Monday, April 15, 2013

Green Aesthetics II

Continued from the previous post.

Along with our human neighbors, on this often wind-swept ridge, we are frequently visited by deer, turkey, opossum and pesky raccoon (or two).  Bobcat, foxes, and coyote wander the streets and the bird population is colorful and varied.  The black bear moms bring their cubs to the spring-pool below the house and Bill, the six and half foot long black snake patrols the landscape and the hardscape for the frequent deer mice and the occasional copperhead. Red, a wood pecker, never fails to visit and greet me with a small screech when I sit in the alcove on the south-facing front of the house to read and soak in the sun.

I hope that my work over the past five decades of my 70 plus years, much of it mentioned in this blog, has contributed in some small way to help maintain the beauty of life on Earth and will continue to do so over whatever time I have left.  

Let me conclude these posts with the closing lines from the Navajo Night chant sometimes called House Made of Dawn.

In beauty it is finished
In beauty it is finished

Although I will post occasionally to this blog, this is the last of my regularly scheduled bimonthly posts.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Green Aesthetics I

In my posts of August 8 and 15 (Color it Green I & II) I mentioned green aesthetics and suggested that the term might describe not only architectural design but also life styles.  Beauty is the heart of aesthetics and living in beauty is at the heart of a green aesthetic.

In my posts Life on the Wild Edge I & II (January 1 and 15, 2012) I discussed what, for us at Hidden Springs (our home), were some of our attempts to live aesthetically green lives.  I’d like to use this posting and to touch on these efforts again. When I say ‘our’ I’m referring to me and my artist wife Penny (

There is a spiritual beauty in living intentionally as lightly on Earth as one can and a special sense of peace in creating a habitat that has a light, even minimal impact on the environment.

Although I never thought I’d find much nice to say about energy providers I have to admit that routinely getting a comparative report of our electrical consumption from our power company telling us that were among the least consumptive of those on its roles with a home of our modest size here in the mountains of western North Carolina, made us feel good…peaceful, somehow.  Over the years, we had put some effort into creating a healthy energy-efficient, safe environment.   Special tubes carefully pierce the roof and bring sunlight into places that previously required energy to light. We have replaced a large number of exotic plants with native plants.  Hundreds of gallons of rainwater are captured each year and used during drier times. Water not captured is directed to places around our small patch most in need of irrigation. The bricks of the house are cleaned with biodegradable cleaner, much of the lawn has been removed and replanted with native shrubs and perennials and mulched leaves are a crop used as ground cover.

Continued in the next post.