Monthly Archives: December 2016

Year Passing, Year Coming

It’s still a virescent world, moss soft and fern green. But not for long. A light snow is falling, turning everything white. In the woods a brilliant, yellow Heterobasidiomycetes caught my eye. I went looking to see if anything was … Continue reading

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Lab Girl

I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Lab Girl is an autobiographical book by scientist Hope Jahren. She intermingles chapters about growing up and the challenges she faced in her career as a woman scientist, among chapters about … Continue reading

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Out of a Winter Garden

Today’s rain has washed most of the snow and ice away. Surprise, underneath the cold snow, the winter vegetables stayed as fresh as ever. The sprouting onions are as fresh as spring time green onions. There’s no need to truck … Continue reading

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Happy Dogs

All is well when dogs are happy.

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No Escaping Beauty

There is no escaping beauty. Sometimes it explodes in front of your face when you least expect it, like this morning when I stepped out onto the back patio and beauty flooded the sky from horizon to horizon. There was … Continue reading

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It’s Been a Long Time

It’s been five years since the chickens have had so much snow to run around in. Most of them are new to this and would rather not. The snow fell from early morning through much of the day. Even if … Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! The calendar says New Years is still eleven days away, but today is the beginning of the new year as far as I am concerned. This morning, at 2:44 am Pacific Time, you could hear the earth … Continue reading

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Whole Wheat Anpan – A World First?

Hmm, the an, sweet bean paste, I made brought back memories of a staple of my childhood, anpan あんパン, buns stuffed with an. Anpan are always made with the whitest, fluffiest dough imaginable. What would anpan made with 100% whole … Continue reading

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Pastures of Swans

The swans are on pastures by the hundreds. Here a flock, there a flock, everywhere a flock. Swans are constantly moving in small groups from one flock to another. What is that all about? Is the grass better over there? … Continue reading

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On a Gentle Snow

A gentle snow fell all morning. As I watched the snowflakes fall, I thought about the stories that each flake could tell. In their short lives, snowflakes have a lot of excitement. One moment they are tumbling tens of thousands … Continue reading

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It’s a Small World

Impressed with the Shimonita onions I saw on TV, I ordered some seeds from Japan. They arrived yesterday: Thunder Emperor 雷帝 Shimonita Onions 下仁田ネギ! Much to my surprise, on the back of the package, it says that they were made … Continue reading

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Ice is Alive

If you watch long enough, you can see needle ice growing out of the ground. It’s as if it’s alive. The hoarfrost grows too, prickling the leaves and branches. December cold turns nature into a fairyland of ice.

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Burn the Bees

Every so often I read something that strikes me as odd. Maybe I should stop reading. I was reading a CNN article The Old Man and the Bee by John D. Sutter. The article is about vanishing bees and a … Continue reading

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Book of Dreams

The snow has been falling off and on all day. A good day to snuggle up with my book of dreams which arrived today, December’s Japan Railroads Timetable. Oh, if you’re concerned about the barcode label smack on the train … Continue reading

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Shimonita Onions – 15 Months to Grow

All around the world are special vegetables, and yesterday I heard about a leek type onion which is grown in only one small town in Japan, Shimonita 下仁田. It takes 15 months from seed to harvest. They are planted in … Continue reading

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Shh, the Garden Is Sleeping

The garden is fast asleep under a blanket of snow softer than down. It’s been four years since we’ve had a snow this thick. It’s not a heavy snow by no means. Eight years ago we measured the snow by … Continue reading

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Winter Bites

Winter bites leaving its prickly white teeth everywhere. Step outdoors on a frosty morning, and winter bites your cheeks and nips at your nose. You know you’re alive on a morning so cold.

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Farewell Green?

Snowflakes danced in the air off and on today. Will the coming deep freeze mean the end of green? What will be left to pick for fresh salads by the end of the week? The kale and cabbage will survive. … Continue reading

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A Remarkable Hen and Her Family

MiAsa Hime 美朝姫 is an extraordinary mother. Her chicks are more than three months old and she still spends her days with them and roosts with them at night. I’ve never had a mother hen attend to her chicks for … Continue reading

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Way Off Topic – a Long Way from Here

Having grown up in Japan and having hitchhiked, biked, and ridden trains all over the country as a boy, literally, at eleven years old I took to the roads hitchhiking for days at a time, traveling over a thousand miles, … Continue reading

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