Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life Improvement Project

I went for a nice walk with a friend through the neighborhood this evening, as we so often do. We noticed that a Victorian house just a couple blocks down was about halfway through a big renovation job. The owners appeared to be doubling the square footage and overall footprint of the house, no doubt also doubling the value as well. Good for them, I thought.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bee Wars: A New Hope

The bees were in trouble. I don't mean bees as a species, though that's also true. I mean my bees. Our bees. The bees in the beehive my roommate Jennie and I bought just three weeks ago. I heard Jennie shout from the yard. I ran outside to see what was wrong. About fifteen or twenty wasps were attacking the hive, stinging the bees to death, hauling them away for food, and trying to sneak inside the hive. I didn't know what to do about it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What I Love Most about Cities

Cities are always best at dawn and dusk. There's something softer and less imposing about a row of skyscrapers when they're mostly empty and the sky reflects blue and grey and orange off their shiny skin. Seeing a skyline just before the sun comes up or just after it goes down is like receiving a warm, spontaneous hug from your belligerent teenage child. That moment of vulnerability helps me remember why I love cities so much. There's so much innocence, so much potential wrapped up in those moments that I instantly forgive all the pollution, the traffic, the lack of green, and the daily, frenzied scramble to make a buck. Sometimes I just want to take the whole city right into my arms and cry.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Economics of Man-Eating Lizards

My roommate, Jennie, and I popped out for a short run to nearby Jefferson Park and back last Saturday morning. We were headed down to Colorado Springs for her cousin's wedding later in the day, and we knew if we wanted some exercise, it would have to be first thing or nothing at all. The run part of our morning paused for intermission when we reached the park, as we sprawled out in the lush grass and clover for some high-powered relaxing. It's hard to resist the shade of big ol' trees like the ones in Jefferson Park on a just-warmer-than-crisp morning when you know the rest of the day, heck, the rest of every day for the next four months, is going to be scorching hot.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Bucolic Frolic: a Country Kid Goes Home

A couple weekends ago, I went back to my hometown in rural Iowa for my step-brother's wedding. Since I'd be in town for two or three days, I wanted to drive out and see the old house where I grew up. My dad, now deceased, built it himself. It's a pretty special place, really, at least to me. I only expected that I'd get to take a quick drive by, barely stopping a minute before I freaked out the current owners, but I lucked out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hang in There, Little Bees

Whoa. A report just came out that said the rate of bee Colony Collapse Disorder (AKA beehive collapse, AKA bee deaths) increased by 36% last year. More than 20% of hives have been dying off every year in recent years, and the death rate in 2007 was around 30%. In healthy, sustainable environments and bee populations, the number of hives that die are evenly replaced with new ones, resulting in a 0% net loss or gain in hives. Bees are our main pollinators. Without them, we don't have food.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

From an Email to John


Thanks for reading my blog post! It certainly describes where I've been at lately. Kinda dark, honestly. I'm trying to elevate things, but it's hard these days. Every time I turn around, I read about bees dying, bats dying, salmon dying, polar bears dying, pine forests dying, icecaps melting, worldwide food shortages, increasing food costs here at home, storm intensity increasing, jet streams shifting poleward, songbirds getting wiped out, and on and on. It really scares me. I'm really beginning to wonder if we're a lot closer to total environmental collapse than many people would like to admit. I mean, several of these species are keystone species. That means that we can't survive too well without them.

Hot Sun and Black-Winged Angels

Today I witnessed a miracle.

It all started about four days ago when Jennie, my roommate, flew to Northern California to see family for a long weekend. She texted and called me probably 20 times since then, raving about how beautiful and green it is there right now… and about how beautiful and green Northern California always is. But especially this time of year. So verdant and lush, all the new flowers and bees and springtime sex in the air. This is something we don’t have so much of in Colorado, and I miss it.