Monday, June 27, 2016

Lakes Basin in bloom

Spring has arrived in the Lakes Basin of the northern Sierra. A reasonably wet winter (at last) means lingering patches of snow and lush vegetation in late June.

The burnt-over hillsides are covered in creamy tobacco brush (Ceanothus velutinus):

Another handsome shrub, bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata), is ubiquitous:

In rocky places, Sierra stonecrop (Sedum obtusatum):

And in damp spots, mountain maple (Acer glabrum):

Higher up, arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) is a delight whether in living color...

... or blazing black-and-white:

I was informed by some foraging older hippy-types that the newly budded, burgundy-colored foliage of this manzanita makes a tincture good for treating a bladder infection. I hope they left some new growth behind:

Disclaimer: all plant identifications should be taken with a grain of salt!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bernie Worrell, RIP

In the words of my old friend MD, "Psychedelic boogiers are dying (now Bernie Worrell) just when the world is running a real-fun deficit." Indeed.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The perfect summer read

I picked up J.L Carr's slender 1980 reverie A Month in the Country on a whim at the library book sale. It is a perfect gem of a story, one of the most lovely and poignant novels I have read. It counts as a summer read only in the sense that summer–in this case summer in 1920 in a small Yorkshire village–is a principal character to rival the protagonist and narrator, Tom Birkin.

Newly returned to England from the Great War, Birkin has been hired to uncover and clean an old mural in Oxgodby's parish church. The parallel restoration of the hidden medieval masterpiece and of Birkin's damaged soul is hardly a subtle device, but the writing is so heartfelt, the characters so carefully and vividly drawn, the description of the countryside and the livelihoods of its inhabitants so poetic, the humor so sharp but good-spirited– one wishes to linger far longer in Oxgodby than Carr's economical 135 pages allow. Summer ends, and like Birkin, we must move on– moved.

Prince Be, RIP

That funky hippie groove.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Go ahead and listen. They have great taste. You'll hear something new that you like. Then maybe send them a few dollars.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Not good at all...

I wish this were attributable to a temporary boost from Trump's mouth, but even his exhaust fumes are not yuge enough to account for it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I voted...

... for a lady for president today. Last time I voted for a black guy. Each the most qualified candidate. Cool.

Can Music Be Perfect? Vol. 71

This is one of my treasured vinyl possessions. The cover is so cool, and McCoy is so cool. His dense, modal sound instantly recognizable. Think "A Love Supreme," but more rocking, and more accessible. Azar Lawrence cooking on sax. Guilherme Franco cooking on cuĂ­ca.