Bark Beetle: The Transformation Begins

Life has felt like a bit of a downer lately. Have you noticed?

Old white people protesting on the corner in my neighborhood because even they're like, "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"

Old white people protesting on the corner in my neighborhood because even they’re like, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!”

Come on! The airwaves are filled with racism, sexism, homophobia… Everyday there’s this wanna-be demagogue hollering poorly-articulated calls to march into the past – so we can just get more of the racism and the sexism and the homophobia, I guess.

We’ve got innocent people being murdered daily by the authorities supposedly empowered to protect us – right here in America. Global war, terror, death, children who look like this, a complete and total lack of human compassion about it all and, my favorite…

A stunningly ignorant regression in our understanding of science?

Really?

NO!!! Not really. I am NOT going to stand for this.

I am trying to shake myself out of it – I HAVE to shake myself out of it. I have to fight back and get back on track here against this massive depression setting in. And the best way for me to do that is to start fixing problems everywhere I can locate them so…

Here. I. Go.

Climate change is motherf#@%in’ REAL motherf#@%ers. It’s all around us here in California. The sea is rising, the rain has stopped falling (El Niño didn’t end the drought, you non-reading people), the ground is sinking, the wells are dry, the fires are raging, and the forests are dying.

So there’s something for me to refocus on! I’ve plunged head-first into readying my property in Arnold to be the warmer, rainier, more diverse forest of the future it wants to become. I’m teaching my elderly (non-reading) neighbor Nick how to do it (and why) as I go.

My pines are being cut, I’ve just finished reconfiguring the drainage all around our land to accept more rain than snow in the coming decades, cleared the easement in front of the property, and built a retaining wall.

(Well – I designed it all and hired someone to do it, and he got it done, okay?)

New underground drainage trench starting point below a-frame roofline.

New underground drainage trench starting point below a-frame roofline, where the rain comes down.

New route of underground trench downhill, into feeder roots of our big cedars. Two big pines at left are marked for cutting by PG&E.

New route of underground trench downhill, into feeder roots of our big cedars. Two big pines at left are marked for cutting by PG&E.

New retaining wall! Cut trees clearly visible; three large trees in center of easement still to be cut.

New retaining wall! Cut trees clearly visible; three large trees in center of easement still to be cut.

Next, in the last days of fall, we’ll plant this hill above the retaining wall (where the pines were) with native Emerald Carpet to give it a natural foresty feel as you approach the cabin and to secure the soil:

So imagine everything at left is all green and fluffly and magical, and the cedar at each end will hopefully come in nice and full in the next ten years and the small oak sapling in the center will sprout up, as well.

So imagine everything at left is all green and fluffly and magical, and the cedar at each end will hopefully come in nice and full in the next ten years and the small oak sapling in the center will sprout up, as well.

I think Trent is happy to see me in solutions mode, at least – I think. Because the alternative – despair – is not pretty. Not at all.

NEXT: I move on to fixing systemic racism in America. You think I kid, but actually, I’m kinda already on it. And it’s gonna be a big kill. Big like a 145-foot tall ponderosa pine falling to a little itsy bitsy bark beetle…

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One thought on “Bark Beetle: The Transformation Begins

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    I see that you have discovered the recipe for changing the world. You start with your own small corner and spread out from there. You can only be judged for what you can control. I commend you for it. Change the world one tree at a time, one person at a time, one day at a time. But don’t let it stop you from moving forward fearlessly. Take time to enjoy the process along the way. If we all changed one life or planted one tree, the world would be a better or more beautiful place to be. Then step back and thank God that you are still here to enjoy it. And thank you for teaching people like Nick and like me about the difference you can make. We don’t cherish the gifts we have sometimes, and we need a good teacher to remind us. I just wish I could be here to see the change that you can effect.

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