Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recycled Art: Bike Taxidermy

(Not this)

If you are like me (I am so sorry!), you have a lot of bicycle parts hanging about looking for a new purpose in life. Well, here is a new purpose - bicycle taxidermy.  Another great idea from Instructables.

Bike Taxidermy

May you see beauty in things cast off!

(Here is the link to Longhorn Bikes in Austin in case you like that first photo.)

Mesquite Hugger takes you on a tiny vacation

A little over a year ago, I had a pretty magical day.

I was attending a conference in San Jose, California. I had an afternoon free and would fly out the next day. I rented a small car headed south to Monterey.

If ever there has been a worldly cross of Mecca and Disneyland for me, it is that place.

I could write pages and pages about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, about the sea otters and seals swimming in the clear water, about the two greyhounds and their people playing in the surf, about the gem shop with the massive friendly dog and the gracious shop owner who helped me pick out a gift for my wife. But none of that stuff is the reason I was there.

Every other year, I read Steinbeck's Cannery Row. And I was there to visit the real Cannery Row. I saw Doc's lab and I saw rusty old boilers. I saw an Ed Ricketts statue.  I stood in the ocean and turned rocks overs to see the creatures that Doc collected for a living. I saw the old canneries and I walked down a street that I have loved for decades.

The drudgery of housework, bills, and malicious coaches, fans, and referees was all gone. I felt euphoric, and I still occasionally say a prayer of thanks for those few hours a year ago.

To celebrate John Steinbeck's 112th birthday, here is a link to a passage from that book.

The Boy and the Chinaman

May words occasionally take you to an immensely better place.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Answering Aquaponics Questions

So you find yourself interested in aquaponics, hydroponics, aquaculture, backyard chickens, gardening, etc., and you start asking yourself questions. The first (and most valid) question is, "Why?"

And that leads to more questions:

Would this lead to better physical health?
Would this lead to better mental health?
Would this lead to better financial health?
Could I really bring myself to eat that?
Could I make a living doing this?
Is it worth the effort?
Will my family desert me?
Will my neighbors get scared of the hippie and call the city to complain?

An article and video on Treehugger today asks one of these questions and answers many:

May you find answers and healthy foods!

Switch to better bulbs and fuel up for free?

Don't you love sensational headlines? Don't you love pie-in-the-sky concepts that get peeled back to considerably less when you get there? I read an article a few weeks ago that just keeps rolling around in my brain because it seems like one of those headlines. But my own experience does back it up. Essentially, this person bought a Chevy Volt and was surprised to see his electric bill go down. When you read into the article, you learn that there was an unmentioned variable. He had changed from incandescent to compact fluorescent bulbs in his house at the same time he brought the Volt home. And that made all the difference. So, a little math (Feel free to let your eyes glaze over until you get past this little piece. I will put the conclusion in bold text at the bottom.)

Let's say you have a mixture of incandescent bulbs, but they average out to 75watt bulbs (75¢ per bulb per month), and you are the average American with 60 bulbs in your house. If you swap those 60 bulbs  for 60 17watt LED bulbs (17¢ per month per bulb), you get some math like this:

60x75¢=$45 per month with incandescent
60x17¢=$10 per month with LED

So, the swap would get you $35 per month in electric bill savings.
(all of this is based on 3 hours of use per bulb per day, and that is pretty conservative)

According to the EPA in 2011, your Volt will cost you $601 per year if you run only the electric motor

$601/12=$50 per month to drive a Volt.

So, if you go with NRDC and EPA averages, and you are the average American, your bill will go up $15 per month if you swap all your bulbs and start driving (and charging) a Volt.

Other math (for those who want to dig a bit deeper):

The cost of swapping those 60 bulbs will be between $600 and $800.
For the past year, we have been averaging $75 per week in our fairly efficient family pickup.

I think it's time for me to do some investigating at home. Maybe it's time for some grudge matches, maybe the Whirlpool refrigerator vs. the Zero motorcycle. I better bust out the the kill-a-watt meter and sharpen a pencil for this one. Check back next week to see how the grudge matches are going.

May math be on your side!

The Treehugger article that triggered this post

Links to resources for my math:

EPA Fuel Economy for a 2011 Volt

NRDC Light Bulb Comparison

Number of Bulbs per House

Monday, February 24, 2014

Shameless Promotion of a Really Local Artist (He Lives Across the Street)

In case you missed Jacob Burton playing at the Yellowhouse on Saturday morning, here are a few easier-to-enjoy examples of his work in convenient electronic form.

"My Everything"

You can also find "My Love It Comes Easy" on itunes. Go ahead, spend the $0.99. It's more than worth it.

By the way, you missed a great show!

May supporting local arts always be this easy and enjoyable!

Friday, February 21, 2014

IF you love food trucks and microbuses...

...this may be the story for me you!

Hot Dog - It's a VW!

May you have a phenomenal hot dog weekend!

For our Lubbock friends who make it out of bed before 10:30 on Saturday

After you have braved the crowds at the Pancake Festival this Saturday (If you get out before 10:30.), be sure to swing by Yellowhouse Coffee to catch Jacob Burton playing bluesy acoustic guitar. Tell him the Mesquite Hugger sent you and request something really obscure.

Here's an article about Yellowhouse:

Great Coffee on 34th

If the pancakes didn't fill you up, be sure to have a Saturday-Only Sinnamon Roll.

May local business support you as well!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Get Out and Ride this Weekend! (And an infographic)

Here on the South Plains, Friday and Saturday will be in the 70's with no chance of rain (!@#$%), so air up the tires on your bike and go for a ride. We have all been cooped up with winter weather and busy-ness, so break the cycle (unfortunate pun) by getting outside and riding: find and errand you can run, or go for a fast ride to get your heart rate up, or go on a bicycle date with your significant whatever. Ride to a local business for lunch. Ride to a local park. Turn the TV off. Shut the computer down. Put the phone on silent and ride. If the whole thought is entirely too healthy for you, ride to the donut shop or the ice cream place or the pancake place. Just ride!

Need more encouragement, get yourself over to 

where you will find these reasons:

Why Bike

  • Get fit
  • Save Money
  • Explore your city
  • Great family time
  • Help the environment
  • Beat traffic
  • Sleep more deeply
  • Be heart healthy
  • Be happy!
And this infographic: (and lots of other great stuff!)

May Spell Check not give you grief about your boodie.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Tiny House Infographic from a Very Realistic Blog

It's funny. I do not know anyone who would seriously consider living in a tiny house; yet, the tiny house articles are some of the most viewed on this blog.

I ran across a blog today called "The Tiny Life," and it is the most down-to-earth and realistic site I have seen on the subject. Unlike most of the fun and light-hearted writing you find about the cuteness, economy, and practicality of tiny houses, this site spends just as much time talking about the challenges and drawbacks - zoning problems, neighbor problems, generated waste, and assorted other challenges that often face tiny home owners and builders. This blog is not just about the cuteness of puppies, it's also about dog ownership when your dog barks all night and tries to bite the neighbor's toddler.

Living in a town that is known for zoning "challenges" for anyone with ideas that are slightly off of mainstream, I wonder what challenges locals would face if they wanted to live in such a place in our area.

Be sure to check out The Tiny Life

May the size of your house not define the size of your life!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Know Your Triangles - Plastic Recycling in Lubbock

So, you've been thinking to yourself, Well, gee, maybe I need to look into this recycling thing that all the kids keep going on and on about.

In our annual survey this year, we figured out that less than 25% of our readers recycle plastic at all.

Step 1: Sort your plastics. Look for the triangle and make sure you have a 1 or a 2. A triangle with any other number inside is not recyclable in our system. Notice that the 2's need to be divided into opaque and colored varieties.

(Sidebar for those who want more detail, each number represents a different type of plastic. In the recycling process, plastics do not play well with others. #1 is PET or PETE - polyethylene terephthalate; #2 is HDPE - high-density polyethylene.)

Step 2: Remove all lids and remove easily removable labels.

Step 3: Find the appropriate blue dumpster at your nearest recycle location and drop your items in there.

Step 4: Bask in the glory of knowing that you have made one small step in making the world a better place for yourself and others, that you have lessened your country's need to extract more oil from the ground or purchase it from other countries, and that this Mesquite Hugger thinks you are great!

Step 5: Figure out a way to stop consuming so much plastic, snagit!

For more information on how and where to recycle in Lubbock, click here. Along with the city sites listed, you can also find recycling dumpsters at many United, Market Street, and Lowe's grocery stores.

May your actions improve rather than destroy.

Monday, February 17, 2014

While Marking Your Calendar (Lubbock Downtown Farmer's Market)

I received an email about the Lubbock Downtown Farmer's Market over the weekend. The market starts in June and runs through October. This is your chance to eat local, buy local, promote local businesses, and have a good time with some real characters. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning.

You still have a few months... (Lots of important Dates for May 2014)

(I'd bike to work on this!) get your bike (and your legs) ready for the 2014 National Bike to Work Week (May 12-16) and the National Bike to Work Day (May 16).

Bike League - Bike to Work Dates

Open a Used Bike Shop

An Old Mesquite Hugger article encouraging you (Dear Reader) to open a used bike shop in Lubbock

Power Wheels Racing in Lubbock May 10-11

And while we are throwing May dates out there, be sure to mark your calendars for May 9 for the Lubbock County American Cancer Society Relay for Life. (FYI, this is not a running event - it is a walking, supporting, socializing, celebrating, and kicking cancer's butt event.)
2014 Lubbock County Relay for Life

Thursday, February 13, 2014

For You Lubbockites Who Are Concerned About Local Environmental Protection

The Lubbock Chapter of the West Texas Accountability Project meets tonight at the Red Zone Cafe, 3602 Slide Road, at 7pm.

More details on their FB page:

May you stand up for that which you believe in.

The Big 3 (when going green)

I love it when the complex is distilled to simplicity. I ran across this Zachary Shahan article on Planetsave a few days ago, and it shed a big light on the topics on this blog. The article actually lists 5 ingredients for The Green Life, but I'd like to focus on the first three today. Straight from the text of the article:

If you look at the top 3 contributors to global warming and climate change, they are undoubtedly transportation, electricity, and food (though, the order varies based on the assumptions and the location).
So, the top 3 things you can green, in no particular order, are:

Now, while those are the biggies in your personal life, there’s still something missing….


So, Dear Reader, how about you? Which of those three categories interests you the most? Do you have green goals? What are they, and do they fit in one of the three categories?

May you know where you are headed before you get there!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another Neil Young Article

When I started this blog, I never thought it would feature Neil Young on a regular basis. Musically, I have never been a big fan of Neil. But in the arenas of social and environmental justice, he's taking on hero status for me.

A while back, my wife and I traveled to DC in opposition of the pipeline through the US that would aid Canada in exploiting the tar sands so that they can sell the bitumen to China. When we arrived there, we attended a meeting where members of the First Nations shared stories, statistics, and photos of the environmental and social destruction that has accompanied the extraction of the tar sands. The information they presented painted some very disturbing pictures: that the water from one of this continent's most pristine wilderness areas had become toxic, that the region's fish were covered in lesions, that the native caribou were suffering from internal ulcers and bleeding, and that birth defects and cancer rates had skyrocketed in the tribes that live near the the tar sands. My views on greed and selfishness, and my views of humanity in general, were radically changed that day.

Here is an article outlining Neil's opposition to the Canadian government's complete disregard for anything that stands in the way of exploiting the massively destructive tar sands project.

May our actions not carelessly destroy others.

Texas Tiny House Boot Camp

So, do you have a week of vacation time just burning a hole in your calendar? Have you been thinking I want to go to a camp where they will teach me how to build a tiny house out of salvaged material? If your answer to both of those questions is yes, then you need to get yourself over to the Texas Tiny Homes website and get yourself signed up. If you do attend the bootcamp, PLEASE take lots of pictures and be a guest writer for this blog.

Sign yourself up here!

May your hands create something beautiful and useful!

Aggie Aquaponics

I know, it's not much to look at and at that scale we'll be lucky to feed the neighborhood pseudo-jackrabbit - it's really a possum with big ears. But that's the shelf and 20 gallon aquarium that will be the aquaponics setup. My April 2 deadline is fast approaching. I set it up this weekend and the water is cycling now. I will keep you posted as the grow bed comes together and the tadpoles move into their more spacious new home.

As for the Aggies, the take the A in A&M seriously and they offer up all kinds of agricultural advice. Today I learned that they even offer up extensive advice on aquaponics. Whenever I search Texas wildlife, I am amazed at the great resources that come out of that school.

If you have any interest at all in aquaponics, ponds, fish farming, commercial viability, water quality, or (my personal favorite) crawdads, this website links to it all.

May life thrive under your stewardship!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Self-Powered Pickup on Two Wheels

Not being (financially) rich is a blessing for me. First, it forces me to find cheap and creative solutions to expensive problems. Second, it keeps me from running off and blowing all of our hard-earned money on somebody else's hard work and creativity.

That somebody else for today's blog entry is a guy named Neal Saiki.

Neal, among other things is the co-founder of Zero Motorcycles. At this point in time, Zero is probably your best option if you want to go out and buy yourself a new electric motorcycle, but don't ask for Neal if you drop by the factory. (And it's very hard to drop by the Zero factory - I tried last year.)

You will find him down the road at his new place - NTS Works, where they build some extremely cool and functional electric cargo bikes. Pricewise, they are in the same range as the cool cruisers featured on this blog back on January 8th (link at the bottom). But there are a few major differences. The NTS bikes are not built to be beauty queens or showpieces. They are built to do work and to be two-wheeled trucks. And one of the NTS bikes is built to feed itself. All you have to do is park it in the sun.

If we had the hard earned money just sitting in a pile at home, I'd be throwing that money at Neal as soon as I finished this blog post. If you follow this post through to the NTS website, be sure to check out the very high-powered and compact solar panel and how little the price difference is between the solar and the non-solar models. And check out their interesting and appealing approach to battery warranty. And, just bask in the glory of the functional coolness. (Sigh.)

Now for those of you who sigh like I do and don't have the pile of money to throw at Neal, here are a few Instructables to help you run out and build your own cargo cycle.

And here is the original Derek Markham article  from Treehugger that led me to the NTS Works website.

May you be inspired whether you throw money at Neal or not.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Very cool electric cycle from humble beginnings

Swartz, Keith, Rusty, and I got together Saturday to work on Power Wheels racers. Rusty showed up with a small electric scooter strapped to the back of his big scooter. I was trying to describe this upgraded version I had seen to him, but my description was woefully inadequate and I noticed that glazed carrot look in his eye, so here it is..


was made out of one of these:

To learn more, go here:

May your toys evolve with you!

Mesquite Hugger Horror Movie Recommendations (With TX tie-ins)

Okay, I admit it, I do not regularly seek out horror movies. If a movie is designed to make me emit bodily fluids in any way, I just don't care to watch it. Any movie designed to make me cry or pee my pants does not make my list of entertainment. If I want to do those things, I just watch the news or talk to a handful of people around me.

Even so, I have watched some truly terrifying films lately.

The first one is a bit of an alien invasion flick. And, like many alien invasion movies, this one starts off in the backwoods; in this case, it's the backwoods of Pennsylvania. The first person narrator starts noticing strange and disturbing things going on around him. He starts talking to neighbors and visits places where livestock and family pets have been killed by unseen forces. The story keeps escalating and the suspense keeps growing. Following the invasion force takes the narrator all over the West and Southwest (the scenes in Fort Worth, Texas are terrifying for this Texas blogger.) The action even leads him to Washington DC, where he learns that the aliens have taken over while the unsuspecting people of the US have slept through the invasion.

The second movie is very similar in plot and scope, but this time it's not an invisible alien force - this time it's friendly and lovable giants that are taking over, and the American public is loving the invasion and not noticing the death and destruction the giants are causing behind the scenes. This one starts in North Carolina and Atlanta, but there's a very scary portion of the film based in Corpus Christi, Texas and another scary scene in DC.

If you like being terrified, I strongly recommend watching them both - Gasland and Tapped, and both are available on Netflix.

And for those of you who want some light-hearted fare to cleanse your palate, I recommend a children's love story called Wall-E to make you feel better about the fate of our planet.

May your movies move you!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

LHUCA Forum on Fracking Today

I am not a brave or particularly wise man, but I do try to be accountable for my actions and give thought to those actions and how they impact others. I keep a journal to help me with that.

I do not want to go to this forum. I do not want to hear industry and economic experts explain why fracking is good for our energy independence and our ability to support our kids, because I see these as short term benefits leading to a long term destruction of what we are and hope to be. I go today with three questions in mind:

1. How long can we hope to destructively and toxically extract the earth's resources until we have gone too far?

2. How far can we push it before our money and our science cannot save us?

3. Have we reached that point already?

May we live and breathe freely, and may our actions not destroy that for others.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tiny Houses, Grain-Bin Houses: Going Full Circle

Here at Mesquite Hugger, we love us some tiny houses, and we love us some grain bin houses, so imagine how much we'd love tiny grain-bin houses! And imagine if we could just pick up the phone and order one from a grain bin company in Iowa, and if it had a double roof, built-in planters, and its own water collection system, and if it was pretty darned cheap, and if it was made out of recycled steel, and if the kit would fit in the back of a pickup, and if the company was passionate about helping people in climate-ravaged areas, and if you and a few friends could assemble it it two days with no specialized tools.

If you can't imagine all that, maybe you should watch this video.

May you never have to stand in the corner!

Today's Bonus Link: A trout fishing dude named Jonathan "Earl" Stein and his Montesilo

Five More Minutes

Think of your daily schedule. Where would five more minutes make a big difference?

I think in blocks of time anyways, so it's pretty easy to think that way. This morning I got out of bed a little earlier than usual. Five more minutes this morning gave me time to put together a leftover lunch to take to work.

I know, big deal, the MH is brown-bagging it (or re-usable containering it). It is a big deal, though.

That five minute lunch prep will allow me to eat lunch at the office, so I will not spend twenty minutes of my lunch playing bumper hockey with the Escalades in my little truck (Lucy) to and from a fast food place where I would spend $8-12 for a meal (probably served in styrofoam and dripping in grease and sugar). I would probably spend 30 minutes there surrounded by other people who are (like me) impatient, broke, overweight, and not very healthy.

Now, I am pondering the time I have at lunch today. I can leisurely eat my lunch and still have 35 minutes left to read a book go for a walk write a blog entry work on thank you cards pray meditate plan the weekend plan V-day work out or go back to work early so I can get a 35 minute head start on the weekend.

Dang, that feels good! Just five more minutes and now I am richer skinnier more relaxed greener and feel less guilty about saying, "Screw you, Earth! I am having fried steak fingers and you're all going to pay for it!" as I let my truck idle at a red light.

Now, think what you could do with ten more minutes...

May time be on your side.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Low-Tech Energy Conservation: National Sweater Day!

Whether you are a fan of all things eco-conscious, you like black and white photography (Woohoo!), you really like shopping at thrift stores, or you feel like Jimmy Carter got a bad rap (Man, I wish we'd listened to Jimmy!), a very enjoyable Lloyd Alter article appeared on today.


National Sweater Day

May you all look better in a swetter than I do!

Bonus link for the day, Meryn Cadell's The Sweater. "Different is not what you are looking for."
(Vintage Scooter sighting at 2:27)

Vintage Electric Cars Small and Smaller OR Why I Should Be Banned from Ebay

Once in a while, I take a dangerous little trip over to Ebay and type "electric car" into the search box. The dangerous part for me is never the new and shiny, it's the old and quirky. This week's search was filled with temptation.

To start with, a car that I wanted really badly in the past re-appeared this week. (I am thankful to report that its auction has successfully ended.) Last year it was for sale in the Eureka area and was still hippied out. It was a very desirable early Beetle on a more desirable later Beetle chassis, and it was a running and driving electric vehicle. And it was cheap. Actually less than I would end up paying a few months later for an electric motorcycle with similar capabilities and no roof. But, oh, temptation was there.

(This photo is before they scraped off all the cool hippy stuff, snagit!)

Next up, a real factory prototype, a piece of electric vehicle history. Yes, it needs work and you would have to find your way around the unavailable parts issue, but dang that thing is cool.

I have written about Citicars before. Imagine the peace and quiet of being in a silent car compounded by the fact that none of my family would get in that ugly beast (for a lot of very sound reasons).

Wanting something a little more British and a lot sportier?

Or how about a nicer Beetle that looks good AND is still available?

It's time to click the little "X" in the top right-hand corner of the Ebay screen. Maybe the weather will warm up soon and I can finish up the electric bicycle. Then maybe I can find more time to ride and less time to drool over this lovely collection of headaches that others are trying to get rid of.

May you have a warm day and not buy yourself a headache.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Today's Bumper Stickers in Lubbock, Texas

At coffee this morning, we talked about the cold, about making bio-diesel out of waste veggie oil, about aquaponics, and about a diesel/electric hybrid scooter, and we talked about the value of having good friends and loyal dogs. I left coffee in a very good mood.

Two blocks away, I sat behind a minivan at a light and noticed a variation on this bumper sticker:
The one I saw was slightly different - it included a graphic of an AR-15 assault rifle. My mind wandered away to a young man I visited in an Abilene hospital a few years ago. Machines were keeping his body alive so that we could say goodbye. He had a .22 caliber hole just above his left eye.

I followed the minivan for a mile or so until it turned off in another direction.

Sitting at another light, I noticed another bumper sticker. This one was on the bumper of a double-cab, 4-wheel-drive pickup.
A big cloud of smoke poured out of its over-sized exhaust as it roared away from the light.

May you

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

LHUCA: A Discussion About Fracking - This Saturday Afternoon

The more I research fracking, the more I see it as a reckless and dangerous practice that is quickly accelerating our destruction of our planet and the water that sustains all life on our planet. I view hydraulic fracturing as a form of suicide for our race.

I have found that most people in our area support the practice because of the short-term economic impact and "energy independence". I see wind and solar power as vastly superior forms of power generation that could accomplish the same goals without destroying our future.

I have also found that the majority of the people in our area have very little idea of what the practice involves and what chemicals and risks are involved.

If you are in the Lubbock area and would like to know more about fracking, there will be an explanation and discussion this weekend at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. Here is the link. (I hope to see you there.) 

May our knowledge and decisions be based on truth rather than propaganda. 

The Biggest Dang Electric Moped I Have Ever Seen

First of all, a brief lesson on the difference between a moped and a scooter.

The term "moped" is a contraction of the words "motor" and "pedals". So, if it does not have pedals, it is not a moped. Okay, as a scooterist, I got that off my chest.

 Last week, there was a Mesquite Hugger post about microbuses that featured a link to one of my absolute favorite ev conversions -  Bob Graves 1966 VW Microbus. (Sigh)

Well, it seems Mr Graves is not a one-trick pony, as is evidenced by the beast in the next photo: 

I mentioned it to Grizz and Rusty over coffee, and decided to share it with all you!

May you never insult a scooterist or mopedder with the wrongful identification incident. (Both crowds get quite violent on the subject.) And may you have a great day!

Gratuitous Links for this post:

If you want to see more mopeds, click here.

If you want to see more scooters, click here.

If you want to see more electric two-wheelers, click here.

Water Conservation DIY: Rain Barrel Plans and a Local Business

That beautiful, impressive, and downright depressing map shows rivers, streams, and watersheds in mainland USA. Notice that we are right in the center of one of the driest regions on the map. With clean, fresh water becoming one of the most valuable and crucial resources we have in the area (and with us being caught up in one of the most extensive droughts this region has known) it becomes more and more obvious that we have to be better stewards of the water available to us. (And I should probably sell my beloved canoe.)

So, here at Mesquite Hugger, we hope to encourage that stewardship by offering real-world approaches to conserving water. 

If you are blessed to have a roof over your head, you have a very effective tool for capturing moisture. Yes, I know that we do not get much rain, but when we do, a roof has a large amount of surface area to maximize water collection. As we approach spring, this is a great time to look at combining a rain barrel with a rain gutter so that you can take advantage of a free natural resource. (And you won't have as many pesky mud puddles in the backyard for your white greyhound to roll in.)

You know I love Instructables, so here is a link with lots of ideas for creating your own and implementing your own recycled rain barrel system.
Instructables Rain Barrels

You may be asking yourself, "Self, what about the local business he mentioned in the title? How is he going to tie that into saving water locally? Will he ever get to the !@#$% point?!!!"

It's time for you to meet Julie and Jason Hodges at Prairie Workshop. From their website:

Prairie Workshop LLC is a woman-owned professional services firm specializing in the fields of Landscape ArchitectureHeritage Planning and Environmental Education.  We partner with respected clients and colleagues to design, plan and promote the development, stewardship and education of landscape values that represent a sustainable natural and cultural heritage.

What this means to this article, is that they can help you landscape your yard in a way that saves water, promotes local heritage and local fauna, and they can help you to learn ways to take better care of the world around you.

And if you would like to see Jason speak and learn about conserving water in our region, get yourself up to Amarillo to attend the Texas Panhandle South Plains Water Conservation Symposium on February 12th.

May your rain barrel fill with water and your heart fill with the joy of taking care of us all.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

FM 1269: Fluvanna

Fluvanna Texas welcome sign

If you have never headed north out of Fluvanna, Texas on FM 1269, then you are missing out on one of the most spectacular views in all of West Texas. Words and smartphone photos are inadequate to describe what you will see.

If you leave Lubbock on Highway 84 heading southeast, you will head through Slaton, Southland, Post, Snyder.and you will eventually hit I-20 which will you speed you on your way to Dallas. Because everyone wants to or has to go to Dallas.

Tucked between Post and Snyder is a little place called Justiceburg. Justiceburg, for me, is a wonderful place. The Caprock, the train tracks, Fort Justice, the Salt Fork of the Brazos, the red clay, Lake Allan Henry, the herd of pronghorn antelope, and all those huge wind turbines up on the Caprock all surround Justiceburg. Fluvanna is just a few short miles away from Justiceburg.

FM1269 runs mostly north/south through Fluvanna. The wind farm is just north of town on that road and the top of the Caprock is a pretty amazing place. The view is breathtaking, the windfarm is also something to see (and hear). At the base of the windmills you will often see a herd of deer that know they live in area where they will not be hunted.

If you head south from Fluvanna on 1269, you will see a different world. Pump jacks, drilling rigs, and ponds set up for hydraulic fracturing (tracking) water supplies dominate the landscape.

I remember an annoying country song a few years ago called "God Blessed Texas". North of Fluvanna on 1269, I believe it. South of Fluvanna, not so much.

May the sun, the wind, and the rain power your future.