March 10, 2014
A tree was saved today.
A miracle might have occurred today. People who have worked in opposition for years were smiling and agreeing on something. Solutions were suggested and accepted. A tree was saved.
After years of e-mails, public meetings, and tense confrontations on the street, and a final sit-down meeting at City Hall, the city agreed to spare the lone tree on Cave Avenue that straddles the edge of the city right-of-way for a sidewalk. The sidewalk will bump out four inches into the street to maintain the four-foot width required in order to meet ADA standards.
What’s more, as the work began, the developer asked for his arch-nemesis, renowned arborist Olaf Ribeiro, to come out and consult on how to handle boles found at the base of the tree. They can be safely flattened, he said, using a diamond saw for a smooth cut. The one-hundred year old tree probably formed the boles in reaction to the street first being paved sometime in the 1970s.
Four inches of gravel now wind along a path between (more…)
January 24, 2014
I’ve been meaning to write a New Year’s entry! I guess I haven’t missed the lunar New Year, which is Friday, January 31. Each year Mochi Tsuki, held at Islandwood, an environmental education center, attracts more visitors. This year it was held on January 5.
Sweet rice was steamed over a hot fire (more…)
November 25, 2013
Empanadas made with Roxbury Russet apple filling.
The Farmers Market decamped for the season, taking down their white pavilions and moving from colorful vegetables and squash to more sensible potatoes and other root vegetables. A few farmers continue to sell in the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church community room, and even fewer brave open tents in the parking lot.
Now is the time to buy homemade preserves and dolls, wood products, and other goods that are made by hand. Now is the time to be thankful for our harvest and lower our sunlight expectations, the hardest thing for me. (more…)
August 29, 2013
Anita and friend at The Rock Farm, a community garden
In July, Phil and Anita Rockefeller invited me (okay, I begged) to see The Rock Farm, a portion of their property that has been turned into community gardens.
When I arrived Sunday at 10:30 am, Phil and Anita were hanging what looked like prayer flags along the eight-foot high deer fence. Up close, I could (more…)
July 10, 2013
The Bloedels saw nature as something too strong and rough to be experienced without the filter of a human sensibility
In the cool of a day predicted to get very hot, we walked through a gentle forest. Birds called and squirrels chittered at the small groups of visitors strolling carefully groomed paths.
The Bloedel Reserve was started in 1950 by Prentice Bloedel, son of timber baron Julius Harold Bloedel. Julius made a fortune harvesting (more…)
June 5, 2013
A Douglas Fir in my neighborhood.
It all started with a few trees, a very few trees, but some of the last in the heart of the city. Protesters tried to block demolition of the little park, only to be met with violence.
These are not tree-huggers in California, or other occupants of the “landof the free,” who might seem to have too much time on their hands. These are people who live in Turkey, (more…)
May 22, 2013
I first met Wendy Hinman at the Seattle7 Novel Live! Event, where a number of us wrote a group novel, The Hotel Angeline, as a fundraiser for literacy. We each got up and flailed away at an unfamiliar computer on a stage with a camera pointed at us. The result is still pulling in (more…)
May 1, 2013
You can climb a wire fence if you must.
These are things I learned in high school that might be handy in downtown Seattle, whether participating, or just passing through. In the past, we were able to stand in solidarity with undocumented workers who support our economy, but this has changed. On May 1, be dressed for anything.
1. Wear shoes you can run in, or climb a wire fence. (more…)
April 22, 2013
The philosophy behind a food forest is that of abundance, rather than scarcity.
Last week, I took a sunny day to walk land designated for a Food Forest on Bainbridge Island. What is a food forest? It is land on which edible plants will grow using the fewest artificial resources, while attracting and supporting insects, animals, and people to enhance its well-being.
I first heard of the idea from (more…)
April 3, 2013
The 38 foot Ocean
The power was out when I interviewed Paul Svornich, a third-generation fisherman on Bainbridge Island. By the light of a flashlight and a lantern, his wife Lorraine Svornich carefully pasted labels on cans of tuna caught by Paul from his sailboat 50 miles off the Oregon coast.
No one goes tuna fishing in a sailboat,except Paul Svornich.
From the early literature of the Americas to the late 20th Century
Essays on Family and Writing
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