The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, released a sobering report today on climate change, calling it a "Code Red for humanity". We are seeing so many examples of the changes and extreme results all over our beautiful planet that it is difficult not to be concerned about it or confused by the relative lack of attention to it. Across the northern hemisphere, fires are burning from the western United States and Canada, to Turkey, Greece, and Siberia. In California, the River Fire came much too close for comfort for relatives whose landscaping, pasture, fence, tool shed, propane tanks, generator, and native trees burned. The fire and climate change landed at their doorstep. Luckily, their home and barn were spared, thanks to their wisdom of building with tile and metal roofing, and stucco, and to the incredible efforts of firefighters and emergency workers, both in the air and on the ground. We watched videos from the network affiliate in Sacramento, both horrified at the destruction and impressed by the firefighters who worked like a well-oiled machine. Whether they will ever hear it from us or not, we are extremely grateful for their work.
We are also humbled by elements of nature that survive so well. Probably every book on weeds will have a section on thistles. People love them or hate them, or give these survivors little thought. Part of the aster family, thistles come in assorted sizes and leaf configurations. With my handy copy of Weeds of the West on the desk, I still cannot identify precisely which species I was seeing, but to me these humble, yet stout plants have their own beauty. The Scottish thistle is Scotland's national emblem. I don't think the ones I photographed are of that species. But I was just after the flowers and here are a few of the resulting images.
Because the flower stalks carry a single flower, they make excellent "botanical" artwork.
That one would be framed by the wood and barbed wire fencing is not totally surprising.
Some large sunflower leaves provide a nice sidebar for this specimen.
The giant of the thistle family, bred for consumption, is the artichoke. The image below is from the Santa Fe Farmers' Market.
My hope is that all of you are safe, well, and find the amazing to enjoy in life in ways that are gentle on the Earth. I am grateful and humbled by each of you, including Victoria, Char, Jean and Sam, Barbara, Connie, Marilyn, TTT, Debbie R., Steve, Sara, Donna C., Wayne, and Pauli for your comments this week.
until next Monday,
a passion for the [email protected]