Finally, back on the hill.

We’ve been spending a lot of time in New York, visiting the kids and sampling the delights of the season. But I was chomping at the bit to come up to the cabin.

There was snow on the ground from the last storm, and the mountains in the distance were covered in white. I spent the day burning some piles of wreckage from when the tree guys were out cutting down all those big cedars. There is still a lot more to pick up, pile up, and burn down.

carlyAs I climbed wearily up the road at dusk, I made two discoveries.

The pleasant of the two was that the solar powered hanging plastic bird thing my youngest daughter gave me for christmas was lit up and changing colors.

Awesome!

Best present ever!

The less pleasant was when I was looking out over the neighborhood next door and suddenly said to myself: hey, what happened to the six big tall cedars at the base of the hill next to the road and PG&E lines?

This morning, I made a tour of the property line down there and saw 10 or 12 tress cut down through the tender mercies of PG&E.They were close enough to the power lines down there that it was a fair call by PG&E and there is thankfulness they paid for the tree person to come in and drop them and chop them.

Those were big trees, and now they are all splayed out broken on the ground.

Wow, what a lot of work it’s going to be to cut them into pieces and chip them or burn them or something.

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A New Year Up On The Hill

Brother Nick is out of school for the Xmas break, so we’ve been cutting and burning brush. It’s been a sublimely beautiful week up here at the Art Farm.

Lotta bear scat, now that I’m looking for it. The signs: Big, berries, and fur.

scat1

scat3

The foot is there for scale, but one can’t escape the fact that the scale is ultimately that of the size of the body opening which extruded this 3D object upon the ground a few days ago, which is roughly 1/3 a size 11 boot. The berries in the objects to the 12 o’clock position to the hairy bits to the 6 o’clock position of the defecation configuration are those of the manzanita bush,  of the genus Arctosstaphylos, which appears to be Latin for “comes out of your butt undigested and whole if you are a bear”.

Brother Nick is of the Gold Country. He, and Brother Steve, have spent the last couple decades exploring the old Tertiary stream and river beds for placer gold and hiked up hillsides following the “color” to The Source. We are of a prospecting gene pool and upbringing. So naturally, on a “rest day” in which we are not cutting or burning brush up here on the 75 acres, we go tromping over hill and dale scanning ground, rock, pool, tree, bush and did I mention rock, working to understand the basic geologic, biologic, meteorologic and whatever-else-logic to understand the lay of the land and air and water.

The Farm is sort of barely at the Southern tip of the Mother Lode, and there are placer deposits nearby as well as deep ore mines. There’s a strip of white quartz flecks, rocks and large-ish chunks across a section of the property, and I delight in stumbling across big ones in walkabouts.

So today was not all bear and deer and coyote scat, there were a couple nice chunks of quartz coughed up by the workings of the freezing winter ground recently.

quartz

In conclusion, a nice quiet week of back breaking labor and sampling the wonders of our beautiful jewel of a planet.

May our 2017 shine brighter and farther.