This video poem was created on 25 August 2011 and sent off – digitally, exceptionally – on the same day. Also exceptionally, the recipient sent me his poem first. That was a wonderful surprise! Thank you!

I also got back several beautiful, original poems from both the first and the second addressees. The first actually sent me three. That way we’ll make it to 350 much faster.

I was battening down the hatches when I saw the bees streaming in and ran inside to get the camera. What a treat to have witnessed that.

So that flaming ball of churning energy is probably heading for us, driving wind, heavy rain and the threat of tornadoes ahead of it. We hardly felt the weather that spawned the tornadoes that destroyed Springfield and Monson, not too far from here, in western Massachusetts, in June. But that doesn’t mean it will spare us again.

As I wedge heavy rocks between the garden beds and the long plank that holds down the cover of the hoop house, set a rock on the beehive and  bring the potted trees inside, as well as anything else that I can imagine flying off, I think of McKibben’s line, about Eaarth,  where “the wind blows harder; more rain falls; the sea rises.” Yes, that’s here.

So check out  the people getting arrested in front of the White House because they’re speaking out against the Tar Sands Pipeline, putting their freedom on the line for a planet that is teetering on the edge. Be with them, if only in your thoughts. Eaarth is bad.  But if can get a lot worse if we don’t do something.

I harvested the last potatoes yesterday and got two surprises. First, when I pulled the straw away, there was this:

The first time  I noticed this dark, crumbly soil, I thought there was something wrong with it. Did some sort of cement get into it? What insect does this? Is it good? Then I realized. A few days later I told a friend who used to be a farmer and she said: “You’ve arrived!”

Yes. It’s worm poop! A half inch deep layer over the entire 4×8′ bed! Here’s a closer look:


Then I started digging up the potatoes – all the Keuka Golds I had left in because they were unaffected by the brown spot. I had high hopes because the plants were healthy and the only of my potatoes that actually flowered.  Well, plant after plant came out but I found hardly any potatoes! It was only when I reached the other side of the bed that I discovered what had happened. I plunged in my potato fork and eek! I had speared a fat, loudly squeaking vole! Startled, I shook it off my fork over the fence. Later I came across two more voles and took a picture of them.

Funny creatures. Unfortunately for me and for that one very unlucky one, we both like potatoes!

This is the Riot for the months of June and July 2011 – months 32 and 33. We are at present 4 to the family, so the per person counts are for 4. Our first year’s averages were calculated here, our second year’s averages can be found here.

Looks like Sharon is trying to get the Riot (and the calculator!) up and running again!

Gasoline.  DH carpooled to two conferences in Montreal and Quebec City. Calculating that in, we consumed:

14.4 gallons per person pp. per month

35% of the US National Average

Electricity. The calculator reckons per household, not per person.

369 KWH for June, 433 KWH for July = 401 KWH on average (all wind)

13% of the US National Average

Soon it will all be solar! Soon… (red tape).

Heating Oil and Warm Water. This too is calculated for the entire household, not per person. It’s up from the last Riot because there are more of us using the hot water for showers, which is basically all our heating oil is used for these days.

10 7.45 gallons of oil

17% 12.1% of the US National Average

{UPDATE} 3 Jan 2012: The way I have been calculating our heating oil consumption is by reading off the furnace how many hours it ran, then multiplying it by .85 because that’s the amount of gallons of oil I *thought* it used. Now DH just told me that our furnace is more efficient than that and the correct number is .65. Hence the correction

Trash. After recycling and composting this usually comes down to mainly food wrappers.

10 lbs. pp per month

7% of the US National Average

Water. This is up, don’t know why. The weather has supplied us with a good and regular amount of rain, so I’ve not had to water the garden with tap water. Still… {CORRECTION} I forgot to average this number over two months. So we did well!

875 437.5  gallons pp.

34 15% of the US National Average