Plus: Europe's wild lions, where conspiracies and butterflies meet, on joyful movement, and more.
Notes on a Sunday evening
This afternoon I pulled a desiccated rosemary bush out of a pot and was engulfed in its woodsy, floral, almost medicinal scent. It had been terribly pot bound and as I pulled the tangled mat apart the scent kept wafting up at me. I think even the roots are fragrant. My fingers, which are still grimy and dark at the tips with soil, smell nice, like late summer.
Today was a day for chores, although not entirely unpleasant one, and now I have a clean bed and some freshly planted peas. The first pea plants I set out in February got clobbered by freezing rain a week or two back and are now terribly bedraggled. The two plants I put in a window box reproach me every time I go in and out of the house. Snow peas are supposed to be hardy even in snow and frost, but I still have not figured out the best time to plant them—it always seems I’ve get them in too early or too late.
My apologies for sending this missive, which was supposed to go out in February, a bit late. I myself got clobbered by the worst cold I’ve had in years, and am only now starting to come out of the fog. Unfortunately illness and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine really conspired to knock me off my habit of stepping outside for 30 minutes every day.
At first, I kept up going outside but stopped tweeting about it because, well, there were more important things going on in the world. Then my cold got worse and eventually I made a conscious decision to skip it because it was that cold and I felt that crappy. Now I’m wondering how to recommit to the practice when the resolution has already been broken. The past couple weeks really took the wind out of my sails.
I’ve also realized how important the tweet-accountability was. Once I stopped doing that every day, it was increasingly difficult to remember to go outside. The first time I almost missed my outside time, I only realized at a quarter to midnight and promptly started to cry, because I was tired and didn’t feel very well and just wanted to go to bed, and because I didn’t want to fail or give up.
Pretty silly, huh?
My colleagues at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have been doing an incredible job covering Russia’s war on Ukraine from afar. Before the invasion began, I wrote about how the war between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region was an environmental disaster, flooding the groundwater and soil with contaminated water, toxic chemicals, or even radioactive debris. I’ve since written about cluster bombs and the siege of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
I also wrote about the latest IPCC report.There were some Good Things in this report. 1) It calls for more green and blue spaces in cities to give water a place to go when it rains, protect cities from flooding, and cool them in summer, reducing the heat island effect. (I love green space.) Also good for mental health!
Jessica McKenzie @jessimckenziAgainst backdrop of war, major climate report calls for adaptation and mitigation now: “This report comes at a time of great turmoil when we need strong multilateralism to promote peace and healthy environment.” My latest for @BulletinAtomic https://t.co/wQhfsatEBt
According to Backpacker Magazine, the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI, was New England’s first National Recreation Trail, and the best hike in Rhode Island. I’m grateful that I finally got around to walking it in January, because it is crumbling into the sea. A portion of the walk will be closed for the foreseeable future.
“This may seem laughably obvious, but talking is not at all like seeing or touching or hearing. Or, for that matter, walking or breathing or hugging someone with both arms. Which is to say, you don’t really notice not having a working voice until you need it.” A disconcerting story about Lyme disease.
This is no longer breaking news but the story about how right-wing conspiracy theorists shut down the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, is absolutely bonkers.
“They look so fabulous…I always had this feeling that some of those lion scenes look too real to have been just copied.” Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that wild lions used to roam Europe.