Youngblood Blog

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What the World Needs Now…is Love—and Water

The TURN OF THE SCREW
Changing Times call for Change of Tack

Diana Ross in her heyday—’sixties queen of rock and soul

Diana Ross, Jackie deShannon and others sang—

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.
Hal David and Burt Bacharach, 1965

Only fifty years later, we could change the word ‘love’ to ‘water’ and be closer to what this speeded-up world has become—July 2017 hotter than July 2016, which went down in the record books. Water in some places more precious than gold.

Essayist and Kentucky farmer, Wendell Berry [Another Turn of the Crank, 1995] is convinced that organic/sustainable farming in the developed nations ended with the end of World War II. He maintains carefully-managed farming and forestry—as currently practised by the Menominee tribe, can still save agriculture and world food crises.

Another Diana, Princess of Wales—in iconic dress—stunning a nation then & now 20 years ago today since she died

1. FORESTS
Sustainable forestry—as Berry suggests—currently seems a contradiction in terms. Lumber companies like Green Diamond who own 393,105 acres of redwood and Douglas fir forest in Northern California view small local donations as a way of avoiding huge public outcry in their continuing unsustainable forestry practices in Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties. They have been donating ‘donor rock’ monuments, courtesy benches, in Saunders’ community park within their tree-felling domain—Trinidad, CA—a small town park overlooked by a fifteen-acre scar on the hill behind, where Strawberry Rock forest has been hacked into hatchet-shape profile by past, poorly conceived clear-felling operations. Local opinion strongly encourages them and their subsidiary logging companies—including California Redwood Co.—to give back to the community—without strings—the Strawberry Rock ‘trail’ which was a logging road through their near-400,000 acres of Northern Humboldt forest. Local Yurok and Tsurai tribal communities who formerly occupied some of the parcels, urge them to GIVE BACK THE LAND.

2. FISH
Klamath River Festival of 2017 imported/purchased salmon from Alaska, after removing it from the menu altogether last year. Concern over hatchlings is supreme with many of local tribespeople actively introducing protective measures.

Hatcheries on nearly all western rivers are in crisis: either banned (legislation) or unmanned (poor management)—a zero percent return at Oroville has stunned the Central Valley; Jefferson county/Del Norte tribes are now actively managing their own fish.

Mendocino water towers from frontier times could return to former use

3. WATER
Not just California’s Central Valley—whose water supply is still funneled south to the Greater Los Angeles basin—but, in common with many less affluent countries in the world, water is becoming more precious than food.

The world is getting thirsty.

Waste water in many cities is still flushed down the drain instead of being collected as rain and storm water in reservoirs—as was the norm until late 1960s—see Mendocino town water towers, still standing though not in use, right.

Time to conserve ‘Waste’ WATER, not flush it into an already-polluted ocean.
Even the smallest reservoir could prove invaluable in ever-present occurrence of forest fire.

4. POPULATION – 7 BILLION & counting
‘Sixties belief in having no children or only allowing oneself one child is now a past pipe-dream. While there are baby-boomers of the ‘Sixties who resolved not to add to the population, their group [and laudable ideal] are far outnumbered by mindless generations since who have no concept of self-control in the genetic department—not a popular subject. It is not p.c. to say no more babies, but we are sensing a call for Moderation/BALANCE in all things—including procreation.

Larsen-C Iceshelf finally broke off from Antarctic peninsula, July 2017—sea-level rise expected

5.CLIMATE
California government initiatives are already in place for the State to act on its own to steer a corrected course through a mire of climate and emissions’ blunders, to lead Washington in showing the way to conserve resources while reducing impact on climate change. Governor Brown’s administration is prepared to go it alone without federal intervention. California is also already ahead in preparedness for natural disasters, fire, earthquake, flood, tsunami warning system and the anticipated sea level rise —c.f. Larsen C shelf break-off 2017, left, during Antarctic ‘winter’. Meltwater is expected to affect the South Pacific in particular, but islands in north Pacific are already seeing the rise.

Remembering Diana, Princess of Wales
While this blog edition is a poor commemoration of that beautiful creature who was Diana, Princess of Wales, I like to think she would have supported all the above points of crisis affecting her/our beloved planet. From that perspective, I believe she is looking down today on us Insecure Writers and at what the world has become. She affected the lives of those who knew her. I believe her charismatic and generous approach may serve as an example to us all, as we face the autumn of 2017 in a changed and changing world.
©2017 Marian Youngblood
p.s. Forgive me Alex and IWSGers for my five-month absence and ‘early’ return 😉

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August 30, 2017 Posted by | authors, blogging, culture, earth changes, energy, environment, history, New Earth, ocean, publishing, seasonal, traditions, trees, weather, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strawberry Moon: Think Pink to Tide us Over Trying Times

MONTHLY INSECURE WRITERS’ CORNER

Tectonic shifting June 2015: Pacific Ring of Fire sets off alarm bells around the globe

Tectonic shifting June 2015: Pacific Ring of Fire sets off alarm bells around the globe

On most cultural issues, Californians lead the pack. Except, that is, in their heedless determination to withstand Earth tremors of any scale. They are getting what they wished for now—High tides to satisfy the most intense surfers—literally waves to die for.

Full Moon High Tides Reflect Earth Extremes
World attention has been understandably focused on volcanic mayhem in the Himalayan chain—larger than 7.8magnitude Richter quakes, with repeated aftershocks, causing tragic loss of life in Nepal. Then, without time for humans to regroup, several subsequent 7.6mag. shocks, shattering Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga and swathes of Tibet—devastating the Roof of the World.

Mile-high Denver and hardly a drop of snow. H20 crisis throughout Western U.S.A.

Mile-high Denver and hardly a drop of snow. H20 crisis throughout Western U.S.A.

Half a planet away, USGS’s reputed “insignificant seamount” of Juan da Fuca on the Gorda offshore crustal plate, in Northern Humboldt, CA, has been acting Metronome. It’s been ticking in and out of 5.1mag.-6.1mag. shifts, as high tides became higher, in runup to Tuesday’s June 2nd Full Strawberry Moon.

Tidal effects on Oregon coast have increased too, in rhythm with the rest of the Pacific. Even Hawaii and precious Galapagos Islands on the Cocos Plate have not escaped volcanic broiling. Santorini, Etna and even Vesuvius have chimed in. There seems no end in sight.

Early drought and water hose bans have made June and the rest of this parched planet feel drier—less capable than ever before of withstanding subterranean cracking—and Fracking.
Without speaking back!

Unrelated to writer’s block? you wonder.

Silly Season—or Sell in May & Go Away
Back when there were Ninja Cap’n storytellers who created paper copies of triple best-sellers overnight—putting physical books on people’s shelves—yes—we knew what summer meant for us: Summertime business shuts up shop; people migrate. In writing—and in journalistic—circles, it’s called the “silly season”.

Now many writers—with paper dreams or even electronic ones 😉 —despair of ever finding an agent in summer—unknown, unobtainable, or elsewhere. So can you blame them at times for wanting to fly away themselves?

Maybe this summer we shall pay greater attention—keep our minds focused, senses honed, noses to the grindstone.

Funny how major shifts in our planetary home have a way of rearranging the braincells—systematizing the synapses.

More of a Moon than a Moan

Thinking pink will get you everywhere

Thinking pink will get you everywhere

For those legendary IWSG bloggers—of this now infamous Monthly Moan. And for friends who are brazen Saturnine-visaged Scorpios, or beloved laughing Sagittarians—who take these weather crazies in their stride I salute you—metaphorically speaking; I’ve never been a good little marine—for showing us the way through this impasse aka
astrological storm—more of a Moon than a moan. Maybe now is not the best time to mention a few archetypal cycles, coming back to haunt us—this very week in history.

Salem Witch Trials 1692
Mount Pinatubo erupted 1991 (and she’s at it again)
D-Day 1944
First AIDS virus recorded 1981
Watergate arrests 1972
Beginning of End of Cold War, June 1963—prelude to JFK Assassination, November

…On the Bright Side
In June 1963—five months before he was assassinated—U.S. President John F. Kennedy spoke on the podium of the newly-liberated Reichstag in an undivided Berlin. His famous “Ick bin ein Berliner” speech was heard by millions of Europeans, who already loved him for what he stood up for. His opening doors—and spectacular unveiling of East-West Hamburg/Potdam Autobahn* started the end of the Cold War.

Thanks and ahoy to Cap’n.Alex for indulging me in lost dreams of a better world. Otoh, if JFK could do it, we IWSGers can do it: weather this storm.
*What Americans—reputedly JFK himself—couldn’t quite handle: 1963 Bremen-Hamburg-Berlin Autobahn had and has to this day—no speed limit. The mind of frustrated U.S. roadster-wannabes boggles with vision of JFK’s phalanx of limos—he was heavily guarded, regardless of his youthful wind-in-hair image—driving sedately at max. 65m.p.h. from Air Force One to Berlin PotdamerPlatz—overtaken by, you-got-it, BMWs, Audis, Porsche and even Lamborghinis, Lotuses and Volkswagens streaming by like a sound-track: zoom—zoom—siren–squeal— zoom 😉
Happy summer. #IamWri†ing
©June 2015 Marian Youngblood

June 3, 2015 Posted by | ancient rites, authors, blogging, culture, earth changes, environment, fantasy, history, rain, seismic, volcanic, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nirvana & Light withdrawal: chop wood and carry water

Sunset time in Lerwick is 3p.m.

Two days to go until the sun stands still for 24 hours! That’s how it looks in the northern hemisphere, in places like Lerwick in the Shetlands; Trondheim in Norway, Reykyavik in Iceland and Juneau, Alaska. Then as if on cue or by some cosmic wind-up mechanism, the solar orb starts rolliing again, adding another four minutes of light to each day once more. It allows us hibernators to come out of our winter caves and surface to the sun. If, like me, you live anywhere above Scotland’s ‘Central Belt’, I can assure you the return of the light is such a welcome curve.

There used to be legal ‘lighting-up times’ in Britain: this wasn’t a comical reminder to smoke a cigar or kindle the wood burning stove; it was a law that drivers should switch on headlights 30 minutes after sunset and off 30 minutes before dawn. These laws no longer exist. Legally drivers must simply switch lights on in vehicles whenever visibility is reduced.

snow in time for solstice

i rather miss the old ‘lighting-up times’. It was a way of keeping us in alignment with the hours of the day, with sun times: it helped us tune into the ‘real world’; you know that one out there that’s chucking down snow at us right now and freezing the pipes and causing animals in fields to die if they don’t have shelter; not really that a motorist these days has much time for such banalities. If you are driving in Sheffield or Sacramento, night time looks the same as day because all the lights are on anyway.

Just in case no one believes me, here are some sunrise and sunset times for Britain at the moment: if you live in Bournemouth, or the Isles of Scilly, the sun goes down at 4pm: you are blessed to be able to have a whole hour more light than someone living for example on Unst, the most northerly of the British Isles. Sunset there is 3pm. You get it at the other end of the day, too. You have the blessing of daylight as you drive to work in, say, Dover because the sun comes up at 8am. Pity the ferryboat captain in Wick harbor who doesn’t see the sunrise until 10 minutes to 9am and has to have his lights switched on again at 3pm for sunset.

Sunset at Wick happens at three o'clock

I started writing this at sunset: on the Moray Firth that’s 3:14pm and the day has ended. Night time activities begin. Living in the country, if you haven’t got all your animals inside, fed and watered, you’re going to have to do it in the dark. This was a way of life for thousands, perhaps millions, in days of yore, but few give it a thought these days. I won’t see sunlight again for another seventeen and one-half hours. That’s a remarkable amount of night time, if you really think about it.

There are compensations. Aurora Borealis, for one. Displays at these latitudes can last for hours. And, of course at the height of summer this far north, there is the most awesome array of light showered from above in a day which lasts equally as long as this winter night. Seventeen hours of light in summer; seventeen hours of dark in winter. No wonder they say the Norwegians, Icelandic poets and Scots bards have a poignancy in their work like no other, except perhaps the Russians.

Aurora can last for hours

Nevertheless, because of the snowstorm, this writer is focused more at the moment on keeping body and soul together and that means the old Nirvana adage: ‘before and after achieving Nirvana, chop wood and carry water’.

And while that is a really poor excuse for an introduction to another poem about trees, wood, and burning logs; it’s all I’ve got right now. Days are short; birds and animals bring other demands. Night is a hard taskmistress.

I gave the wonderful wood-burning rhyme in a previous blog ‘for a Queen to warm her slippers by’. This one has slightly different meter, but it includes a more diverse array of woods.

I am particularly fond of the admonition toward the end. The writer (our perennial friend Anon) is quite clearly a supporter of the ancient Caledonian Pine, Pinus sylvestris now in short supply, although being gradually re-introduced and replanted privately.

For a country (Caledonia) which the Romans described as ‘thriving in Pine’, because the origial Caledonian Pine Forest stretched from coast to coast, we have been remarkably careless with this beautiful native tree.

Robert I Bruce, of course, was the main culprit: he burned his way from Kelso to the Comyn stronghold of the Earl of Buchan near Fraserburgh in 1308. This ‘herschip’ or harrying of Buchan was a treatment from which the country never recovered.

It is encouraging to note that the charity Trees for Life is replanting this and other native trees in considerable numbers in a northerly enclave of the original Caledonian Forest.

That little divertissement was a mere sidestep for tree-lovers. For wood-burners, here is the rhyme by our friend Anonymous.

Enjoy.

Logs to Burn

Logs to burn, logs to burn
Logs to save the coal a turn;

Here’s a word to make you wise
When you hear the woodman’s cries
Never heed his usual tale
That he’s splendid logs for sale

Scots pine, the 'Scotch log' of the rhyme

But read these lines and really learn
The proper kind of logs to burn.

Oak logs will warm you well
If they’re old and dry.
Larch logs of pinewoods smell
But the sparks will fly.
Beech logs for Christmas time
Yew logs heat well
‘Scotch’ logs it is a crime
For anyone to sell.

Ash worth their weight in gold

Birch logs will burn too fast
Chestnut scarce at all.
Hawthorn logs are good to last
If cut in the fall.
Holly logs will burn like wax
You should burn them green.
Elm logs like smouldering flax
No flame to be seen.

Pear logs and apple logs
They will scent your room
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom.
But ash logs all smooth and grey
Burn them green or old
Because of all that come your way
They’re worth their weight in gold. Anonymous

December 19, 2009 Posted by | ancient rites, astronomy, consciousness, culture, environment, nature, popular, seasonal, sun, trees, weather, winter | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment