Earth Day

Another in the string of catch-up posts from this spring…

Earth Day was remarkable for us here in New York State for two reasons this year.

First, the vast majority of the countries of the world signed the Paris climate agreement that day at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Of course, this was a remarkable event for the whole world and we all hope that we finally have the political will to follow through on what the science tells us we must do to avert the most catastrophic consequences of global warming while assisting people everywhere to adapt to the effects that are unavoidable and already underway.

Second, just days before a final deadline, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rejected the water quality certificate application that would have permitted the construction of the Constitution methane pipeline.

Those of us in the environmental community have been battling against the further expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure as part of the fight against global warming. Building pipelines for fossil fuels is akin to building whaling ships as whale oil was being displaced by other lighting sources. It doesn’t make sense to prop up a dying technology.

Unfortunately, the decision in New York came too late to save forests in a 22-mile swath of Pennsylvania, where some land was taken by eminent domain and cleared despite the owners’ objection and the fact that the whole project did not have all the permits needed to move forward. We were especially heartbroken for the Holleran family, who lost the majority of their producing sugar maples.

The pipeline company is trying to challenge the DEC’s decision in court. I sincerely hope that the court upholds the DEC’s action to protect our environment and health.

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SoCS: this and that

This post is going to bounce around a lot because it is about this and that.

Someone I know is running for the US Congress!  Kim Myers, with whom I served on committees in our school district, is going to run for a seat in the New York 22nd district. She is running for the Democratic nomination; our current Representative is retiring. He is a Republican and considered a moderate – which is what used to be considered very conservative. Kim has served on the school board in our town for 18 years. Recently she has been sitting on the Broome County legislature, where she is the only woman and the minority leader.  I’m so hoping Kim will be elected. She is well-known in our part of the district also because she is from the Stack family, who founded Dick’s Sporting Goods. Their original location in Binghamton is still open. She has been involved in philanthropy for years, too.

Unfortunately, this brings to mind presidential election stuff…  More primaries and caucuses this weekend. The Republican race has descended further into name-calling and ridicule. At least, the Democratic side talks about issues.

Last night, we got to see a livestream of T’s concert. Her choir, the Hendrick’s Chapel Choir, sang in a choral showcase with all the other Syracuse University choirs. Each group sang a couple of their own pieces and then joined together to sing two spirituals arranged by their guest conductor who had been vising for the week from Temple University. T is a graduate student, not at Syracuse, but at SUNY – Environmental Science and Forestry, which is directly adjacent to Syracuse. ESF students are eligible for courses and extracurricular activities at Syracuse U, so it has meant that T gets to sing in a great choir program, which she loves.

This has been tax prep week. I helped my parents with their taxes earlier in the week and yesterday I plowed through ours and T’s. I am very grateful for TurboTax! I’d hate to have to do them all long-hand, as I used to years ago.

It’s chilly here today, but a big warm-up is in store. By mid-week, it is supposed to get up to 60 F (15 C) which is tremendously warm for early March.

The maple sap has been running early, but there was a maple syrup related tragedy this week. The Holleran family owns a sugarbush in New Milford PA, not that far from here. There is a proposal for a new methane pipeline, the Constitution, that starts in PA, then continues into NY. New York has not yet approved it, but FERC gave permission for tree-felling to begin in PA. The Holleran’s did not want to have their trees cut down; the pipeline route is taking out 90% of their maple trees. The courts allowed the company to take the land by eminent domain, which many of us think is unconstitutional because the land is being taken for private profit rather than public use. At first, the work crews turned away because the trees were tapped and the family and other tree defenders were on the property, which is their land still, even with the court order. The company went to court and then they came back with tree crews accompanied by armed officers and cut down all the trees. The Holleran’s and others had painted American flags on the trees. It was so jarring to see these trees with flags painted on them stacked up. We are all just sick about it. If New York does not approve it, the pipeline will not go in and they will have killed all those trees and taken away part of the family’s farm income for no reason at all.

A happier part of this past week is that I sent in my paperwork and deposit for the Boiler House Poets reunion at Mass MoCA this fall. I am thrilled because one of my poet-friends here is going to come with me. We had a couple of spaces because some of our original group is unable to make the reunion. We are going to be in North Adams for the Fall Foliage Festival and for my birthday. It will be so great!

Well, I could go on writing about this and that for a lot longer, but I think I had better stop before your eyes glaze over. So, that’s that!
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This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. The prompt this week was “this and that” – a post about this and that, beginning and possibly ending with “this” or “that.” Come join the fun!  Find out how here:    http://lindaghill.com/2016/03/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-516/

SoCS badge 2015

 

Tymczasem 1000m wyżej / Meanwhile, 1000m above

Some snow photos for all my local friends who are missing having snow this winter.

365 dni w obiektywie LG

Cel / Objective

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Połowa drogi / Half way

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Na samej górze / On the very top

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Nadejście chmur / The advent of cloud

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Śnieżyca jaka mnie dopadła / Storm which caught me

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Dziś po południu musiałem sprawdzić czy jest coś śniegu po wyżej 1000m i co się okazało, oczywiście że jest a w dodatku zaatakował mnie śnieg i to tak intensywnie. Wszystkie ujęcia wykonane moim LG G4.

(English version)
This afternoon I had to see if there is something on the snow above 1000m and as it turned out, of course it is and in addition attacked me and the snow is so hard. All shots made my LG G4.

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poet-tree

my poem on the poet-tree

When I was visiting Beth in Honolulu this summer, we would walk up the hill in Kaimuki to go to the big Saturday morning farmers’ market at Kapi’olani Community College. There is always a huge array of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, jams, pickles, etc., as well as lots of prepared foods and beverages to enjoy there.  (Also, lots and lots of people, as it is listed in the tour guides and some of the bus tours bring people there.)

We would walk home through campus and pass by their poet-tree, which is a world community poetry project. Visitors are invited to write a poem and leave it in a jar. Then, the poems are sorted into geographic regions, sealed in plastic, and affixed to the poet-tree, which has pegs for different countries or regions.

On the last weekend of my visit, I brought a poem to contribute to the project. E sent me this photo over the weekend, showing it on display! The poem itself is one I wrote several years ago. and, as often happens, there is a bit of poetic license. I realize it is a hard to read in the photo, so here it is:

Two Trees

A pair of gum trees
Reaching tall in the courtyard
Bark flashing streaks:
       grey, red-brown, green, vibrant orange
A paint-by-number from childhood come to life.
Transplanted into Hawaiian soil
You grow at a prodigious rate
As do my own daughters
Also transplanted there.

(Note:  The trees are rainbow eucalyptus.)

Flowering trees near Waikiki

There are always flowers of some sort here in Honolulu. One of the things about coming at different times of year is that you catch different plants flowering.
non-native tree
I am not sure what these trees are, other than I know they are no longer planting them as they are not native. (If my younger daughter were here, I’m sure she would be able to tell us what they are and how they are being managed.) It’s interesting that the blossoms develop along the branch but not at the tip. There are clusters of blossoms and then more leaves beyond.
hibiscus
Some yellow hibiscus in Kapiolani Park, adjacent to Waikiki beach.
plumeria
We have often seen plumeria blooming on other visits, but not nearly so prolifically as this June.

While I’m at it, let’s throw in another couple of photos!
trees from Lulu's
Looking out from lunch at Lulu’s near Waikiki. We were sitting at the edge of the second floor, which, like many restaurants and hotel lobbies, is open rather than walled off.
bird of paradise
A pair of bird of paradise blossoms outside our hotel.