Sunday, October 18, 2015

A-blaze....Catching Fire at Lightspring Glen

With weeks of dry, hot weather through much of August, there was some thought that perhaps this year's autumn would be devoid of much color. But in perfect timing, rains arrived in early September and by month's end came the annual marvel of the leaves turning off their chlorophyll and switching on a stunning array of yellows, golds, oranges, and reds.  (click on photos to see full-sized)

Soon the hardwoods will be slumbering in well-deserved rest, the days and months of gathering in the sun's complete for this season. This year it feels as if they're passing a certain torch over to me. Early in June I availed myself of an opportunity to learn more about solar power and the possibility of bringing it here to Lightspring Glen. A wonderful mostly all-volunteer group, Southern Tier Solar Works, was hosting information events and it took no persuading at all to attend one to see what was possible.

The process has been exciting from the start partnering with Taitem Engineering of Ithaca who gave me the green light for going solar (pun intended!) a few weeks after their initial visit here. Beyond their being a regional company to whom I was pleased to give the work, how could I not do business with a company of the name "TAITEM" which stands for Technology As If The Earth Mattered?!!

The hardest part has been practicing patience over the summer months as the September installation date slowly drew closer. How entirely perfect that it turned out to be the day after the total Lunar Eclipse. Bright and early on the 28th, Dan arrived in the Taitem truck joined soon by Luca and Mike. With Angus-cat offering his supervisory skills, by Tuesday afternoon the 12-panels were all in place on the car port roof and the initial test of the system a success.

If I thought it required patience until the installation, it was really a challenge to wait out the two plus weeks for the last steps of the process to happen before it could be powered up.  The glory of the leaves reached peak-color a few days ago here in this part of New York. In tandem with this Autumn extravaganza, the call from Carina at Taitem came on Thursday that I could turn the dial to ON. I hurried out to the panel mounted on the garage wall, turned the dial, heard a few clicks and I do think a hum above my head, and the panels (that I think also had had a hard time waiting!) began their work gathering the October afternoon's brilliant sunshine. I stood watching the display showing it all happening, and yes indeed, I was beaming!

There's more to write about solar power.....enough for another post that I will add soon.* For now, it is pure delight to step outside and look up at the panels gleaming in the Autumn sun.
How I love being part of this particular Revolution!

*An excellent article is here at EcoWatch dot com

Saturday, September 12, 2015

First-Responders for Gaia

I'm re-blogging this post having found it compelling reading.
This may be something that happens more often here
on Notes of an Earth Pilgrim.

Suzanne Lie: The Children of Mother Earth – We Came for Gaia.

Gaia1 (1)

Things are really “hot”. All you can do now is hang on and wait. Of course, it
is an active wait, as we are in constant contact with the higher
frequencies of Light that seem to accelerate more and more each day.

Then suddenly, it appears that that the connection stops – then it is
on – then it is off. This experience is similar to a short circuit, or a
lamp that is not totally plugged into the wall.

Yes, that is it. We have not yet totally plugged our consciousness
into the Multidimensional power source for our Earth vessel. This “power
source” is our Multidimensional Consciousness, our higher dimensional
SELF, and the core of our planetary Mother, Gaia.

As we “plugin” to our Multidimensional power, we discover that we can see  
through the illusions of 3D. In fact, that which was so important to our
physical body reality is being transmuted into that which is
increasingly important in our Light Body reality.

Second Harvest - Autumn 2015

It's been a long pause between posts, though I've composed several in my mind since the Spring. Ah, yes, Life is what happens while you're busy making plans. But I make no serious complaint since it was such a delight-full time in between, this second Summer as the Resident Human of Lightspring Glen.

As much as I enjoyed the years of what I call my gypsy-life, how I love that these seven acres of woods and water have become my home-base. Two years ago on a golden September day, I set foot on this land for the first time. As earlier posts have mentioned, the Official Greeter was a marvelous owl who'd chosen a day-time perch at the top of the waterfall! After that encounter, I needed very little convincing that I'd found my home....or more accurately as I soon understood, my new home had found me.

This Summer now almost past I'm calling "The Summer of the Owls & the Hummingbirds" as they were both quite constant companions. A family of Barred owls nested somewhere up on one of the hills nearby and once the young ones fledged, I was frequently treated to their family conversations as they kept tabs on each another during the night. The fledglings in a decidedly treble voice called, "Who cooks for you?" - as the human interpretation has it - one or both of the parents quickly calling back in their baritone, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" How I loved waking up and hearing their voices echoing through the darkness. I'd often lie awake listening until they grew silent again. Another of their charms for me is that Barred owls can be heard now and then during the day. Beyond the special encounter of my first visit, I've not seen another one since. But I'm sure it's only a matter of time and patience. Note of that will be made in a future Earth Pilgrim post, I can assure you!

The hummingbirds were much about, especially as I invested in a feeder this year. I found one for just $3.00 at Dollar General. The clerk said he was having trouble keeping them in stock and it delighted me to think how many people around here were entertaining these feathered sprites. Last summer I frequently spotted them enjoying the red blossoms of the Kentucky Wonder pole beans in the veggie patch at the end of the yard. (photo below). Once I'd hung my $3 feeder on the porch, my first male hummer appeared within twenty minutes, his throat flashing its iridescent red. Ultimately I counted at least four adults, two pairs that routinely sparred with one another for prime sipping. They'd chatter at each other and often zoom in to spook whoever was trying to have a quiet drink. These aerial sparring matches were greatly entertaining, though I sometimes scolded them, "There's plenty for all of you...share!"  Mostly they were quite tolerant of my presence, and would occasionally perch just a few feet away on one of the house plants that live out on the porch for the warm months. Pure enchantment. It was like having winged fairies for company and I never grew tired of their appearances.

It's a much quieter place since their departure only a week or so ago for their winter range. The small golden bees who also competed for the sugar water had the feeder all to themselves for a few days before I noticed the hummers' absence and took it in. How it is these tiny birds find their way South just amazes me, another of the countless miracles of this Good Green Earth. The Barred owls aren't going anywhere, though I'm sure they spread out a bit from the nesting territory. Like me, they call this place Home. Accepting the lengthening hours of darkness is a bit easier knowing their familiar calls will continue to drift my way from the woods.

As I was typing the first part of this post, the window open to the warm morning, an owl called somewhere on the hillside across the road, just a brief day-time comment, but duly noted and enjoyed by this fortunate Human-in-Residence here at Lightspring Glen.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Edge-Walking, early April 2015

Winter is shape-shifting to Spring in melt-water and mist this first week of April, 2015 here in Lightspring Glen. Winter arrived early last November and stayed so overlong that at times it felt nearly beyond tolerance, even for someone like me who enjoys its cold, stark beauties.

The vast white blankets of snow are gone from the fields tho' lingering for just a while longer in the woods.  And the deep silence that held sway for all these months has released its hold as well. The air is full of water music. Stepping outdoors now my ears prick up in pleasure of all the little streams chattering their way down through the woods.  The Glen fairly shouts with the waterfall's tumbling flow sluicing the gathered waters of these seven acres out into the Willowbrook Watershed and off to the Susquehanna River.  And just last week, like a magician whisking off a silver cloth, the pond's bright mirror wonderfully reappeared, the trees and sky floating once more on its shimmering surface.  

Always in these early April days of not-quite-Winter, not-quite-Spring, a subtle, earth-damp Presence whispers to me of resurrection, murmurs promises of seed-stirring and robin-song just around the corner of this month of my birth. My second winter here at Lightspring Glen, a second Spring stirring ... just to write this makes me happy and deeply content in a way that defies easy description.

But there's this. Last year around this time I came upon a poem of Mary Oliver's new to me, and none better has yet appeared (and I doubt that one will) that better captures the Magick of this edge-walking time.


a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence 
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her --
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fracktavism 201 : After the Celebration

Some of the 1,000+ Fracktavists celebrating on Jan. 21st in Albany

Six weeks ago I was one of those stunned to tears by the incredible news that Gov. Cuomo had okayed a ban on hydrofracking here in New York State. Time and again when I talk with other Fracktavists about when and where they heard the news, they tell me that they also wept. In the photo above, look for the woman in the purple jacket....that's Sandra Steingraber. She's kneeling beside a gentleman whose name I don't know but who is from Dimock, PA.....I've seen him often at these gatherings as he's supported us in New York all these years. If Dimock doesn't ring a bell for you, please google it.

Sandra lives not far from me outside of Ithaca. She is an ecologist, environmentalist, and a firebrand in our many the Rachel Carson of our times. At the celebration rally last week, she spoke movingly of how we did this. Her speech is linked below and I hope you'll read it. It's not my purpose to attempt to sum up her words, but just this morning I came across this op-ed piece in the Binghamton Press-Sun that she co-wrote with Cornell Professor-Emeritus, Tony Ingraffea:

The last paragraph offers an eloquent summary of the road to this victory:  "New York now serves as a shining example for the rest of the country to follow. Independent scientists and health experts showed the importance of sharing our expertise with the public at large and urging that policy follow the science and put public health first. Citizens organized and built an unprecedented grassroots movement, a model for effectively making their voices heard and standing up to the oil and gas industry. And most importantly, [Gov.] Cuomo set a soaring standard by considering the health impacts and listening to the science, and having the courage to follow the science and do the right thing."

It was important to come together and celebrate, and yes, convince each other that these six years and more of often exhausting effort had resulted in Gov. Cuomo's decision. After my first stunned and joyful reaction, what I strongly feel is that this action...the banning of fracking in New York State...has shifted the paradigm, and will free us much sooner from the mindless, slavish devotion to fossil fuels to embracing the full promise of renewable energy.

Just as the work to ban fracking took all this effort (and undying hope), so much remains to be done, and it will be a hard road. Over and over again at the rally the pledge made was to get to work to help our neighbors in Pennsylvania free themselves and their beautiful land from this terrible scourge that has wreaked so much damage. I've been to Dimock, and I know. Here in New York, there is the threat to this immediate area and beautiful Lightspring Glen, of the proposed construction of the Constitution Pipeline, part of the dangerous infrastructure that would support the gas and oil industry in Pennsylvania. 

Standing with all my Fracktavist brothers and sisters in Albany last week, we knew it was a short rest, but oh what a fine and joyful one. The spark of our hope that has now burst into flame is the firebrand that lights the way and will be passed along and passed along.


Sandra's speech on Jan 21st: