Bare Bones Biology 328 – Los Alamos

Here we are finally able to relax with no people pounding by on the busy road or stirring up fumes of various kinds, but of course nothing is easy in life and getting here was a bit of an adventure.


First, the people I have encountered in Los Alamos are very nice – all of them. They even let Bitsy lick their faces, which is something I don’t, but they give the most confusing directions imaginable. We came over the bridge and through the entry guard because I already knew where that is. It did not occur to me they would want to search my little travel trailer, or I would probably have spiffied it up yesterday, but yesterday I was exhausted from listening to people who want the same things I want but are not prepared to do what it would take to get them. Just wishing – just fairy tales floating around the fuzzy edges when the facts are clear and simple and focused on target.
120805-Nukes-ASC_9392s copy
It makes as much sense to me now as it did 15 years ago when I began this trail of tears. The facts haven’t changed. Facts don’t change. That is why we call them facts. I wonder if these people believe God will change his mind about the facts? After all, if God created the Living Earth, then obviously these are God’s facts. We certainly didn’t make them. I don’t believe God will change His mind. Not after 11 billion years along this road. And all we can think to do is more of what caused the problem in the first place – with prayer.


Anyhow, they searched my trailer. I can’t imagine why they didn’t search the truck, which looks a lot more threatening to me, but also overwhelming and people were lining up behind us. “Do you have any weapons?”   I almost answered “bear spray” but in time remembered: NEVER JOKE WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SEARCHING YOUR TRAILER!.


So they let me through and I immediately got lost in Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is where we are not supposed to be, and why they searched us. But there are plenty of uniforms, including military, and they guided me on through.


Last time I was here I was photographing people being arrested, and the place was quite different. They have rerouted the whole thing, completely moved a road, and it appears there is a gate that is different. I don’t know if they added it last time, or took it away this time, or if it was part of rebuilding the road, but this one takes us to Bandalier.
120806-Nukes-ASC_9633s copy
And off we went, me and Bitsy, to Bandalier National Monument, where my senior pass gets me in FREE! And half off for overnight stay. Just think, I spent $40 a night in Santa Fe for the privilege of being sick from whatever it is they put in their septic system that permeates the air. Here they just tell me to keep my wheels on the pavement, which I very elegantly managed to do and squeezed us into a little space meant for a tent camper, with a built-in bear box for our dog food, and clean air again finally after a week away! And water but no electricity and my phone battery is dead, and there is just enough left in the computer to download the pictures and maybe play with them a little.


Bitsy and I were here before, in the tourism area they were very anti-dog, so I figured we couldn’t stay. In the camping area, however, the ranger gave Bitsy a pat and nothing was said. I had to learn how to use some kind of computerized machine that was not working properly, but for that I give up and scream for help and here we are. A whole day of relaxation before us, and tomorrow morning we will go back to the coffee place and plug in my computer, back to the center of the whirlpool of unnecessary stress that is caused, primarily, by our human denial of the overt nature of God’s reality that is “spread out before us but men do not see*,” will not see in our dominater social system.


This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of


A copy of the podcast is available at:




*This is supposed to be a quote of Jesus reported in the gospel of Thomas: “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread out before us but men do not see it.” The gospel of Thomas was removed from the New Testament about at the time the “dominator” social system took control over Christianity. It seems, according to some authors, that Chrisianity (or Jesus’ vision) was, before that, an attempt to restore the “partnership” style of social relationships. Those terms, dominator and partnership, reference Eisler, The Chalice and The Blade, available from Amazon. The reference to Gospel of Thomas is from Joseph Campbell, interviewed by Bill Moyers, in Campbell, Joseph and Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, DVD


-Eisler, Riane. 1987. The Chalice and the Blade. Harper Collins.



Bare Bones Biology 231 – Vote Against the Beast

141104-election-ASC_2609RLSss copy copy141104-Sky-ASC_2610RLSss copy copy

I arrived back home to the belly of the beast a couple of days ago. I talked with a lot of nice people who live here. Yesterday was election day. One of the things we talked about was that all the people here are nice people, but the “beast,” the culture we support, is insane. It’s important to define one’s words, especially when we are using words like insane, so we defined them. When you do things that are obviously suicidal – that is insane. The beast, of course, is the corposystem culture, of which nearly all humans now are a part.

There were two headlines in the local paper the day before we voted. One was a well written report on Climate Change. The other was about Australian Shepherd Dogs. Everyone I talked to read about the dogs first and maybe noticed the report that clearly describes the fact that our current climate change disaster is caused by human behaviors on earth.

I will point out that my expertise, my whole career, has been about biology – that is, the basic biological question of how Life functions to stay alive, that is different from technology and it is different from nature study. Real biological scientists have known for more than 200 years about the real facts of human impact on the Biosystem, including climate change.

If anyone tells you in this culture in this age that they are a biologist, they generally mean one of two things. The first is that they are a technologist trained to believe they can control the laws of nature. These laws are gravity, the laws of thermodynamics and the like. These, plus the laws of Biology, are the laws of nature that respond to human interference by changing the climate of the Biosystem. These laws DEFINE how the Biosystem functions and how it responds to change. They respond to human technologies – well, you have seen it, the laws of nature respond to human technologies by changing the climate. The laws of nature (think of gravity for example) they do not care what we believe.

The second group of people who think of themselves as biologists also often aren’t studying how Life functions to stay alive. They tend to “love” the Biosystem, but they also do not want to learn facts that contradict their beliefs about how the Biosystem functions to maintain its own Life. These people often believe – not so much that humans can control the Biosystem, but that the Biosystem is human and will react to our human belief systems the same way that other humans react. It won’t. Because the Biosystem is not human. It will do what it will do, and it does not care what we believe.

And then there is a smaller group of hard scientists – most of them seem to be physicists rather than biologists, according to the newspaper, but who can believe the newspaper. It is written by people who don’t even claim to understand biology. Anyhow, according to the newspaper, evidently most of the hard science about Climate Change is built around the debate over whether or not humans have caused Climate Change. Basic biology has known the answer for at least 200 years. Why are we arguing about it now?

One of the political people I talked with yesterday, who is not a biologist, is well aware the argument about whether or not we cause climate change is a bait and switch question that is meant to stop us talking about the real question, which is “What are we going to do about climate change that will not be suicidal?” (ref.)

People tend to wring their hands and moan when I say “DO SOMETHING,” so I’ll suggest, minimally, that we should require the “beast” to obey the law. If you are a real American, learn about what made America great. It was not more and better technologies. It was our innovative Rule of Law. If you, and I do mean you. If you don’t make it your responsibility to be sure that our rule of law works to protect the people, then the American experiment will have failed.

Remember that other statement — government by the people and for the people? By the people means everyone is responsible. It does not mean sit around moaning about what the other people are doing that is illegal, and it does not mean go to the polls once or twice a year. It does not mean change the laws to suit the corposystem. It means enforce the laws – international, national and local — that were already on the books to protect the Biosystem.

141019-sky_color-ASC_2458RLSs copyIn our lifetime, there never was any valid question that climate change is real and it is caused by overpopulation of humans, taking the food out of the mouths of the other species of organisms that MAKE the food energy and the soil, and recycle the air and water that we humans require to stay alive. The corposystem DOES NOT and CAN NOT make these things. The Biosystem makes them. The corposystem is destroying them.

The body of the living Biosystem consists of – it IS those other species that are being destroyed to make room for us. THEY make our climate, and when the climate changes enough — when we also run out of food — then we will follow them into extinction, and I mean now – some time early in this century. Real biologists have understood this problem for at least a couple of hundred years but we have nevertheless grown a suicidal corposystem. That is, indeed, insane.

The people I talked to yesterday seem to understand this reality. I don’t know what they are doing about it, but I have stopped voting FOR anyone, rather I voted against the corposystem – against overpopulation and every other sort of effort to dominate the Biosystem, because none of them will work, and because I care about your children and grandchildren and the horrors that will happen to most of them if we continue on this path.

The Biosystem is by far a bigger beast than the corposystem, and it does not care what we believe. It will simply spit us out.

Its methods will be starvation, disease and war, caused by Climate Change.


This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan Texas.

To obtain a podcast that contains the meat of this message, go to:


140922 – Diary – Climate March

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1781RLSs copySometimes I wonder. Actually most of the time I wonder why we-the-people try so hard to get someone else to take care of the problem that we haven’t tried to understand the cause of so we can take care of it ourselves. What is the point of begging our leaders to deal with climate change when we at the same time require our leaders to give us everything else that we want, and the other things we want always involve growth of the human “imprint” on the earth that unbalances the miracle of the Life that is our Earth.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1790RLSsThe Law of Life is not only the Law of Life on Earth – it is also the real bottom line of human existence. Life must stay in balance to stay alive. If it can’t stay the way we like it — it will change so that it can stay in a different balance. It does this by several mechanisms that are biological. By flowing energy through the living system; by recycling the materials of which it is made, and by interacting with the environmental conditions of now. To do this job of staying alive, the Living Earth changes in response to WHAT WE DO TO IT NOW.

Fracking, for example, is largely illegal, and we do have laws of humans that were meant to protect us from ourselves, and we could be out there enforcing them, in addition to marching. And teaching ourselves how the laws of nature REALLY do function to maintain Life. How they really do function, not the fairy stories about cornucopias or survival of the fittest.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1824RLSs copyAnd devising new ways to make laws for humans that will support the Law of Life.

Most of our leaders are a good bit more clueless than we are, so getting their attention may not help.

Oh, yes. That’s why we try so hard to get their attention.

Well, I would say the Climate March was a good try, and I wish it good luck.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1857RLSsMuch rather I would like to see the people actually learn to understand the reality of the miracle that is the Biosystem so we can participate in it with love and joy, rather than duking it out with our leaders AND WITH THE BIOSYSTEM, trying to force them both to give us whatever we want without regard to the consequences to the Biosystem and therefore to ourselves.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1860RLSsMuch rather I would like to see these marches also accessible to the poor people, many of whom may have no computers and no iThings and therefore don’t even hear about the march or can’t get there or are more worried about their own children than about ours. I wonder how many of the young people who participated in this march can even imagine such a thing as poor. The poor are after all in the trenches of the corposystem war against the Biosystem. Without them there would not be the success stories of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
that we try to emulate.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1858RLSsThere are more poor on earth today than ever in the history of human kind and the only way to reverse that trend is to ALL cooperate with, rather than WAGE WAR against the efforts of our living earth as she tries to keep all her living parts functional and balanced in the way that WE want them to be balanced. We do not care to learn about her real need for balance, what Life on Earth requires to stay alive — and then we complain to our leaders for not giving us what we want, which mostly is more of everything.

More is not balance.

And I was very, very tired.

And I cannot stay in motels any more because they are using more and more of cleaning products and pesticides and chemicals that kill you sense of smell so you don’t realize you are being poisoned, as you sleep, by the cleaning products and pesticides. So I started on home, but about by the time I got to Abiquiu I was too tired to drive, and so I stopped at the Abiquiu Inn.

140920-ABQInn-ASC_1668RLSsI have told you about the Abiquiu Inn before, and I will tell you again because it is an oasis in a sea of toxic motels. It is a) quite lovely, b) clean, but cleaned with non-toxic products, c) pet friendly, d) people friendly, e) not over priced, on the low end, for an occasional treat, f) environmentally friendly, as best they can, which of course is not perfect, but I love that all the big beautiful old trees are helping to clean the air. Imagine all the motels in this country how many trees they wiped out in favor of ugly concrete. How much more sickness among the people who stay in toxic motels, and especially the people who work in those places, many of whom do not speak English. How much water and pesticides and toxic air and toxic cleaning compounds they altogether produce and imagine how much less they could be producing. Especially the chain motels that dictate the conditions according to their bottom line and without regard to the natural Law of Balance.

140921-ABQInn-asc_1862RsWell, so I thought I would tell you that again, because I don’t suppose the Abiquiu Inn was at the march, but they are nevertheless contributing every day to a better way of doing what they do. Continue reading

Meditation – 140911

It has been quite a long time since I felt even that it was possible to meditate, but here I am in the middle of the most non-threatening environment imaginable, at least in the daytime when one can look all around and see nothing moving but a few bugs and the peaceful bobbing of this or that leaf or branch, and so some time ago I started meditating again on a small but daily scale.

Then I learned a couple of things about myself. Things I have been afraid of and didn’t know it.

At one time in my life, long long ago, I read a little quote in a church bulletin. (Then I lost it. If anyone knows this quote, please, I lived by if for years and would like to stick it up on my wall properly attributed.) Anyhow, the third point was to the effect if you want to lose your fears, you have to do the things of which you are afraid.

So I did.

I actually never did lose any of my fears, but I became accustomed to ignoring them and did many things (with the help of my friends, especially Margie, who understood the importance and didn’t baby my panic but instead helped me pack for the trips) that turned out to be highlights of my memories. Thank you Margie, for some of the highlights of my life.

So I spent much of my life being afraid until I actually got used to and for the most part ignored the feeling. I didn’t know there were still hidden pockets hiding inside. No I won’t tell you, it’s personal.

What I do want to tell you is – I meditated myself into a frenzy. I finally realized the frenzy was just the same-old, same-old. One more thing to be afraid of, and it’s a LOT better to know it’s there than to go around not doing important things for fear of activating it. And then meditation became almost pleasant, probably until the next time, but for now, every morning with the sun at my back, just for short periods of time, it’s very nice.

In the past, if I meditate with dedication for about half an hour, I have learned to expect the “sign.” Someone told me it was a sign. I don’t know of what. When I see a star with concentric circles of purple and gold converging upon it. I like it, but lately I don’t meditate for half an hour, so I did not expect to see the sign again.

140912-lizard-asc_1302RSsWell, yesterday I did. It was very nice and peaceful, and the first time ever that I have been meditating and didn’t want to stop. But – you are supposed to set your time and stick with it, stopping neither too soon nor too late, so I stopped on time, surfacing reluctantly, and opened my eyes to see our lady lizard sitting on a rock next to my foot. When I moved, instead of dashing off, she cocked her head and looked back up at me, and there we both sat for another ten minutes or so.

No I didn’t have a camera with me at the time, but isn’t she beautiful?

How do you suppose those stripes and spots know where they are supposed to be?

Hello Lady Lizard ☺

(You should see her babies, they are adorable.)


Predator insect eats grasshopper
Predator reptile tries to decide if I am too big for him.

1408113-canyon_gardenASC_0796RLSss copy

140816-Lizard-ASC_0879Sss copy

Down in the riverbottom where I was walking along until I sensed something that smelled very much like a predator mammal, or perhaps that angry elk, My various senses have been much improved in this lovely fine clear air, including my sense of smell. I realized this morning when I couldn’t find Bitsy in the house, that she must be near. At the moment she smells of skunk. And then this predator elk downin the riverbed that never has water but does make a nice path right next to my house. I went in the house.

Healthy Garden – 02

140726-garden-ASC_0501RLSss copyTime for Weeding and Thinning

Wow. I treked over to our organic garden expecting some casual sort of growth of the corn, beans and squash that we planted, and was pleasantly surprised to see they have leaped up from the “organic and natural“ soil in which they were planted. They did not do that in my garden. It must be the soil, because water and climate were similar. Dirt is one of those things that that wouldn’t exist without the Biosystem from which it comes, so it seems a bit odd to talk about people making it. There’s an excellent video of that title (DIRT) you would enjoy watching if you have a chance.

140726b-garden-ASC_0503RLSss copyAnyhow, we definitely can CHANGE dirt, and it’s past time to begin preparing some good healthy soil for next year so we don’t need to buy it. And to do that we need to have some idea of what is healthy dirt and what is not. And then do the work. There is a patch of really ugly dirt near the library, and there is also a patch in my back yard that I worked a bit last year, digging in some manure and turning over the plants that were growing there. This was not a success; in fact it was my first garden of the year, a spectacular failure that produced one carrot, a couple of beets, two bean plants and two broccoli plants. Not a healthy garden and nothing at all like the beautifully
healthy flowers and vegetables _______ ..

Well, it’s not the water and it’s not the location. I guess the soil we purchased must have made a very big difference in the health of the plants that are growing in it. So then, if healthy soil makes healthy plants, probably it would be a good idea to understand what is healthy soil. Would it be good to make some rather than buy it?

Healthy Living

140418-flowers-ASC_0254Rs copyThe three of us decided to make a healthy garden. Healthy for us, because we plan to eat the food and smell the flowers. And healthy for the community because – we realized right away — we can’t make a good healthy garden without the help of our community, at least not the first year, because there are some things we must buy. We also want to contribute to the cycle of community health.

And healthy for the Biosystem because we will grow our garden inside the Biosystem. There is no other place to grow it. We need good air, good water and organic energy to make the garden grow. And the Biosystem makes the air, the water, and the organic energy.

organic-ASC_0256RSsThis year, we began late. We bought stuff and trusted it to be healthy because it was labeled “organic” or “heritage” or non-GMO. We got potting soil that contains no poisons. No herbicides (plant poisons), no pesticides (bug poisons). Then we bought non-GMO heritage seeds (or plants) whose ancestors survived in the high desert country for hundreds of years. And finally, we planted them together in combinations that humans have used for thousands of years because the plants help each other to grow.

Mostly. For this year we chose seeds that grow to maturity in two months, even if they weren’t heritage seeds¬¬.

organic-ASC_0257-RSsThen we stuck the seeds in the soil and added water. They popped up in about a week, and now we can watch them grow while we prepare to make an even more healthy garden
next year.

140418-flowers-ASC_0260RLSs copyFirst question – what is healthy?
And Why?

© 2014, FactFictionFancy

In the Garden of Life

My yard is a garden of Life. At various times, rattlesnakes, our resident garter snake, a King snake, the Rock Wren, the thistles, grasses, a plant that I don’t know the name of that next year will have a spear covered with seeds they sell at the Farmer’s Market as medicinal herbs, the lizards, a rabbit, a rock squirrel, lots of moths and butterflies, ants, bees, hornets, me, my dog, my solar oven and my solar electricity panels, and the climate. And more and more. Most of these things would be very healthy without human interference in their cycles of Life. Looks like our snake is in process of shedding. She has been basking all day, which is not her usual pattern, and her eye is glazed over.

140715-snake-ASC_0206RLSssThis morning the climate is based on a thin veil of filmy clouds between us and the source of energy to drive all of this Life. My camera and my nose are buried in the purple thistle blossoms, which in the early morning is one of the sweetest perfumes made by man or nature (and not chemically harmful).

My question for this morning is: “How many Life cycles depend upon and/or benefit by this wonderful thistle?” Or maybe it’s not such a good question, as clearly I will never be able to learn the answer. And of course the thistle is only a small part of my garden of Life.

140712-plants-asc_9911SssFirst the thistle benefits itself by making seeds that can float out over the earth, plant themselves, and bring their legacy into the future of Life. It also benefits from all these various insects that feed on its nectar and pollinate its eggs so they can grow into those seeds on a time frame that cycles according to the genetic programming of the plant interacting with the climate and weather of the ecosystem.

140714-bugs-ASC_0171RLSssBut then – looking closer – there is a garden growing on the stem of the thistle, nurtured by a tribe of ants. A garden of aphids that live on the “climate” of the thistle stems, drawing food energy from the plant and producing a sweet substance savored by the ants and also a great many other insects, including the fly shown here holding a glob of the sweet stuff. Check it out, the ants nurture the aphids, rather like we nurture cows for their milk. And the aphids feed a multitude.

So my thistle is growing in the garden, and on the thistle is another garden of aphids that is nurtured by the ants. And inside the aphids?

140714-bugs-ASC_0152RLSssYes indeed, gardens of micro-organisms are nurtured by the climate that the aphid body provides for their needs, providing the biochemical cycles that produce the sweets. It’s rather like we are growing inside the Biosystem. And the whole shebang is only a tiny part of the biological system that is supported by the climate. And all this together produces the sweet substance of Life. Without which there is no us.

That’s how nature stays alive, with gardens of life within other gardens of life, and that is how we must learn to think if we want to survive as part of Life on earth.

Meanwhile, Somewhere Near the Continental Divide

Just now I looked up from my typing to see the wild turkey family jerk-step across my yard, halfway up the hill. The mother leading, followed by a new brood of young on wobbly stilt-legs, and a couple of dispensible males behind. My camera was in the car and of course they were gone by the time I had it in hand.

A few days ago, before my recent overnight trip to Santa Fe, I looked out the side window to see a breath-takingly beautiful snake cross the yard and disappear into the wild oats beyond. Sharp, clear concentric colorful stripes. Not a rattlesnake, obviously, but I rushed out into the yard nevertheless to get a good look at its tail, and to make sure the stripes were not red, white and black – so it was gone before I could get a picture. Fast. Big. I think it was a King Snake. Maybe. It’s amazing how many and various are the snakes. I have two inadequate snake books and it seems that all the species have multi-various color phases and patterns. Actually our one resident snake (one that I know of, living under the morning porch of the cabin where there was a rattlesnake last year), we have coffee every morning while it appears with the sunrise and moves on to its daily chores under the cabin, even that one snake – I think it’s one snake – seems to be of different color and pattern under different conditions. I think it’s a garter snake maybe.

Bitsy barks at rattlesnakes, and backs them into corners. These snakes don’t back up like a rattlesnake. They run. So far this year we only have killed one rattlesnake in the yard. Last year we had to do away with six, one of which was heartbreakingly lovely. Like the pink rattlesnakes in Tony Hillerman’s novels.

Anyhow, we are trying to encourage the non-venomous snakes to stick around and eat the mice and rats. Better to have a colony of garter snakes than the alternative residents. And we do have a few remaining Peromyscus (which may or may not carry Hanta virus and/or plague). I hope no more pack rats. I’m trying to concrete up the major entries from outside the cabin, now that I’ve discouraged those that lived inside, and hoping to ease out those in the outbuildings while preferably demolishing the Assasin Bugs that live in those nests. That may or may not carry Chagas disease.

No pictures. All the best pictures get away, either because they happen too fast or because I am too busy thinking self-defense. Except for the mountains that stand forever – at least in human time.140630-canyon-asc_9799RLSss

Meantime, Somewhere Above 7000 Feet

An average day consolidated from an average week if there is such a thing.

We have moved into the faithful travel trailer for sleeping, because it is devoid of toxic man-made substances and mostly lacking normal environmental challenges. In the cabin, we were attacked by assassin bugs. This can be serious. So now we park at least 300 feet (or is it yards, as far away as we could get without being sideways on a hill like one of Dr. Doolittles creatures.) It is very pleasant. We can watch the sun go down in the warmth of its own lifegiving light, cooled by a nice breeze consisting entirely of clean air that is God’s gift to the commons. Or it was until we the people decided we should use it to dispose of our toxic trash.

140608-Canyon-ASC_9321RLSss copyAnyhow, all that aside, we wake up whenever it’s time. Time seems to be sunrise, except that our personal sunrise is about two hours later when it finally tops out over the highest cliff in our area. The one in all the pictures. But, Bitsy and I both know when it’s time to get up, though we don’t know why or how, and so we do. Usually, until this week, it is frosty, so we have plenty of warm clothes ready to jump into, except Bitsy, who has lost both of the sweaters I bought for her.

We are parked right next to the road, but as there are only two people living beyond, we usually see no one. Last evening Bitsy invited Denver to stop, and he came down to carry the old stove out of my way at the cabin, and then drove on another half mile or so to his place.

Today we jumped in the car and drove back down to the cabin, which is still warm from yesterday, opened up the opposing doors to clear out yesterday’s air, fed Bitsy, reset the solar panels and the solar oven, shut the gate to keep Bitsy in until the sun comes over our peak, and sat down to desk for a couple hours of work.

Bitsy, all excited again, I thought Denver must be leaving because she was giving a full-on happy human wiggle, but it turned out to be a mother elk and new baby, walking across our front yard where the water used to be (I guess I need to get a new tub, this one seems to have sprung a leak over winter) and then up the road to the gate. I know this not because I saw them but because I put on Bitsy’s harness and lead and followed her up where there were tracks in the dust of the road, and then down to the gate.

140613-lilacs-ASC_9380Rss copyI had shut the gate, because of the cows that I told you about previously, and of course not thinking that a baby elk would not be able to get over it. The tracks showed that they turned back at this point, so I opened the gate and see if that helps. They only need to go a quarter mile southeast or northwest, where the fence ends, so I’m not worried about them. Except for no water, they are safer on my place, but of course the mother needs water. By this time, the sun was creeping down the hill past the trailer toward the cabin, and so I turned Bitsy loose and, still with my red coat and pink stocking cap, I went to sit on a rock, checking carefully for rattlesnakes, just where the front edge of sunlight struck the side of our hill, and watched these pretty little flowers bobbing in the breeze. There is almost always a breeze morning and evening as the canyon opens its pores to breath.

On this particular morning, a low-flying private plane, not an oil company plane, it was noisy and had square wingtips, accompanied the sun, rising over the top of the cliff and flying very low to it. “What is this?” I said to myself, shading my eyes to watch it circle overhead, and it did circle when it saw me, right around my position and back again over the rim of the canyon and disappeared from sight and sound.

“What on earth? How long since I have been on line? Are my friends worried about me again?” Then I remembered balmy clear evenings on my front porch in Bryan, listening to planes flying overhead without lights. But those planes were even more quiet than the oil company ones. And it was actually the next day that the elk went by with her child and then I finally put two and two together. Hunters. Out of season, out of sight, except for me. I have perhaps become guardian to my mother elk. Better replace that water trough.

And I got up and started shedding garments and set up the solar panels facing the sun and put some water in the solar oven to heat up for coffee, and generally began the morning chores, hauling water, watering our wimpy garden, washing things, following Bitsy around to locate the latest mouse/rat access into the house, and blocking it off before sitting down to the computer again to finish the podcast.

Later in the day, Bitsy cornered a rattlesnake in the back yard and stood guarding it while she barked her special rattlesnake bark, for me to come and deal, which I did, (no I did not throw it into the stew that was brewing in the solar oven, but of course I should have) and then back to the computer again, recycle the chores, and off up the hill to bed.

And there is the occasional trip for food, drinking water was $1.15 per gallon refill this morning. Egad. Yesterday we went up to Pagosa Springs to Abraham Solar, because now that I have internet access I have not enough energy to use it (they told me that modem uses 4 watts, but it seems to be more like 40, which is about twice what I could use and still store some energy for later) and this morning I went over to the Jicarilla reservation Laundromat because I have been for two weeks ace’d out of my regular Tuesday laundry facilities by a bunch of tourists. Smog, too, all around, but the canyon continues reasonably comfortable, and so that is where I will plan to be most of the time. I am having a rather impressive lesson in microclimates.

The Annex is for sale: Perfect for two horses and big enough for a family – fenced in 2 x 4 woven wire.