Solar Tracking

Solar Tracking
How low can you go? Snow and ice and cancelled school.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Late Summer Evening

  
  

   
not much space here
      Silence drops slowly over the backyard in the evening. The flock is integrated now, so there is no chicken fuss over dominance after the first squawks of the morning and a bit of ritual labor coaching while the youngest lays an egg. In the late afternoon,  the ladies discuss tidbits quietly while the hive hums loudly as the drones come out for air, the of the cat calls for attention from the fenceline, cars cruise down King’s Blvd., cedar waxwings feast on the high figs, and people head home on foot, shouting into their cell phones. After dinner, the foot traffic is gone and all we hear are the voices of our neighbors over the fence speaking Spanish, or English, Chinese or Arabic—the apartments behind us hold a world of cultures in their old brick walls. An occasional car pulls into the alley, shifting gravel. Further away, a couple of small children play.  Mark and I eat dinner outside, chat softly, and listen to the world. A dove hoots from the telephone line.
            As the light fades, so does the volume. The chickens move into their new coop and begin protracted negotiations on roost rights.  Wings flap. Someone is shoved off the perch and launches upward. Bees move into the hive quickly when dusk comes. Cats wander by, looking for a warm lap. The crickets begin. Inside, Mark runs water for dishes, humming to himself. Water sloshes into the greywater bucket as he works. The crickets begin, softly at first, then growing louder. Mark turns on the lights in the kitchen and the house glows.
            When it grows dark, I move to tuck in the animals. First, the rabbit, who, like a toddler, does not want to go inside for the night. I chase her around the yard until she makes a false move and is caught by the garden fencing. In she goes with a thump, then bounces loudly over to check her crunchies and look for the treat we often use as bribery. Once she is in, I move to the back bed, where the coop is perched for September. All of the ladies are in and settled now, but they chirp softly when I jostle the coop to hang the full bucket of feed. Occasionally, one will jump down to see what she’s missing. The hive is still buzzing softly, especially when I slide between coop and hive to reach the chicken feed. Some nights, a few bees buzz a warning that I am too close and I slip behind instead. One of the cats investigates the motion in the backyard and rubs against my legs, purring.

            When everyone is settled for the night, quiet comes down. Mark empties the last bucket of greywater onto the kiwi vine. I take a shower. The crickets chirp. The possum drops out of her home in the laurel hedge and bumps into the garden fence right outside the bedroom window. The moon rises, tangled in the plum tree branches. A few cars pass in the distance, but, by ten, the world is still.

Swamp Maples
Whole wheat bread with rice

Use the "bread in five minutes a day" system. 

Cook 3/4 cup of arboriso rice and cool.

Mix three cups of water, 1.5 T of yeast and salt, three cups of wheat flour, three and a half cups of white flour, and the rice. Allow to rise and proceed as usual.

The dough is wet. You will need more flour than usual to toss it into a dough ball. It will also take longer to cook-- beware. 

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