Santa Ana Winds: Summer’s Last Breath

When the shades rattle at 5AM with the first breezes, you know that Santa Ana Winds have returned.  These annual winds come reliably near the end of October to dry out the hills, fan fires, and chap lips.  To me, they also mark the last transition from Summer to Autumn, as if he heat of the season is finally blowing away and the cool air allowed to set in.  Continue reading “Santa Ana Winds: Summer’s Last Breath” »

Preserving and Dehydrating Food, Stone Age Style Part 2

 What Are We Up To?

In our last episode, we set out to rediscover how to dehydrate food using the oldest Stone Age method – piercing it with a stick and leaving it in the sun and wind to dry. To test, we used sliced tomatoes and apples and whole peaches, all skewered on willow branches and set out on a rack. It was put up and out of reach of marauding creatures (like Roxy, the ever-hungry and curious family dog).   Today we check in to see how things went, what we learned, and what we are going to change for the next round. Continue reading “Preserving and Dehydrating Food, Stone Age Style Part 2” »

Biodiversity Roundup: The Birds and the Bees, and More!

Why is Biodiversity important?

According to Wikipedia, biodiverstiy is simply “a measure of the health of ecosystems“.  I can’t control a lot of things out there, but I can control a thing or two on my postage stamp on Earth.  And hopefully leave it better than I found it.  With that in mind, every insect, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fungi, bacteria, and plant that comes to live with me in my yard is a vote that things are heading in the right direction, that the health of the ecosystem is improving. I take it as personal encouragement that I am being a good steward, and that there is hope for the future. Continue reading “Biodiversity Roundup: The Birds and the Bees, and More!” »