strawberries & haiku
Looks like someone is living in our woodpile... This morning I uncovered the woodpile to dry out after the typhoon because we'll be needing it next month, and found this Aodaisho "Blue General" snake sleeping in there. From the sheddings in, on, and around the woodpile, it seems he has been making this his home for a while, and probably he's the baby snake I used to find curled up on the back deck last spring. We'll have to be a little careful of him while getting wood this autumn, but this is actually a good situation because Aodaisho are not poisonous and they keep away the highly dangerous Mamushi Vipers.
Living this close with nature is always an adventure and a cooperative effort--
Last night we woke suddenly in the middle of the night to the shrieking alarms of our mobile phones trying to warn us of an impending earthquake. That gave us about 30 seconds to jump out of bed and ask Alexa to turn on the lights as we took shelter in the few doorways in our house away from glass windows...
Our bedroom is on the second floor loft, and with the open-plan layout of the house we can see everything in what is basically a single huge room. The house proved itself to be surprisingly flexible, swaying widely in all directions like a drunken sailor without falling. I guess this motion added a kind of gentleness to the violence of the earthquake, because after it finally slowed down to stillness there was nothing broken, not even the one picture that flew off the wall and landed face down on the floor two meters away...
We were very fortunate, because the earthquake was reported to be about 6.8 (on the US scale) centered just off the coast and probably around 5.5 by the time it reached us in these mountains a little inland. Anyway, we are totally fine and the house with its utility systems all check out fine by daylight. We are very thankful to be living in a time and place where we can almost magically be warned to seek shelter just in time, and with construction engineering that can handle such events...
It's the winter holidays and it has been cold of late, often dropping just below freezing overnight. Though the mornings start quite 'brisk', the passive solar well of light that is the heart of Sant-o-menel slowly collects the warmth of the sun's lovely rays throughout the day. And by 3pm, while it is only 12C (54F) outside, I am here on the couch 'glistening' in a pink t-shirt and loving it. It will eventually start cooling down as the sun sets around 5pm, and I will close the curtain at the top of the well to hold in the heat for the evening. Gradually we will layer up again into the usual winter-wear but hold off lighting a fire in the woodstove until we need its cheery warmth after dinner around 9pm.
I hope we can all take inspiration from collaboration with nature's abundance in our lives--