Friday, June 25, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Compost system

Okay, not the most picturesque or fascinating of topics, but closing the circle in organic gardening is a worthy endeavor, especially when it means making your composting efforts hit paydirt.

It's normally a tedious and back-breaking chore, emptying the bin of fully composted kitchen and garden waste, screening it and getting it back to enriching the soil your strawberries are ripening in. For me, it still is tedious, but less so, and easy on the back now that I have a system that economizes motion and expedites the process. Pictured below are our two compost bins (one in receive mode and the other in cooking mode), with a can between sporting my new compost screen. It is made from a remnant cut-off section of 2' diameter ADS pipe which fits neatly over the top of the can, a piece of 1/4" mesh hardware "cloth" screwed to the sides of the pipe round, and a section of cast off hose which serves as a gasket to make the fit between can and screen perfect.

The ready-to-be-used compost is odorless except for a rich soil-like aroma. It is indistinguishable from soil, but has numerous sticks, small rocks, avocado seeds and peels, produce stickers that never got peeled off, ubiquitous abalone and snail and egg shell fragments and such that need to be screened out before putting the compost to good use.

I simply put 4 or 5 scoops of compost from the bin onto the screen and with a trowel and my gloved hand, push the compost through the screen into the can until all that remains is the detritus that I don't want in the garden.

That material is scooped off with trowel into another smaller can beside me to be disposed of elsewhere.

Inside my screened compost can is perfect ready-to-use soil enriching compost:

which I promptly add to all the garden, completing the cycle from garden to garden.

Summer home nest

In a craggy crevice on the sidewall of the greenhouse is a nest with 4 tiny

Mama chirped in aggravation and alarm as Angel trimmed and pruned
nearby, but by evening she had returned to her perch and was quiet and
tolerant of my curiosity as to who was nesting there.

No idea what her name
is, but she's definitly a cutie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This was it's finest hour!

Dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Whale bone mystery

About 2 months ago, I was standing in the spot from which the photo below was taken and I saw a small white object on the cliffside in the distance. "Another plastic bag has blown in", I thought, but yet, I was uncertain. It looked more substantial than that. "Weathered styrofoam, perhaps." ..."or...bone?...nah."

The mysterious object was perched on the cliff, pictured above, in the middle distance, at a point approximately where the driveway visible in the far distance disappears behind said cliff. Below is a close up shot of the spot, just below that cypress shrub, where the object was located, about 50 feet above the waters edge.

Scrambling down the ice plant covered slope yesterday, with Angel watching over me from above, I was bemused and amazed to find... a whale vertebra!

How long has it been there? How did it get there? How old is it? What kind of whale and what part of the whale's spine is it from? Where is the rest of the whale's skeleton?

This is the view northward, from the whale bone's perspective, back towards the spot where I first stood and saw it gleaming in the sun.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


The wedding ceremony is a tradition of ancient and enduring significance, purity and natural integrity, a solemn, joyful and enduring truism. We were host to such an event this weekend, and I was lucky enough to capture a snapshot of the bride the moment before she was presented to the altar.

The ritual was swathed in song and celebration. The couple can be seen in the background above as their loved ones gather around to offer blessing and prayers for their future together. All folk can come away from such a nuptial reaffirmed in their faith towards commitment, struggle, and the will to do good.