Posts Tagged ‘nature’

fall colors

We drove up Boreas Pass with Seth & Holly yes­ter­day to look at the awe­some fall col­ors. I think we were about a week too late for the peak of aspen sea­son but they were pretty great any­ways. I love the smell (eau de rot­ting leaves)…

Also, I edited these pho­tos while lis­ten­ing to “Songs in the Key of Life” on the record player which is prob­a­bly why they look so warm & happy.

view to breck ombre walking way leaves close up looking light boreas pass bright mountains us

Posted: September 23rd, 2012
Categories: adventures
Tags: , , , ,
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i walked 4 miles to the library and there was a lot to look at


When John and I were in the woods this week, we spent some time talk­ing about why we like backpacking.

I said that I like the aspect of immers­ing myself in nature and break­ing away from the pat­terns of nor­mal life. You get to spend some time with your­self, and each other (because J is my awe­sometrusty­back­pack­ing­part­ner) at a pace that is defined by when the sun sets and rises, and how long it takes to get from one stream to the next. It is really cool to be immersed in a great con­ver­sa­tion about math/science/education/philosophy/pine bee­tles and then all of a sud­den you have to go up a big hill so you hike in silence for the next hour, just exist­ing in the rhythms of your foot­falls and absorb­ing the land­scape around you. Or maybe it rains (pours) and you are cold so you stay cozy in the tent and fall asleep right at dusk, and that feels really rather nat­ural. Or you wake up early and watch the moun­tain goats play­ing on the rocks above the alpine lake (that you swam in yes­ter­day in an act of brav­ery). You just sit, and observe, and laugh when the fish jump so high out of the water that they catch air.

I also admit that I quite like the sur­vival aspect of being out in the wilder­ness for mul­ti­ple days at a time. Every­thing we need is on our backs, and in an effort to keep those packs light, we pare down to just the neces­si­ties. It turns out that human beings do just fine with some food, clean water (kata­dyne + water­falls FTW), a method of keep­ing dry/warm, a way to boil water, and very lit­tle else except clean under­wear (a def­i­nite neces­sity in my book), and the lat­est addi­tion to our gear, a bear vault (which only kind of eased my total bear pho­bia but it was help­ful to keep orga­nized and made for a nice chair).

For John, the answer was more sim­ple. It’s about the hik­ing. Putting one foot in front of the other and let­ting them take you to super spe­cial places you wouldn’t oth­er­wise get to expe­ri­ence. He’s totally right, of course. Hik­ing is both the rea­son, and the method, and the excuse for get­ting to expe­ri­ence all of this:

Posted: August 17th, 2010
Categories: things i like
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Daringly Stupid Spring Compost Kickstart Method #7

Note: tight fit­ting lid with car­bon fil­ters rec­om­mended for steps 1–3

  1. At the height of cit­rus sea­son in mid-January, grow lazy and “for­get” to take out com­post pail for three weeks (“it’s cold!”).
  2. Dis­cover fright­en­ing black wiry mold grow­ing over grape­fruit remains, and quickly close lid of pail. Call off com­post­ing of veg­gie scraps until spring.
  3. Leave pail on counter until late March.
  4. Decide that you should not leave the pail on the counter while you go on a spring break trip to sunny Florida, just in case the con­tents of the pail decide to make a break for it while you are gone.
  5. Set the pail on the back porch for the last few snowy weeks of the year until mid-April and the start of gar­den­ing season.
  6. Grow dis­il­lu­sioned with try­ing to pull up the Lambs Ear that you planted two sum­mers ago, despite the warn­ings from Grandma Alice (“it’s like a weed! it spreads!”).
  7. Mean­der over to the com­post pail and lift the lid.
  8. Become intrigued by the foamy, mush­room­ing sub­stance inside the pail.
  9. Decide to pour the con­tents of the pail into your black com­post bin, which is full to the top of brown, dry gar­den waste from last fall.
  10. Mar­vel at the way you can still iden­tify a few car­rot tops and an onion skin at the bot­tom of a pile of sludge.
  11. Cringe at the smell waft­ing up from the anaer­o­bic pile of toxic slime.
  12. Decide to use the com­post aer­a­tor to “mix in” the slime and encour­age break­down of exist­ing brown matter.
  13. Remem­ber that your com­post bin is pre­car­i­ously bound together with zip ties, and poke the mass of dis­gust­ing­ness gently.
  14. Pull out the hose and apply water to both the bin and the pail, the lat­ter of which clearly needs to be left out in the sun to “air out”.
  15. Stir a bit more vig­or­ously, until you real­ize that flecks of vom­i­tous wretched goo have landed on your left arm.
  16. Run away quickly as an angry wasp tries to find out why you have poi­soned his home with putrid cit­rus matter.
  17. Return bro­ken lid to bin, and secure in place with heavy rock.
  18. Debate with John about whether to call the envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion agency.
  19. Shower (extra soap required).
  20. Wait for your com­post to turn into a lovely, rich pile of organic goodness!
Posted: April 18th, 2010
Categories: Daily
Tags: , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.