photo taken april 29, 2012 by jeff smith
a year between posts? it seems absurd, but what a year it's been. during the frigid winter of 2011 we became focused on the uprisings in egypt and north africa, and the outrage stirred here in the US by the wikileaks revelations. terrible wildfires raged through our drought-ridden region of far west texas, placing untold stress on local plants, wildlife, and the people who live here.
months of breathing smoke inspired julian's mom to suddenly relocate to the oregon coast, leaving behind the family homestead located in a small town about 45 miles from our place in the mountains. suddenly we found ourselves with two places miles apart to care for. we made the difficult decision to move our main base of operations to the house in town, since during the severe drought we have not been able to harvest enough rainwater to supply both ourselves and our plants - hauling water from a community well is possible, but very labor, time, and resource-intensive.
while here in the house in town, we have been making swales and berms in the relatively flat landscape of the yard to encourage the native plants and fruit trees here to flourish. we've routed every drop of graywater out onto the gardens.
then last week the fires started up again, and our canyon was once again threatened. as of today, the fires are 70% contained and the wind is light - we are hopeful that our beloved tiny home-in-progress may be spared once again. meanwhile, we are safely ensconced at the house in town, feeling very grateful to have a place to dwell, but worried about the ongoing stress to this remote, unique, and beautiful part of the world - and to planet earth in general.