Yellopig Is Free

Or, Recreating A Life From Scratch

Garden Update — June 2014

OK, confession time. I’ve been distracting you with all those flowers. Meanwhile, a battle has been raging in the backyard.

When last you saw the garden, there was a neat row of spinach, a messy row of lettuce and three baby potato plants. It was all looking so good.20140329-205731.jpg
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The Family Afterward: West Virginia Four Months After The Freedom Industries Chemical Spill


Last year, a physician in Pennsylvania won the right to tell his patients what fracking chemicals they’ve been exposed to and were causing their ailments. The fracking company had wanted him to sign a statement that he would not divulge the chemical mix not because it was poisonous, but because it was a secret, proprietary formula, and the fracking company had to protect itself from other fracking companies. 

Think on that.

The doctor sued, and lost his case, winning only on appeal and as part of a larger suit concerning storage of fracking waste in urban neighborhoods(!).

This story isn’t about fracking per se, but is definitely related. Please read, share, and make noise about it. We can’t continue this way.

Originally posted on Virally Suppressed - Muckraking For The Modern World:

“Put a marshmallow on it.” he told her. “I’m telling you, fish love the marshmallows. Helps ‘em to see the bait underwater. Normally it’s hard for fish to see bait moving around, but the marshmallow gives ‘em something they can fix their eye on and if they’re looking at the marshmallow, then they’re gonna be looking at the bait too. Once they see that bait, the fish can’t help but bite it. I’m telling you, you wrap one of them meal worms around a marshmallow and you’ll have more fish than you know what to do with. Here, let me see that hook a second.”

With one hand the man reached out and grabbed the girl’s fishing line while his other hand dipped down behind the rock he’d been sitting on, pulling out a tin of mealworms and a little jar of what looked like electric pink earplugs. The girl…

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Spring Critter Roundup 2014

It’s easy to take pictures of flowers — they don’t move around much, and don’t seem to mind when I come around pointing my camera at them. Critters are a different story. They’re usually shy, and for some reason they seem to find me a bit frightening, LOL. My trick for getting pictures of the most timid ones is… Reflector-filmed windows, Ha!

So one recent morning, I opened the blinds to find there had been some new excavations in the front yard. Caught in the act!

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Not-So-Wild Flowers from March

I live in what we call a “semi-rural” neighborhood. The roads are all dirt, and it’s very hilly, and cellphone service is still pretty iffy. But we do have our standards, y’know, and most of the houses here have at least some area around them that has been graded flat(-ish) and xeriscaped. Well, OK, my house had a little patch of grass in the backyard, but that’s all over now. The Google satellite photographs don’t show much lawn-type grass for miles around.

The “cultivated” plantings around the house also bloomed in March, and I thought I’d show those too.

I have two or three Paloverde trees that were probably planted on purpose near the house. There may be one or two more in the wilder part of the yard, but they’re less tree-like and more resemble loose, scruffy shrubs.

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March Wildflowers, Part 3

Wow, I’m really getting behind! But to be honest, April & May haven’t been spectacular, so I’m sticking with the March flowers.

The remaining March wildflower crop are all visible to the naked eye, unlike most of the ones I’ve presented previously.

First up: the Desert Zinnia (Zinnia acerosa)!

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March Wildflowers, Part 2

Many of the spring wildflowers don’t look like much from a distance, even a short distance, such as the distance from your eyes to the ground when you’re standing up — maybe 5 or 6 feet. Today’s crop of flowers fall into the category of “weeds”, when seen from above, but are amazing when you look at them close up.

Here’s a typical clump of “weeds” out in the wild part of the yard:

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March Wildflowers, Part 1

I know, I’m late. But you’ll like these — I know because I really like them. :)

It rained quite a bit in March, meaning we got over an inch(!). And the rain in December got everything ready for a show last month. I’m breaking this up, because there’s so much to see, and I know how long it can take to load pictures, so here we go with Part 1:

First, a bit of overview.

The ground is covered with a multi-colored carpet.20140429-200102.jpg Read more…

Garden Update — March ’14

Executive summary: So far, So good!

When you last saw the hole in my backyard, it was about 2/3 full of dirt mixed with soil amendment. Soon, I finished filling it, and had some dirt left over. Here’s what it looked like at the end.

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February Wildflowers

— Or — Small, Smaller, Smallest

You have to look pretty quick to catch the spring blooms here, and every month has a new and different crop. So let me show you what beauties I found last month.

First, one of the Fairy Dusters (Calliandra eriophylla):

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February Sennas

I have three senna bushes, and they bloom in early spring, meaning the end of January through February. Now at the beginning of March, they are setting seeds.

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