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Sunday, July 10, 2016

What is Enough?

Everything is so green and lush on my property. Going outside, I see so many flowers and insects.

I can walk down the path and spy skippers and bees feeding on Virginia Mountain Mint.

Though there have not been as many milkweed flowers, the Great Spangled Fritillary has not been a stranger.

On the Virginia Mountain Mint by the fence line, the silver-spotted skipper and the yellow antenna black spider wasp do battle over territory.

The tall phlox is blooming as if it were wild, without my watering or weeding any of it.

My pear trees are full of pears.

There are what look to be honey bees everywhere. But I don't know whether they are solitary bees or part of a colony. I am not sure whether you can tell by looking at them whether they are libertarian or socialist bees, It may not be a matter of breed so much as temperament. All I know is that they let me film them and leave me alone.

I walked down the path yesterday and found some ripe blackberries and brought them home for Bow to eat.

He enjoyed the blackberries, and since I served them in a glass, he practically drank them in.

It rained again last night long and hard. This morning when I went out to mow, I saw how lush and alive the back yard was.

It rains a lot here, even though we reportedly are suffering from a drought.The grass in the backyard would grow uncontrollably high if I did not mow it -- using the reel mower -- about every other day. A stronger person could put it off longer, but with my upper body strength, I can't afford to. Last year, I let it grow too long, and it was back breaking work to get it down to size with only clippers and a reel mower. So this year I have been more consistently diligent.

The backyard supports lots of life. There is the big green stinkbug on the window looking into the dining area. There is the bumblebee on the day flowers by the generator. There are the dogs and me and Bow.

What does it mean that there is a drought? I have been told that the farmers need more rain in order to grow crops and raise food animals. So in essence, a drought is when you don't have enough water to do what you want to do. A drought is a drought only in terms of the goals that we humans or other animals have set ourselves. There is no drought in purely objective terms.

It's kind of like poverty. Poverty is not having enough money. Drought is not having enough rain. But the question is: enough for what? It's a purely subjective issue. There is no right answer. If you want to use a motor-operated mower, you might need more money than you'd need to operate a reel mower. If you want to eat food grown by other people, then you might need more money than if you grow the food yourself. If you want to grow food for many other people, you might need more rain water than just for yourself.  If you want to feed a colony of bees and then harvest their honey, you might need more flowers  and more pollen than you would for solitary bees whose honey surplus is not taxed.

Do we have enough of everything? Depends. Enough for what?


  1. People can actually live a very frugal life by what might be considered poverty standards by some. If shopping and owning the biggest house on the block is your goal, then sometimes people take jobs they hate. It is just too bad these days it is harder to be a small business owner or farmer and do your own thing. Corporate entities get priority now.

    1. Yes. I agree, Julia. I think people should be able to choose how much they make and how much they spend, and there ought to be the option to do very little and spend very little. But that can't happen if we are taxed for our very existence and have to pay for health insurance whether we want it or not.