A door had been ripped off the medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinet is something of a euphemism, for the pharma stock hold, to manage the moods of the clients. Autistic people can be volatile; one of them broke the fake fingernail of one of the staff recently, with his teeth.

I replaced the hinges of the medicine cabinet, and the lock, changing the code to 1776. When I told staff what the new code was, and why, one asked me, are you patriotic? I told him I love my country. I said too, I didn't love what my country had become. I think now as I sit here in my house, high on cannabis and drunk on apple cider from apples I gathered and fermented, I love that I can sit here and type my thoughts for the world to read (erasing half of what I type.) I don't love that the whole of what I say and don't say, is recorded on some database somewhere. 

Fuck it. Three bottle(s) of cider and smoke until...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pandora keeps cutting me off, because I don't pay.  But never cuts me off fully, just because I don't pay.


I marvel, so much, at the technology. I want to keep all of it. What about this culture we have!? I want to throw my hands up into the air, and believe...

Then the commercial break. Because I don't pay. My reminder. The consumer cost.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There's a limit to what I can consume. Before I don't make sense.


























Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Plans and Vid

My friend Roamer stayed with me this past weekend. Roamer was my co-writer on the Sustaining Universal Needs (SUN) Prospectus. We spent the weekend talking spirit, and making plans for resilient infrastructure, i.e. taking this house off the grid. He translated my ideas into a 3D diagram of what this house would look like. We talked about closing the loop as much as we can, on a 3/16 acre lot like this, energy wise. Growing as much food as we can, generating as much energy as we can on-site without fossil fuels, photovoltaic or wind.  We are writing a business plan, to present to Kickstarter, with the intention to document every step of the way.

It was also the Doomstead Diner (where I am Admin) 2nd Anniversary party, Saturday night. So Roamer and I sat in my sunroom and chatted with RE, head Admin and founder of the Diner, and really, the first to articulate what would become the SUN. In the second video, you meet Surly1 and Haniel, also Admins @ the Diner. The video is somewhat crude, the tech is a bit sketchy (when is the tech not a little sketchy?), but it is human, just a few guys sittin' around (a few thousand miles from each other), and havin' a conversation about the issues of the day, gettin' drunk. 

Blessings,

WHD





Saturday, February 8, 2014

Seed Sorting Day




Salvaged last fall.

I've never had good seed starting conditions in this house. My starts are always small, leggy, compared to what is available. This year, I'm going to build a greenhouse outside these three windows. I'll access it by crawling through the window next to the bookshelf. I will have a door outside too, but I would rather not open it until planting time. I will circulate air through at night, and hopefully it will add heat to the house during sunny days. Add moisture to the interior of the house; it has been so cold, and the air so dry, my throat and sinuses are raw.  


These are some very happy plants.


This is a clementine. I bought it at the uber retail outlet where I worked, last June. It is three times the size it was when I bought it. All that new growth is from the last month. I'm going to buy a bunch of citrus trees this spring, sprout some avocados. Put them in big pots, keep them out on the sidewalk and driveway in the summer, haul them inside in the fall.


This is a Jasmine I bought at the grocery store. All those green shoots are growth from the last two weeks. Needs a bigger pot, like the clementine; and a bigger trellis.


Jasmine flowers, slowly opening.

 

This is my rosemary. See those two tall shoots out front? All new growth this winter.



Oh, and these.




I'll be building some sizable gardens at a few of the houses where I work. I have a plan to experiment with seed saving, while planting a mixture of heirloom and hybrid. Hopefully too, planting a bevy of fruit trees. I'm ordering about 12 more fruit and nut trees and shrubs, for this house. By this fall I might have 70+ fruit and nut trees, shrubs and vines, on this 3/16th acre lot.

The spring greenhouse will be temporary. I hope to expand it in the fall, and make it more permanent, extending it most of the full length of the south of the house, incorporating passive solar heating of water, and aquaculture. I want to try to grow pepper vines. I'm going to try to get off natural gas as much as possible in the next year. I would like to expand the house and garage, make them super efficient, self sustaining to an extent - but I'm going to need a little help with that.

So anyway, see, it's an exciting time. :) I am in love with this life. So don't suicide me, dudes ;) Plant fruit and nut trees, build gardens. Sing dance share. 






Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bizarro Weather

RE wrote an interesting piece on the Doomstead Diner, Springtime in Alaska, about the bizarro weather conditions globally. While they are seeing an unprecedented melt in Alaska, extreme drought in California, and 120F temps across Australia, 30 of the last 50 days in Minneapolis have seen temps below 0. It is often very cold, and very windy. Like today, sun shining, temps @ 21 dropping to -18, with winds like you see in the spring and fall; -20, they are saying again, for Monday. Might not see temps above 0 before Wednesday. I wonder about my fruit trees and grape vines.

There is a reason climate change denial is getting louder. 


video

Friday, January 24, 2014

?

How great is a blog hampered by the inability to upload video? WHD

Monday, January 20, 2014

Treason cum Revolution begat Coup



Article III, Section 3, of the US Constitution, suggests a limited definition of treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

Conventional thought would have it, this implies actual assist, of a clear enemy, such as giving him money, sustenance or protection, in a time of war, against the United States of America; or, directly as a citizen waging war with an enemy, against us. We think in terms of the young disillusioned kid who gives up his middle class life to go to East Africa, to fight for Islamic fundamentalists, al Qaida and associates. Or first generation immigrants sending money to their former home to fund terror groups. Or the guy who liberates documents pointing to gov malfeasance, that we might know what our government is up to in their myriad fronts in their war on just about everybody (they even describe a "war" on poverty). Never mind this Federal Government is suspected of financing and perhaps directly arming al Qaida and affiliates in Libya and Syria at least. Empowered by dubious claims after 9/11: the Patriot Act, NDAA/Indefinite Detention/Executive Discretion on Habeas Corpus, the proliferation of drones, NSA surveillance of every digital communication, militarization of the police, the enormous, bureaucratic Department of Homeland Security, two hideous wars and dozens of conflicts - one begins to wonder, who's side is who on? What is treason, exactly?


Concerning Citizens United, and the recent DC Appeals repudiation of an open Internet, one begins to ask, who is funding what, in the best interest of this US of A? Just about anyone on earth might invest in our corporations, can invest in any Fortune 500, including Defense contractors. GE has more foreign employees than American, pays next to nothing in Federal taxes. The Supreme Court designation of such entities as "persons" with most of the rights of a citizen, such "persons" international in their scope; that money is a form of "free speech"; so that 10's of billions of dollars of free speech from "persons" for whom their prima facie duty is fiduciary, to the shareholders whatever their nationality, greater than the obligation to any one Nation-State. Which after 13 years of exceedingly lucrative (for some "persons") war, fracking, asset bubbles, increasing global pollution, my free speech emails to my Congressional representatives are worth what, exactly? Sold to international corporations to track my consumer/political sentiments, probably.


But of course, that would make pretty much everyone who funds international corporations (and banks), a traitor by degree, if those who have given so much power to these "persons" international in their scope and inherently conflicted in their allegiance, are such. Making me something of a traitor for shopping at them (hard to survive economically if I don't). Which then, we wouldn't be a bunch of traitors, but a revolution. "Without a shot fired," said a fellow blogger, JeffZ, when I told him my theory. True, but then, there have been many shots fired in defense of corporate imperialism.


What comes next for democratic America, if corporations and banks make the rules? Based on policemen recently acquitted for beating a homeless man to death, paid vacations for beating people up, otherwise turned into para-military; affluenza as a legal justification for the wealthy to kill the comparably poor; total surveillance capabilities; the absolute domination of the MSM, in the making of the public discourse; everywhere de-regulation, writing laws for corporate/banking benefit (ALEC, TPP, TAFTA), filling gov institutions with corporate and banking revolutionaries, the revolution appears to be complete.

Which, given the civic ignorance of Americans generally, you get what you pay for. I'm not optimistic about any counter-revolution. What with most of those talking about the Constitution, waving it as they would a bible,     and the gun crowd among them as likely to deny climate change as they are peak oil; believing, to dismantle government would be a return to some happier time - yet as prey to corporations as any political body, and often fawning of the "job creator" oligarch; such a counter-revolution would look to be more fascist in it's scope than nurturing of freedom, and open. 

So it seems, democracy for the last 40 years at least, was something we said we wanted, but we got a revolution whether we wanted it or not, without objecting much, and it seems we have entered, or are coming out of, or proceeding through, some grotesquely proto-darwinian Time of the Caesars. Anyone ready for a Clinton/Bush Presidential battle?

What we have now is the pageantry of Democracy, without the substance. What do I hear people talking about in bars, public places? Money and sports, mostly. Bread and circuses.

 



So really, it's not a revolution or treason, but more like a coup, or hostile takeover. Which is what WWIII is going to be about, presumably, as WWI was about the deposing of monarchical empires, that this will be about the deposing of political nation-states in favor of direct corporate and banking rule. All important legal concerns funnelled through a tribunal in Brussels. That should be fun. Seriously, TPP and TAFTA might accomplish it, without the war. Orderly transition, to corporate and banking totalitarianism. The end of America as a free, sovereign state, unto it's dissolution. Republic cum imperial hegemon begat plutocratic corporatocracy.

Otherwise I'm hopeful that all fifty states de-criminalize cannabis, and a very different kind of eco-nomic thinking emerges. LOL.

WHD


 





























Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walk Off The Earth (Covers)

video


video

 (Did you hear that bell? My camera takes a max of 3:00m/vid, though I started it again and it recorded the rest)

video





Monday, January 13, 2014

Garage Greenhouse Journal 01132014



Twenty days, from Dec 6, 2013 - Jan 09, 2014, we had temperatures here in Minneapolis below 0F (12 all last winter). From the evening of Saturday, January 04, to the afternoon of Wednesday the 07th, it did not get above 0F, with temps as low as -23 on Tuesday, -20 the night before that. The temp was as low as -11 into the 09th, not exceeding 5F until Friday mid-day.

I did not open up the garage greenhouse; the racks were outside in the greenhouse, the whole of that early 2014 deep freeze.

I think the saving grace was, it was sunny most of that time.

No heat source but solar:


It's reads 36, 46 outside. Level one. A few left.



The jugs are frozen solid. 31, down here.



Level two.



Level three.



Level Four. Not much left on any level, but the spinach. But they're alive. :)




Garage Greenhouse Journal 12212013

Garage Greenhouse Journal 12012013