Charles Jones, Not

It's not Charles Jones. It is a 10-foot-plus Russian mammoth sunflower we grew from last year's seed, which is a first here.


Compost Lesson #3

You'd think your composting would produce enough to replenish your garden soil. But in reality compost cooks down more than Swiss chard, and if you want enough to spread around even a small garden, you'll have to seek it elsewhere. Equestrian centers or rhyming craptonite couriers are your two best bets for buying large quantities of compost for cheap.



The Next Whole Earth Catalog
, 1981, purchased at Goodwill last weekend for $2.99. Available on eBay starting at about $30. Hours of delicious browsing, reading, ogling.
One highlight: editor Stewart Brand quoting life lessons from Buckminster Fuller: "Go only where invited; don't show unfinished work; reflect the physical world's honesty and all will go well."


Nominative Determinism

There's a small state park just south of Lucia, CA, which is just south of Big Sur, that has one of the most magnificent redwood forests I've seen. Nothing as big or out-of-the-way as the landscape Richard Preston describes in his enjoyable The Wild Trees, but still quite wonderful.

The redwood in this photo, and its skirt of descendants, siblings or maybe cousins, lives a 15-minute bike ride from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, worlds away—at least—from Big Sur. It's in a canyon where spotting a hiking celebrity is more likely than discovering a redwood tree. Which makes stumbling upon a tree like this that much more enjoyable.

As for the title of this post, my first name, Elon, means "tree" in Hebrew.


Compost Lesson #1

[This is the first installment of what will be an ongoing, irregular series here.]
I wanted to post this photo as a counterpoint to the image in the previous post. I enjoy beauty as much as anyone—and sweets, of course—but I also enjoy compost and bugs.
The sectioned larvae pictured here will grow up to become soldier flies. They're quite welcome in my compost bin for two reasons: they assist with decomposition (precisely our purpose for having a bin) and they attract phoebes.
Phoebes will sit on a low perch near our compost bin and swoop down to snatch up emerging soldier flies. Phoebes are charming.