Archive for water

Fairs as Wilderness Stewardship Sponsors

Posted in Events / Celebrations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2014 by Drogo

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I attended the 2014 ‘Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival’ (HFOF) at the ‘Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship’ (BRCES) because I believe in the concept of celebrating art and sport to preserve wild land and clean water. It is amazing to consider, during a recession based on commercial monopolies, that it is possible to support local talent and save our woods, forests, creeks, rivers, and the wild and free creatures whose lives depend on these environments. During an era where it is common for people to litter on their way to a job that pollutes natural ecology, events like HFOF are truly revolutionary and patriotic in Native American terms.

The BRCES land is beautiful; almost 1,000 acres of wilderness and a small organic farm run by a caring family. Years ago when I visited with my father, BRCES had just begun their mission on the land, and the old white house was over grown and in disrepair. Now the buildings and land are functional again, while being in harmony with the landscape. BRCES is truly a success story for environmentalists.

Volunteers run the show during HFOF. I was lucky enough to be a volunteer under the leadership of President Lisa Cullinane. Lisa is very friendly, kind, and smart; which by the way is my favorite kind of leader. We started preparing a few weeks before the event, and by the event I felt things were flowing well. Vendors are small businesses and non-profit organizations that rent spaces around the field, using tables and tents. I really enjoyed the variety of concessions, and the food and drink was good. There are always tensions and stress involved in any production, but any problems that arose were resolved. Hundreds of people attended the festival; although my non-profit tent for ‘Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development’ (SCOD), and my fine artist partners did not get visited by many people during the event, so we did not make any earnings. For me it was ok, because I believe in the concept and I was happy to be there.

Camping was easy. I slept in my tent the first night, in the field behind my table. At night the humidity lifted, however this created a dew which saturated my books and artwork exposed to the sky; however items in the tent and oddly enough below the table-cloth were fine. The second day my art partners arrived and set up a tent to shade us a bit; which really helped survive a day of full sun in the field. I also wore sun-block, a large hat, and sunglasses so as to not be sun-burned. Some of us rented the white house for the second night, which was very nice indeed! Staying at the house was a relief from the electric generator that was kept running all night at the main field, to keep their fridge on to preserve the food. Also the best part of the field at the crest, had become over-crowded with vehicles; which in my opinion ruined the very purpose of being there… in other words it turned the perfect camping spot into a parking lot. Despite traffic congestion, most reveled in the mirth, and many stayed up all night with enthusiasm and excitement!!

Bands began playing the first evening, and continued through the night into the next day and night. Some of the bands I had already worked with as friends, so it was a good treat to have them play there. I was even able to deliver my final fan cartoon print-outs to one of the band members that visited my table. Unfortunately I was not able to advertise for the bands, as I had hoped, because like I said very few people came to my booth. Although most of the show revolved around the main stage, my favorite part was the small stage by the grand fire pit. The field has a natural amphi-theater shape around the fire pit; which had just been made formal by Boy Scouts with impressive stone work and movable wood benches. At night the fire pit area hosts musical jam sessions, which embrace the audience, allowing anyone to play with the bands; this is musical freedom and creative collaboration at its finest!!!

Lastly in this article I want to thank everyone that helped make the event happen. Some of my personal high-lights were being with friends, hiking the trails, and witnessing natural phenomena such as the lightning-bug show across the fields, and even into and above the trees!! As I observed the natural light show, I meditated on how often our Nation’s founders enjoyed wonders that surpassed the magic of their technologies back then. Even today many scientists concede that our artificial efforts fail, in comparison to the energy efficiency of the natural world. Thank you also to those that stayed and picked up all the trash! I admit I was tired after the event, and disappointed to once again have to pick up after people that litter. Also the sheer abundance of garbage was not encouraging to my opinion of humanity. However I was pleased there were enough people to pick up all we could find, after many hours of pick-up. I even returned to the site days later to double check that the clean-up was as effective as I thought. Any negative issues did not stop us from having fun, nor did any problems hinder the success of the event as a whole. I definitely want to return next year to BCRES, and be a part of music festivals and sports competitions that donate to wilderness stewardship, and take place within a nature preserve. Please let us get more people to join us!!!!

Rev. Walton D. Stowell II, M.Arch.

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Retrieving Joy

Posted in Nature Studies, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2014 by Drogo

Retrieving Joy

Muddy waters let rest will settle.”

( old oriental axiom )

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A dear friend of mine told me recently that he felt like he was getting his Joy back after many years of difficult occurrences in his life, including deep sorrow upon the death of his child. Indeed, it takes a good while to begin to feel an ounce of joy after multiple traumas in ones life, especially if one unsettling thing after another occurs.

Today as I went out the door of my cottage, after a pretty good nights sleep, I felt something strangely like peace. As I went through the wild flower path to the house for coffee, I pondered this feeling, realizing that it came from having no extreme problems lately, imagined or real. Perhaps the muddy waters are settling, and things are clearing up a bit.

Coffee in hand, I went back through the wildflowers which I allowed to grow in profusion from the soil of the fire here over one year ago, a fire which completely obliterated my plans for joyful activity. As I sat in my chair on the cottage deck, I looked at the many wonderful colors…blues of chicory, purple of thistle and clover, white of daisy flea-bane, a tall spiky splash of burnt orange of the broad-leaf plaintain seed-stalks and all the green leaves in between. Rejoicing at the variety of pollinators going from flower to flower, I thought “such a work of art Mother Nature has provided from the burnt-out soil !”, and the burnt-out soul. This part of my gardens I allowed to go totally wild in the aftermath of the hellish fire which incinerated my yurt and years of precious writing, pictures, clothes, books, important documents, sacred items, etc.. My life was thrown off to such a degree that I had little peace and rarely joy.

Displacement and loss is a reality in many people’s lives, creating trauma and stress. No one understands except the person in the middle of the problems, and when one trauma after another after another keep socking you in the gut, you can loose your center. Extreme sadness, fatigue, compounded with multiple triggers, as well as a grandiose effort to recover, to catch-up and get your life back on track, consumes your daily life. Besides that, if the people you live with are also dealing with their own issues, they likely have little tolerance for your expressions of grief and loss of good health. It is a stew pot of unsavory flavors, so eating wholesome foods becomes essential for recovery, and recovery is slow. Some days recovery does not even seem possible.

I will not go into all the setbacks I had before the fire, as that would take a book. All I know is that today I felt a settling. Perhaps that is because I have had no huge difficulty lately. Could it be the universe is giving me a break, a much needed one ?

Perspective has never been a strength of mine, but through all the problems I always had a glimpse and infrequent moments of true joy and peace, especially through the restorative beauty of nature, as well as music. The nurture of bird songs, the feel of the breeze on a hot day, the colors of wildflowers and the taste of wild berries all are healing for me. Without the world outside my door, I would be lost indeed.

This day I sat in my chair upon awaking and watched my two resident barn swallows zooming through the air, frequently resting under the roof eave where their nest used to be. They too suffered a huge loss one month ago when their old clay nest that had been there for at least 15 years gave way to a huge wind and fell to the tin roof of my porch. It broke my heart to see this happen to my faithful little swallows, as I believe the female was ready to lay her eggs. Every year they fly up here from South or Central America and have 2 broods, only to return in August as a larger family.

Much like me, their little lives were drastically thrown off. For awhile they disappeared, likely looking for another spot to nest. I missed their cheerful chattering and the constant swooping high in the sky for winged insects, like mosquitoes and gnats. Sometimes I think they simply flew for the joy of it. In fact, I am sure they did. Just watching the swallows always brought me Joy.

As I type my thoughts, these energetic birds are still swooping and chattering excitedly. Perhaps today they will begin to rebuild where the old nest had been, much as I did after my fire. Perhaps they looked for, but could not find, a better place. Selfishly, I hope so. Time has passed, and if for awhile there are no more storms, or fires, or falls, or traumas, perhaps we can all return to our happy little lives, chirping and singing and spreading our wings to fly, and to sing again, with JOY !

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~ Christine Schoene Maccabee

July 8, 2014

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Frederick Water Quality Report

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 30, 2012 by Drogo

Frederick Water Quality – Report received by mail

 

New Design Road Treatment Plant

 

Regulated contaminants detected

Contaminant parameters detected

 

Barium industrial drilling waste deposit erosion

Beta Radionuclides decaying material

Dalapon Herbicide runoffs

Di-ethylhexlphthalate Chemical Factory discharge

Ethylene Dibromide Petroleum refinery discharge

Nitrate Fertilizer runoff, Septic System leaching, etc

Turbidity soil runoff

Disinfection by-products artificial toxic chemicals from cleaners

Haloacetic Acids Chlorination by-product

Flouride regulated dental additive

Antoine Predock

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Nature Studies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by Drogo

Alternative Architect Antoine Predock Website Homepage

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Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque, NM

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African-American Museum Proposal DC

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Human Rights Museum

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Notes written at RWU from Architecture Magazine 1984 v 73 by Crosbie:

Rio Grande Nature Center – Architectural movement across the landscape, into the water, enhances educational function. Sited in the wetlands preserve of Albuquerque, NM; it celebrated the history of water management. Arrive through a tunnel of trees, procession snakes around to the hidden bunker of earth berms, concrete, and vegetation. The Metal corrugated entry culvert tunnel burrowing through a berm, uses appropriate engineering language. The central station overlooks exhibits and landscape. Down a spiral ramp is a water pump exhibit with a reverse periscope for underwater viewing. Circular center space with 22 water columns, skylights, kid friendly vistas, sculpted dam.

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Organic Design by Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by Drogo

Essay on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture

Taliesin

Fallingwater

Broadacre City

 

American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, borrowed the word ‘Organic’ from his mentor Louis Sullivan. Wright began expressing his own vision of how organic nature applies to design. He tried to define ‘Organic Architecture’ in words, but the truest expression will always be in his designs and how they relate to the landscape.

 

Taliesin East & West

Frank Lloyd Wright formed the Taliesin Fellowship dedicated to organic design, education, and spiritual theory and practice. It later evolved into the FLW Foundation, and Taliesin Architects continued after Wright’s death. Wright built two small Communities based on his designs and theories. Taliesin East was built first on 600 acres in Wisconsin. Then Taliesin West was built on 600 acres in Arizona. Both developments respected the landscape by leaving much of it natural, while fitting in artistic architecture using site features. Both remained in a constant state of evolution during Wright’s lifetime.

 

Fallingwater

Fallingwater was a unique residence designed by Wright which show-cases his Organic Architecture. The natural organic landscape meets his organic designs above a waterfall. I was awarded a student residency there in high school, and every day for weeks we went down to the cold waters of Bear Run to wake up and begin our sketches and studies. Inside the house, concrete rests on stone, and the woods are seen through generous windows. That house has more of a give and take between the architecture and the landscape (including the water) than most other modern buildings in the World.

 

Broadacre City

Broadacre City was designed to show how various types of buildings should be organized in urban planning, using Organic Architecture. The hypothetical City was 4 square miles and published first in his Disappearing City, 1932 and continued to evolve until his death in 1959. One important rule was that the tallest buildings (sky-scrapers) should have enough open space around them so their shadows do not fall upon other buildings. Another factor was giving most residents one acre to build their own houses based on Usonian models. It was an effort to take the new concept of suburbs to a Utopian extreme by furthering the concept of combining rural and urban while striving to keep the best of both. Broadacre decentralized urban design, and lay grid upon rural country; advocating that the desire for suburban life be fully granted. Mass transportation would still be available at stations, but freedom was maintained through the use of individual vehicles on the roads and in the air.

 

 

Cistern Water Pumps

Posted in Organic Gardens, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by Drogo

Cistern Water Pumps

If you have a cistern or another large rain-water catchment container, you should be able to use the trapped water, even if it is not potable. At least the water can be used to water the lawn, gardens, trees, or potted plants. The most primitive means of getting at the water would be lowering a bucket through and accessible opening at the top, and with an attached rope pulling it back up. However this is not always efficient since buckets lowered down tend to float on the surface of water (especially plastic ones), and therefore cannot get water into them easily.

So simple hand pumps were invented by civilization centuries ago, to solve the problem of getting water out of a cistern (or well). The most affordable and sustainable method still seems to be using a simple cast iron hand pump. By pulling up and down on the lever handle, a piston inside creates a vacuum in the pipe below. This action sucks water up from near the bottom of the pit, and out of the spout. Some pumping of the handle is usually needed before water can flow, to create the suction.

You can attach a hose to a spigot on an electric pump. The problem with an electric pump, is of course the need for electricity. If you need to pump large volumes of water out quickly without working hard, electric pumps are great.

Electric Dirt / Microbe Power

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2010 by Drogo

Microbes in Soil generate Electricity which is stored in Batteries!

These buckets of water and special fabric with wires are being used as batteries to store electricity from microbes in dirt. The technology now generates the same as D size batteries, and therefore already has market uses. The fact that we do not hear more about this in mainstream media, is yet another problem in propaganda that we need to address and change.