Blueberry/Black Strap Raspberry Cobbler — June 13, 2016
Italian cauliflower from our garden… — June 11, 2016
It’s still Spring… — June 7, 2016

It’s still Spring…

Here is a picture I took yesterday. Eggs nestled against my rainwater tank pipes. Just right there at chest height – I wish the momma bird the best of luck on this one. Oh, and I did not touch the nest or the eggs, an action that will drive the mom away and doom the eggs. Maybe I’ll have a picture of the little fledglings later ….

 

IMG_3002

Ranch – late Spring… — June 5, 2016
Beer — May 18, 2016

Beer

Go ask an American about a German tradition! The response you will get in 95 precent of the cases is: Oktoberfest!

As a born German I say: Its just a shame to use the words Oktoberfest and tradition in one sentence. But then you wonder, why do thousands of people want to be part of this festival? Its about BEER! And as a born German i say: YES! Absolutely right.

Brewing beer is tradition since the Middle Ages and even earlier. The Celtics brewed a drink, called „cervesia“, a wheat beer made with honey for the more wealthy citizenship in those days. Apparently the Egyptians created a kind of a barley beer.

The centuries-old German purity law is an impressive accomplishment and has made brewing beer a real tradition. Its says that only hops, malt, yeast and water are allowed as ingredients of beer.

What makes the hundreds of diverse kinds of beer so different though, is, for the most part, its the different kinds of hops. Hops, Humulus lupulus. It’s the taste maker. Its what gives the beer the distinct flavour and the bitterness that we love.

Nobody knows exactly when hops was used the first time in the process of brewing beer. But it’s likely that hops, which original homeland is probably the northern Himalaya, came in the course of the migration period to Europe. Since that time people have brewed beer with it and used it as a preservative. Thank hops that our beer stays good for so long.

So, whenever you like to live tradition in Germany, catch some friends, go to the grocery store, go for some different kinds of beer and sit on some steps downtown on a afternoon in the summer, sip your cool beer, enjoy the hops flavour, while observing your surroundings and make some stupid jokes about god and the world.

Or you buy some young hops plants and start your own brewery.

I assure you, both are bigger cultural experiences, than visiting the Oktoberfest.

Bottoms up!

My rotweiller Xara… — April 15, 2016
A sequence of moments…Elf, Zwölf, Dreizehn… — April 13, 2016

A sequence of moments…Elf, Zwölf, Dreizehn…

Elf

I have been here on the Milewide Ranch for some weeks now and my other day life is far far away. Fortunately.

Is there a more creepy conception in life, than having the same routine every day?

I can`t imagine one. For sure, some people like it. Fair enough. And its granted to them. But I`m pretty happy to not know exactly what I´m gonna do tomorrow. or the day after, or the day after, or the next week… Thank you, current of future flowing towards me, to not let me know.

Zwölf

We`re harvesting the fruits of our work already.The chard and the leeks from the garden are doing so good in our evening dishes.

The maples are growing quick and creating this red shadow on the forest ground. I guess one day I need to spend a night underneath them…wake up in a red morning shimmer? Uh yea!

The empty spaces in the olive orchard are now filled by the new, freshly planted, young olive trees.

It is great just having this great experience seeing the results of our actions, growth fostered by your own two hands.

Dreizehn

If I want to compare american issues with german issues (sometimes iIlike to do it.) I can see a freaky difference in terms of the natural environment. I mean, at least when you have a look on how young the civilisation of Califonia is compared with the thousands and thousands of years of history in europe, you can tell how untainted and archaic the nature here is in fact.

Vierzehn

There is a special difference in terms of the colour `green`. Through a deeper examination of colours in the last years, I can say: there are more diverse `greens`here than in other forests. Might be the manifold amount of different plants and trees or might be a different angle of light. Might be my personal connection with my surroundings. Whatever is the scientific reason, its how I feel.

Fünfzehn

I found this dark clay around here. I`ve been to the creek and packed my backpack full of this stuff and carried it up to the barn. I spend some hours every now and then on the throwing table to give the clay some shape. Its my meditation.

Sechszehn

It feels like this Californian countryside is one of these places where earth is still a bit more alive.

I see trees which are broken and branches which seems to be dead. But when you get closer you can see they are still alive. A loose part of a tree, now growing out of the ground again, and making its hard way through.

Siebzehn

On Top

All this new stuff goes on top
turn it over, turn it over
wait and water down
from the dark bottom
turn it inside out
let it spread through
Sift down even.
Watch it sprout.

A mind like compost.

(Gary Snyder)

-yoquiero

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