Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garden Visitors

Earlier this week when it was nice outside, I had finally gotten around to the flower garden out front to get it cleaned up for the summer and found I had visitors. I usually don't like visitors to my gardens (well the 4 legged kind anyway) as it usually means trouble...and this kind of activity only creates more trouble. As I was cleaning I noticed that something seemed to be different....I had a dirt mound where I hadn't before. After pulling some of the creeping thyme away, I found out why.

If you look close enough (you may have to click on the photo to enlarge it) you will see fur. Once I saw this I knew exactly who it was. I knew because this has happened a few times before.... and it seems to be in the same spot none the less. It happens about every 3-4 years so I'm not thinking it's the same momma that tries this. In years past, I have caught this earlier in the process and just filled the hole back in and put everything back and that was the end of it, but it was too late this time.

See if you can guess who it is.

I pulled some more the plant cover away so you can see it better.

Pulled some of the fur away to see if I had any activity or just a hole. I was occupied with 4 little ones.

Know who my visitors are yet?

Maybe this will help give you a better clue. I pulled one out of the warm fur-lined nest to see how big they were. Their eyes are still closed and they were sleepy.....and didn't seem to care for the draft that I had created.

You can see how small they are in this picture. This one was looking for a tight, warm spot to crawl into so it headed between my fingers.

I put everyone back, covered the nest back up as best I could and continued cleaning.

Ironically I have one of the frozen, life-like kind in the bottom part of the garden already for decoration. This is the kind to have in your damage done with this one.

I guess I don't mind it so much with these guys as so far the adults don't seem to bother anything around the house or the gardens other than doing this spring stuff.

I have not seen the mother at all except for one morning hopping away over by the least I'm assuming it's was her as we don't normally see rabbits this close to the house. I don't know how or when she feeds them but it must be at night as we never see anything there during the day.

I will keep an eye on them to make sure they are doing OK now that I know they are there and hope the cats don't find them. When they are grown and have left, I will clean out the fur and fill in the hole and everything should be back to normal with little damage done.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Going Local

This article I found at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund website and thought I'd pass it along as it has some good points and also as we here are about buying and supporting local as much as we can.
You know our forefathers got about everything they needed locally. I'm sure not having to trot all over the globe in horse and buggy might of had something to do with it, but even so, they managed just fine sticking close to home....and as a result had more time for the more important things in life.

Local is Not What You Think
By Ryan Mickle-- April 7th, 2010

Local is not about buying the same stuff at higher prices from a local vendor. Local is about happiness.

I believe that the concept of Local is not well communicated. When people suggest that we “buy local,” it comes off as preachy and turns many of us off. How many times have you gone into a corner store and left feeling like you’d been ripped off? The $2 Coke or $1.50 orange may as well be considered marketing for Target, Walmart, and Costco, which sell the same Coke and orange at lower prices. The math doesn’t work. And it should be said that these retailers aren’t inherently bad. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be this way.

So, what is Local?

Local is something that should be celebrated. We shouldn’t feel guilty, Local should invigorate us, inside and out.

Local is more choices. Endless choices, all with unique stories, people and artisanship.

Local is buying from friends. Just as it used to be, I know companies right here in the Bay Area who love to invite people to their factory for a tour, or even to their homes for a meal. When was the last time you were invited to fly in the private Boeing 787s of a company that you buy from or even invest in?

Local is learning and knowing more. I want to know where my food comes from, appreciating the subtle differences and varieties as we often do wine (rather than by brand). I don’t want to have to watch a documentary or read breaking news to find out what is hidden from my view.

Local is about relationships. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable being considered a “consumer.” I am not a consumer, I am a person and I believe that our central role on our society is a lot more than to consume stuff.

Local is about slowing down and discovering our talents again. In our world of hyper productivity and endless information, is the goal to work every waking hour? A friend of mine, actually a successful CEO, has no TVs in his home, only music instruments and a garden. Perhaps we’ve lost something by having everything we could possibly want available to us in shopping aisles. Our parents or grandparents probably preserved their own jams, pickled their own pickles, and received more in return than just something for their sandwiches.

Local is making less of an impact. We all know that we are destroying our natural resources and that this can’t keep up. We’ve done a really good job at hiding the truth from ourselves, of the resources we are consuming and the endless waste we are creating. Yet, when you can look a local company owner in the eyes and ask them about the impact they (and we) are making, everything changes. We need to get back to that.

Local is reusing more. Nearly everything we buy is mostly packaging and a little of what we actually need or use. But when we buy local we can return the container, no waste, no recycling (as environmentalists will tell you, recycling isn’t nearly as effective as reuse).

Local is more delicious. When it comes to food, eating local means more variety and fresher food. Isn’t life about variety, not a burger that tastes exactly the same, made with exactly the same ingredients? A diet that changes with the seasons sounds fantastic to me, perhaps even a reminder that I’m still alive!

Local is more colorful. Not many of us look like the models on billboards, so why should we bother trying to look like them? I want what I wear to connect me to the culture, people and art around me.

Local is more balanced. We often read about entrepreneurial triumphs to richness, but I have been meeting more and more business owners who are challenging the 5 day workweek. Rather than chase world domination growth, they grow their businesses to an “optimal” size and outcome for themselves, their employees, the environment and the community.

There are some great initiatives in support of Local. However, I think that Local is about completely reshape the way we live, and ultimately bring more happiness and purpose to our lives and our work. I must talk to someone new every day who escaped their cubicle to start a sustainable farm, brew kombucha, or import and roast coffee. Get ready for a new Local, full of flavor, color, and purpose.

What is Local to you?