It has been an amazing streak of beautiful days. Every day sunny, temps in the 80’s. Cooling off at night into the 60’s. Perfect for walks at the beach and park. I hope the weatherman has been just as kind to you.

‎”A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
Lou Holtz

1) Nature slide show from the Guardian. Half the butterflies in the United Kingdom are under threat of extinction, and more than 70% are in decline. These pictures capture their beauty which, if this trend holds, future generations may not get to see with their own eyes.

Glanville fritllary, Photo by Pippa111

Photo by Woodmore

Orange tips by Photo devonteg

2) I hope sustainable living will become the lifestyle of the future. If the worst predictions of global warming come true, we won’t have a choice. There are a growing number of people who have made this choice, like the couple below. At present the hard part for many is having the time, and money, to be able to make the transition.

From a New York Times article about the sustainable lifestyle Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen have chosen:

http://tinyurl.com/446ub8f

“Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen do not subsist on a diet of lentils and gloom. Yes, the Los Angeles couple proselytize for a more self-reliant household in their new book, “Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World,” just published by Rodale. And to that end, they include in it illustrated directions for making things like homemade dog food and washable sanitary napkins.”

“Promoting a do-it-yourself revolution — in the book and on their blog, Root Simple (rootsimple.com) — is an unusual occupation. With their olive oil lamps (see page 8 in the book), dental twigs (page 12) and dry toilets (page 237), the couple can seem like historical re-enactors. Or prisoners of “Frontier House” on PBS.

Their 1,000-square-foot bungalow in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, on second thought, might be a junkyard Biosphere2, an experiment in the future of sustainable homemaking. This is the way we all could live if we weren’t working 50 hours a week, sitting in traffic on the way to the mega-mart, burning gasoline at $4 a gallon.”

“Just a few years ago, Ms. Coyne and Mr. Knutzen were trapped in the car themselves (a 1994 Nissan Sentra), commuting to jobs. Mr. Knutzen was a researcher and writer at the Center for Land Use Interpretation, a semisubversive think tank. Ms. Coyne worked nearby as the administrative director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a meta-museum filled with imaginary natural history and assorted magic.

But the drive to the Palms district of Los Angeles, an hour each way on a typical day, was a haul. “Toward the end, I was biking nine miles to the center,” Mr. Knutzen said.

“And it was faster,” Ms. Coyne said. “That’s one thing I don’t miss. We are both old-time, crunchy slackers, and we’ve tried our whole lives not to have office jobs.”

“Outside their apartment in San Diego, the couple started growing tomatoes in a container. Unlike their studies, this act was down-to-earth and fruitful, in a literal sense. According to David Wilson, 65, the director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Ms. Coyne and Mr. Knutzen had found a new philosophy to replace their academic training. ”

“The couple’s homestead is just such a project, down to its foundation. The 1920 house sits on a steep hillside on the fringe of Silver Lake. Ms. Coyne calls the area HaFo SaFo, after a revolving podiatrist’s sign (a cartoon of a happy foot and a sad foot) on nearby Sunset Boulevard.

“We bought it in 1998 for $198,000,” Mr. Knutzen said. “It was worth half that,” Ms. Coyne said.

By the time they closed, the little clapboard box was already sliding, “California-style,” downhill. For $80,000, contractors injected two truckloads of concrete under the house. Now, pylons connect the home to the bedrock.

“We basically have the Hoover Dam now,” Mr. Knutzen said. “When the Big One comes, our house will stand,” Ms. Coyne said.”

Advertisements