Above is a link to video my nephew Connor McCutchen showed my UMass class in a talk about Citizen Science. He made an argument that many of my Natural Science students are already on-board with, about getting locals involved to protect their own environments (the only thing that seems to work when protecting marine and other parks), and how protecting the environment can alleviate poverty. His family’s boat, The R.V. Llyr sails out Saturday, April 28th to meet the scientists from ReefCheck.org to survey Haitian’s southern reef. Sadly, they are leaving minus one crew member. Connor’s little brother broke his collar-bone playing frisbee two days ago, so he’s staying home with us – for now. I expect there will be updates on the trip at: http://berkshiresweetgold.com/RV_Llyr.html
Berkshire Sweet Gold & R.F. Llyr (Ridge To Reef)
An odd summer has culminated in earthquakes, floods and mayhem. Are we entering the age of the superstorm? I’ve been in big waves on the ocean, but never seen a standing wave outside my backdoor, while upwards of 70 (last count) propane and other tanks whizzed by, one huge one hissing as it rode that wave. We were still oohing and ahing until the water came up the last few steps of our 15? foot bank. Then it was a mad dash to crate the chickens, tie the propane tanks to the house, and get the last boat from the low back yard to the front while the water rose incredibly fast. The evacuation order came right about then, yelled over a scratchy microphone from a cop car that seemed a bit tentative and unsettled itself. We raced out the door with children, camp gear and dog, (the chickens loose in the basement) and went to the evac center at the high school, where a baby-cop shuffled a group of sad looking oldsters from room to room until admitting they had no facilities here and that we should all call someone we knew. By then we knew most of the major roads were closed, and the one leading to high ground, as we left the school, was also closed now. We shot up a steep dirt road, the steepest in our yearly road race, Critendon Hill, on the hopes that a summer friend from NY would still be up at the top. Figured we go door knocking (no cell phone). Where the road was dirt, it was washing away in huge car sized chunks off to my left, so I knew we weren’t coming back down that way. We wound around to the Buckland side of the river and parked to go look back, see what was happening to that huge water. There was a group of people standing below Salmon Falls Market, pointing to the quilt shop that had just spun off its foundation and down the street. The river was hitting the bottom of the Iron Bridge, and was smashing through the little headroom left in the arches under the flower Bridge. The lower road, State Street, and 116 were awash. A girl stopped us and said that the Harriman dam had cracked and that the water could get to the treeline by the Market, which would put our house, and most of the town, entirely under water. Others said there were going to be more releases from Harriman to keep it from cracking. Later we heard the crack was already 3 years old.
Several folks offered us shelter, but we continued up to our friend Kirsten’s place. She had a walk to an overlook of the town. We really weren’t sure whether her place would be locked up for the winter, and couldn’t see lights as we drove up through debris fallen from the trees. I knocked, tried the door handle, and it was open, but there was no answer. I heard a kid’s voice and walked upstairs. There was an amazing smell of cooking, warmth, and golden light flooded the whole upstairs. Kirsten looked up from the stove, mildly surprised to see me in her living room, sopping wet and starting to wail (only for a minute). She took us in, gave us wine and food, and a warm place to sleep, that wasn’t a gym floor. We walked to the overlook later when the rain subsided and before the wind started, and looked down from a great height on that raging water. It looked very far away now. We slept on a futon in her loft, listening to the wind hit the trees and wondered what would be left when we went back down the mountain the next day.
Deborrah: from the little I have gleaned from the web , it looks as though we two could rave on about mutual interests for days! My 19th will be pubd in USA in June: Gaia Calls. It is a tour through my life following certain themes. Somehow you heard of me and sent that Linked in thing. I have not been able to grasp how Linked in works…I prefer email. That may be an age-related limitation. I find myself up against the new technologies almost daily. Our small home is bristling with it , but it is not always user friendly. I am amazed that this has not collapsed on me so far. I have little faith it will reach you though…wade
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