I’ve felt the urge to blog again, but it hasn’t been strong enough to pull me away from the farm work at our home here on Hawaii island. So much to do here, and we are in the middle of Macadamia nut harvest season and with four acres of trees to take care of, and keeping up with the maintenance and repairs around here, I seem to have little time. All that and keeping up with my job at Automattic (WordPress.com).
We did get out for a trip today to Waipio Valley today. The weather was misty and overcast, but that only seems to add to the beauty of this place. The road down into the valley is very steep and only four wheel drive vehicles are allow to make the trip. Glad I have one. Here are a few shots from our trip, and a couple thrown in as a bonus from our home in Holualoa on the west side of the island, south of Kailua-Kona. Life is really, really good.
Photograph by Vadim Kurland
I’ve been getting patient, but persistent messages that I need to go up and spend some time at Mauna Kea. Something to the effect, “you need to come up and see me.” To the Hawaiian’s, all the peaks on Hawai’i island are sacred, but Mauna Kea is the most sacred. I feel quite honored that she want me to come up and see her.
I got an email from a friend who will be here on the island and invited me to go… guess where? Mauna Kea. The spirits are very resourceful. My friend needed someone to accompany her, and the mountain wanted to see me. So, this weekend, we will be spending time up there with the giant. I’ll take my pocket digital camera and take some shots while there and post again soon about the trip.
I’ve been putting a trip up there off trying to get some web designs out the door, and I also need to make a trip back to Wyoming to finish “editing” that chapter of my life within the next month. I guess Mauna Kea has different plans, and I just got the memo.
I had planned on getting a “meatier” post up this week, but I’ve been busy with other stuff. I hope to have something more substantive up in a few days.
How many of you have ever seen coffee “on the hoof?” This image is from right outside the house I’m living in on a sustainable, organic coffee farm. The owners are quite happy since the trees are heavy with coffee cherries this year. At the elevation, and in the area I’m living, June and July are the wet months, and although the first few months I was living here were very, very dry, June and July have turned out quite wet—at least wet as far as this ex-Wyoming boy is concerned. We’ve been getting at least an inch or two of rain each week, and this last couple weeks has seen an inch or more each day. I’ve got yard work to do (weeding and such) but haven’t been able to get out to do it. I might just have to put on my board shorts, a tee shirt and flip-flops and do it in the rain.
The first couple months here, the front area of the house was virtually just bare ground except for a few tropical plants that were somehow managing to survive the drought. Where as before I could look up the hill in front of the house and see the car parked up there, now all I can see is lush tropical plants (and of course the inevitable weeds). Weeds are good though. This island is a rock and dirt and topsoil are scarce actually on most of the island, so you have to create your own soil, and those weeds, which can grow 4 or 6 inches in just a couple days, become soil once composted. The soils here are quite loose, so pulling most weeds is very easy. There is probably a couple days work to be done in trimming stuff and pulling weeds, but the weather report for the next several days or so calls for at least 30% chance of rain, and here in this area and at this elevation, 30% is more like 100% this time of year.
I still have to pinch myself every so often to make sure that living here isn’t a dream. I’m thankful for every day, and each morning and evening, I express my gratitude to the spirits of this incredibe island.
I just checked over at the NASA Earth Observatory web site, and they have a new image up for today showing the massive amount of oil that is collecting around the Mississippi barrier islands. All the silver-ish swirls you see on the water is oil from the spill. I’ve downsized it from its original size. You can, if you want, visit this page at NASA to see or download the original full-sized image.
I’ll let the image speak for itself.
I don’t post the following to make people feel sad. I post it because there are those out there that need to wake up and really see one of the many tragic consequences of our petroleum-fueled lifestyles, and what it is doing to the world we live in and depend on for our very existence. [Cropped satellite image from NASA Earth Observatory, image of the day.]
This tragedy is the direct result our our addiction to oil, pure and simple. BP was simply the instrument we used to produce it. The Ixtoc spill in the waters off Mexico in 1979 should have been a wake up call. The Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska should have been a wake up call. All the oil spills around the world should have been wake up calls. Sadly though we have gotten too good at ignoring and forgetting. That has to change.
Change is going to come from each of us, as individuals, making conscious choices to reduce our dependence on oil and our impact on mother earth. Real change always happens from the level of the individual and then moves up though higher and higher levels of society as a whole. If you are looking for real change to come from the top down be prepared for a very long wait. True change though cannot happen until we each realize who we really are, and that we are not only all connected to one another, but to all life everywhere; the whole continuum from the smallest one-celled organisms to the Source of all life itself.
The Christian Science Monitor ran a story today titled “Gulf oil spill’s wildlife toll: sharks near shore, turtles incinerated” that I humbly suggest you read. The Christian Science Monitor I find to be a news organization with integrity and a good source of truly “fair and balanced” reporting (unlike the news organization that touts being “fair and balanced”). At the end of that story is a link to a slideshow called “Sticky mess: The Gulf oil spill’s impact on nature” that I again suggest you view. Then spend a little time thinking about what you can do personally to reduce your burden on this wonderful world. If enough people choose to make even small changes, the combined impact of those small changes can be dramatic.
One such change we can all make (and Obama, unfortunately, got a lot of flack for this during his campaign for President) is to check our tire pressure regularly and keep our tires properly inflated. According to the US Department of Energy, underinflated tires cost the US 1.25 billion gallons of gas per year; about 1 percent of our total gas consumption. One bonus to keeping our tires properly inflated is our tires will last longer. Another is that we reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere. There is no downside.