November 2017

The cool wind mixes

and touches without harming

every changing thing.


As we take it in

the medicine of the own

body is revealed.


As we release it

the own medicine of land

awakens eyes, hands.



Both this November and last have been bums for planting.  A little too dry and too cool.  New plantings seem to require a lot of watering effort just to have them sit there and do nothing.  Wait a minute, you may think, plants do nothing all the time, that is all they do.  However, I think that from our experience as humans we can tell that being healthy is not the same as doing nothing.  I suspect that this is true for the rest of nature as well.  I strongly suspect it.  Central Texas typically has a winter dry snap that sometimes starts in November and sometimes starts in December or January, and maybe it is ok to plant woodies at this time, but for grasses and forbs on dry land sites, I recommend timing planting with wet spells in fall or early spring instead.

Tall Grama seed is ripe in late November

The second half of November is the best time for harvesting seed.  It is a bonanza out there.  Some people are saying it is a good year for seed harvest.  I say it is an average year, and an average year for a good thing is a good year.  So despite that I see it a little differently, I do not exactly disagree.

In the Findings section of a recent issue of Harpers, it was reported that, “People think of themselves as better than average because they think of average as below average.”  I think this is a mistake.  It is a common mistake.  I think our value as human beings is incalculable because we come from the land.  It is a very lucky heritage to emerge from the land with the full breadth of its intelligence, grit, and sensitivity.  We are all the same in this way, and not just humans, but also every tissue and organ of us.  And not just humans and every part of us, but also every other organism and every part of them, and their environments.

Every drop of water, and grain of sand, and star.

This green lynx spider has made a web for its spiderlings around a bunch of cured wedelia seed heads.
I feel a kinship with this fellow seed-gatherer, but only a little.  She and I probably understand each others motives to equal degrees.  We are like strangers passing on a road where there is no obvious reason to be walking… there is nothing to say.

Not buildings though, or parking lots.  Those can be priced, and I suspect that only by gross errors of accounting, in this late hour, are they likely to outmatch the value of their razing.  I strongly suspect it.  Maybe you see it differently, but maybe you do not exactly disagree.  If you share these concerns, or something like them, there are a number of ways you can participate.

The six year old progeny of a drought-killed Juniper certainly cover more of the land than their mother would by now, had she pulled through.

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