A Funny Harvest Story

bruce thomas witzel:

Wow – it’s been 5 weeks since I created a post. I assure you I’m alive and well, although busy with family, home and carpentry obligations. My apologies for not being so attentive to the blog-o-sphere over the summer. I do enjoy connecting with you all, such a diverse and interesting cross section of humanity. In this re-blog, I give you a glimpse of another reliable alternative energy source, the best under the sun – my wife and partner Francis. Here she has a wonderfully funny harvest story, bears and children included. Oh – if you get a chance please check out her two e-novels of “The Crater Lake Series” (on the right side bar). It’s on location at the lake we live on (sort of). I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Peace and good cheer to all of you . . . Bruce.

Originally posted on disappearinginplainsight:

Mama bear and cubs - Guenette photo

I’ve written before about bears roaming freely along the paths around our cabin. We generally see the first of our visitors sometime in April and then, depending on the year (and I imagine this has to do with a complex number of factors) we may see them wandering around right through early October. Usually visitations increase in late August and September when the salal berries are at their best. The pictures (above and just below) were our 2011 visitors. These little guys were hilarious. They got up in that tree a few times.

Cubs - Bruce Witzel photo

This year we were absolutely bear free. Not one sighting, not one speck of bear evidence to be found. So, wouldn’t you know it . . . the day before my daughter and granddaughters were to arrive, in the third week of August, I found a small pile of bear scat on one of the trails right…

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Red Squirrel - Charles Brandt photo


Cougar  @ hermitage June 8, 2010 Charles Brandt photo


You and I, when the mind is still

see that the mountains

and the seas,


Comox Glacier - Charles Brandt photo


Gulls feeding on Herring spawn- Charles Brandt photo 


the forests and the rivers,


Charles Brandt photo original


 Salmon run, summer 2014 - Charles Brandt photo


tsolum river under a bright blue sky - by Charles Brandt] 


the animals and the birds,


Twins @ the Hermitage June 11. 2014 - Charles Brandt photo



Black Bear @ the Hermitage, Black Creek - Charles Brandt photo



Dunlins - Charles Brandt photo


 Dunlins Feeding at OysterBay, BC - by Charles A.E. Brandt


 Dunlins 2 - Charles Brandt photo


the trees and the plants,


Dogwood at Northy Lake - May 17 - photo by Charles Brandt


Skunk Cabbage - May 2 2014 Charles Brandt photo 


Hardhock - Charles Brandt photo


all nations, all races, all men and women and children,

are one.


Saskatoon, Saslatchewan - Bruce Witzel photo


United States Mexico Border - Bruce Witzel photo


Montreal at sunrise - Bruce Witzel photo



Headwaters of the Missouri - 3 forks, Montana - Bruce witzel photo


Once you see this in the silence of your heart,

you will never be the same person again.



Mt. St. Helen's - Bruce Witzel photo 


You will return from this summit of spiritual awareness full of practical wisdom,

passionate love, and untiring energy

which you will want to use for the benefit of all.


TrumpeterSwans - Charles Brandt photo


Photos by Charles Brandt and Bruce Witzel

Text by Eknath Easwaran




Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.56.20 AM


The person who binds herself to Joy

Doth the winged life destroy:

But the person who kisses the Joy as it flies

Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.


William Blake


This post was largely written soaking up the morning sunshine. It’s evening now, and not so different than a few nights ago when Francis and I experienced this full moon.

Moonlight on the Lake 15 - Bruce Witzel photo


While camping out or spending a night in the countryside, have you ever noticed how well you can see by the light of that silvery moon? It’s really just a celestial solar powered light bulb.  An effective solar reflector indeed.

Moonlight at the Lake - Bruce Witzel photo


Although moonlight is best unadulterated, we added some extra illumination for effect. . . 

Moonlight on the Lake! - Bruce Witzel photo


Listen to cosmologist Brian Swimme:

One of the gifts of science is in understanding that life exists by drawing in the sun; one of the gifts of science is to realize that what is surging through us in every moment of our life, with every breath we take, is the sun. So in a real sense the human is the human form of a solar flare. It is surging into the life of the Earth, and in all beings, in the fish, in the mammals, and in the human we have another form of the energy that first was captured by the early photosynthetic organisms. We are the sun in a new form.


Wow – I guess that’s why people called me sunny when I was a kid. . .

Mom and Bruce - 1960 photo by my Aunt Edith Fisher 

Fifty three years onwards, modern civilization now begins our long awaited embrace of the sun.

Solar power is one of the fastest growing energy sectors on the planet, growing exponentially as it becomes more economical. Compare this to fossil fuels with its dwindling supply and rising expense. Completing the equation is the incredible un-accounted costs of climate change. . .

Meanwhile, the average US taxpayer pays almost 100 times as much in subsidies for fossil fuels than for solar energy. 

Lets not be fooled.  Our whole lives and economy are based upon reliable sources of energy. Up until recently that’s been oil, but now the sun is setting – once and for all on hydro carbons.

Montreal industry along the St. Laurence River - Bruce Witzel photo


Picture this editorial cartoon, which I can’t reproduce due to copyright issues.

An executive sits behind a desk with a Big Oil nameplate, and the man says:

You want Coal? We own the mines.
You want oil and gas? We own the wells.
You want nuclear energy? We own the uranium.
You want solar power? We own the er..ah..
Solar power isn’t feasible.


Ya right. . .  Am I imagining things? 

Like this chicken – or maybe it’s an egg. Fran cooked one in the Sun Oven the other day.


Solar cooked Chicken - Francis Gunette



Cabin's solar array and solar hot water system

What about our solar electric array?

Do the windows  help passively solar heat our home? Well today they didn’t because it was hot outside so we opened the windows and created a cooling cross ventilation.


Solway Water heater , circa 1985 - Bruce Witzel photo

Look at this black tank behind glass. We have been using this solar batch heater since 1986. It was 2 years old then. That’s 30 years of hot water. Solar energy isn’t feasible, eh?


Here’s some facts from Wikipedia :

The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year. . . The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.


Considering this, Stanford University professor Mark Jacobsen came up with a scenario for California to be completely independent of fossil fuels or nuclear energy by the year 2050. . .

 University of Stanford - Professor Mark Jacobson


Amazing. eh?

Lets do it.


Moonlight on the Lake - Bruce Witzel photo (2)


In this world of so much strife, danger and cynicism, let’s remember not to be blind or ignorant. The world is also filled with goodness, creativity, and love.

As you can see, even from this moonlit reflection –  The Solar Age is Dawning.


Arundhati Roy puts it this way. . .

Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.


Photo by daniel hui of Himin solar

Photo by Daniel Hui

Peace to all ~








The sun is my heart – borrowing from buddhist and catholic monks

bruce thomas witzel:


July 5th would be my fathers birthday – some of you will recall this memorial post. I’ve added this large leaf maple, a photo taken by Charles Brandt. He was a friend of my fathers. The “Great Work” goes on and each of us must contribute what we can – from our heart, our intellect or the sweat of our brow… peace to all. Bruce

Large Leaf Maple - Charles Brandt photo

Please click to open the full post…

Originally posted on through the luminary lens:

Washington State


nhathanh0001c brandt

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“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”

~ Buckminster Fuller ~


In this weeks Photo Challenge: Between, Danielle Hark of the Broken Light Collective suggests that the word between might reflect a choice we need to make — the challenge of choosing one thing over another.

Thus, between these lines and images, I bring you the futurist Buckminster Fuller.

The photographs zoom in on “Biosphere”, the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller as the United States pavilion for the Montreal World Expo of 1967.

As Bucky once said, “integrity is the essence of everything successful.”

Today Biosphere houses a  series of exhibits by Environment Canada including Renewable Energy: Time to Decide, Towards Sustainable Transportation, and 1 Degree: What Difference does it make?     

Here is more to ponder from Buckminster Fuller. . .



“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”


Sault St. Marie Factory


                                                                      ON FAITH AND WAR:



  Google image


The Montreal Biosphere from the World Expo 1967


“Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking.”


                                                     Saint Lawrence River



Mont Royal in Montreal



Montreal Biosphere  Geodesic dome was the U.S. pavilion at the World Expo 1967



“The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet’s surface at that time. Everything else will follow.”


Sunset on Lake Manitou, Saskatchewan



One of the great American visionaries of the twentieth century, Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) endeavoured to see what he, a single individual, might do to benefit the largest segment of humanity while consuming the minimum of the earth’s resources. Doing “more with less” was Fuller’s credo. He described himself as a “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” setting forth to solve the escalating challenges that faced humanity before they became insurmountable.

Source: Whitney Museum of Art – Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe


Google image


In hope for goodness

~ Bruce ~


This small home has a bedroom loft with a living and kitchen area below it, as well as a bath room, foyer and and utility area. There was no room left for an office.

Custom book case with desk behind

By rebuilding the stairs with winders at the bottom, I created extra space for a built in desk and the custom book case.


Finished desk detail


           It was constructed of yew wood and birch ply.


Construction of desk








Desk top detail - Bruce Witzel                    IMG_0444






 Construction detail 2      
















        Built in desk  @ Winter Harbour - Bruce Witzel photo













The stairs are yellow cedar with 2×4 hemlock treads…


Stair and desk with incomplete railings


As you can see from the reflection in the window, the room has a wonderful view of the pacific rain forest. The owners did not want a balustrade although it is usually required for safety.


New staircase with desk below - by Bruce Witzel


As responsible citizens of the planet,

lets try to use only what we need to, and use it well.



Mahatma Gandhi - photo source unknown 

As Gandhi said:

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but

not enough for everyone’s greed.”


Cheers – Bruce



Posted in response to the  Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

TWIST – Picasso, Merton and Pathways to Peace


A Picasso -  Photo by Bruce Witzel


We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are most dangerous. . .

~ A devout meditation in Memory of Adolf Eichmann  ~


from Raids of the unspeakable ~ by Thomas Merton


Statues in Downtown Montreal - The Illuminated Crowd


Montréal, Canada


Statue in Montreal - photo by Bruce Witzel


Peace Crane Project ~ Lindale Lake Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Peace Crane Project, Lindale park Gardens, Minneapolis MN


Spirit of Peace - Sculpted by Caprice Glaser, photo by Bruce Witzel



American Bull - Custer city Wyoming - photo by Bruce Witzel

American Bull ~ Custer City, Wyoming


Pathway to Peace, representing the Communities feeling about the meaning of peace - photo by Bruce Witzel

Pathways to Peace ~ Minneapolis 



Cheers – Bruce


Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist


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