nature (175)

Paragliding Artistry

I had this wonderful period in my life some years back where, for maybe 2 weeks, I dreamed every night of flying. It wasn’t like I was suddenly in the air, or jumped from a height. I started on the ground, ran, flapped my arms, and took off. It was such a vivid experience, I remember it clearly, after all these years. An out-of-body experience, if you’ll pardon the cliché. During my waking hours, I’d sometimes feel like I could almost do it.

  Yesterday I was corresponding with Kian Clipson, who lives in Southwest England; his small, cozy, artistic mobile home is going into our new book, Tiny Homes on the Move, and I decided to check the paragliding website that Kian co-founded, here, and there is a ton of exciting stuff. These guys are doing what I did in my dreams.

Urban Side from Jean-Baptiste Chandelier JB prod on Vimeo.

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The Marble Caves of Chile Chico

Carved into the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border. Formed by more than 6,000 years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate, the smooth, swirling blues of the cavern walls are a reflection of the lake’s azure waters, which change in intensity and hue depending on water levels and time of year. Located far from any road, the caves are accessible only by boat. Thirty-minute tours are operated by a local company, weather and water conditions permitting.

Click here. More photos here.
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Benefit April 1st Drakes Bay Oyster Farm in Petaluma

This event is to help this wonderful local food operation stay in business while they are being persecuted by uber-environmental groups such as the West Marin Environmental Action Committee (one of the Tea Party type environmental groups — well financed, politically connected, and heads up their ass), and misrepresented with blatantly false scientific reports by the National Park Service.

   I heard that a petition with some 50,000 signatures was obtained in favor of closing the operation down. I’ll bet 95% of these were city dwellers and 98% of these people had never been to the farm. My first-hand and native Californian assessment is that is a triple-win food production system, and it will be a tragedy if it is closed own by what the Italians call the talibano dell’ ecologia .

From sananselmofairfax.patch.com: “…If they lose, the Lunnys will be forced to demolish buildings, remove and destroy an estimated $4.5 million worth of oysters, and put 30 people currently employed at the farm out of work.…With thirty full-time workers, many of whom live on the property, the farm is currently the second largest employer in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Oysters harvested from Drakes Bay make up nearly 40% of California’s yearly shellfish production, some 500,000 pounds of oyster meat annually, marketed exclusively in the Bay Area. The farm is also the last operating oyster cannery in the state.…”

Other stuff I’ve written about this in the past here.

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Red Sky This Morning…The 20/20/20 Rule For the Deskbound

It was vivid scarlet about a minute before this. (iPhone 5 panorama)

Good advice in NYTimes this morning for us keyboard users, article by Tara Parker-Pope: “…Jack Dennerlein, a professor at Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences in Boston who specializes in ergonomics and safety, suggests a variation on the 20-20-20 rule used to reduce eyestrain. In the case of the eyes, the rule is to take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away (instead of your computer), and repeat this every 20 minutes. But Dr. Dennerlein notes that this eye rule can be applied to movement as well. Every 20 minutes, walk 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more. Stop by a co-worker’s desk. Get a cup of coffee. Pace. Just don’t sit.…”
https://shltr.net/XwKjMc

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Red Sky This Morning…

When a friend came over this morning, he said, “Red sky in the morning…,” referring to the phrase:

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight,

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. 

In other words, a storm is coming.

Caused me to think about this saying, familiar to coast dwellers and especially sailors and fishermen. So, why does a red sky in the morning mean a storm is coming? I looked it up here, on Wikipedia:

“In America:

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

In Great Britain and Ireland:
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight,
Red sky in morning, shepherd’s warning.…

Weather systems typically move from west to east, and red clouds result when the sun shines on their undersides at either sunrise or sunset. At these two times of day, the sun’s light is passing at a very low angle through a great thickness of atmosphere, the result of which is the scattering out of most of the shorter wavelengths — the greens, blues, and violets — of the visible spectrum, and so sunlight is heavy at the red end of the spectrum.

Read More …

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SunRay Kelley Revisited

On November 29, I posted a link to a large New York Times article on SunRay Kelley. In retrospect, it’s not really good or fair reportage on SunRay; it doesn’t do him justice. Part of it is East Coast reporter snark about West Coast free-spiritedness. Part of it is that the reporter just didn’t get SunRay— that he’s not only an artist, designer, architect, and inventor, but a master builder. His mortise and tenon joints, even with gnarly lumber, are tight. He’s a carpenter whose buildings soar. There’s a joy and a spirit in both builder and buildings. The NYTimes reporter missed all this and focussed on a bunch of trivialities.

    And there was a very weird interview with SunRay’s ex-wife, who came up with some mean-spirited comments. This shouldn’t have been included in the article. Cheap shot, ex-wife-wise and journalistic-wise.

   SunRay’s way better than you’d get from this account. In my opinion, there’s no other natural materials builder in the world who’s combined such ecology, design, and craftsmanship in so many buildings on the American landscape.

   Just settin it straight…

    For anyone interested in SunRay and his work, we have posted a PDF of the 27 pages we did on him and his work in Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2004. (We do—ahem—a way better job on builders than does the New York Times.)

   For the real SunRay, click here. (To get this in Acrobat, you may have to right-click and save linked file in downloads folder.)

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A Real Circumambulation of the Pt. Reyes Peninsula

“Hi Lloyd, I read about your attempted trip around Point Reyes and got really inspired to try it myself. My girlfriend and I, plus a couple of friends in Point Reyes Station, are currently making plans and building out our ultralight kits. In our studies we came across this page and thought you might find it interesting: Click here. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration, keep it up! -Sean”

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