Are Environmentalism and Politics the Same Thing?

Having finally found a category plugin that I finally like, I’m beginning to see some importance to how I classify blog entries. And when I see how many of my entries are simply categorized as “uncategorized” it’s a little embarrassing.

As a result, I’ve spent some time the last three days going back over old entries, particularly those written when there wasn’t a means of classifying entries. Doing so has reminded me that this blog was started as a form of political protest and played an important part in my blogging for a several years. Heck, at one time a reader had the nerve to call this an “anti-war blog,” and by then I’d begun to transition to being a “poetry blog” before becoming a photography blog and, even later, a birding blog.

Luckily, long ago when I started, or thereabouts, I described this site as, ” Focusing on poetry, literature, and photography and using the arts to explore and develop a personal philosophy.” And that’s pretty much what I’ve done here. What you see here is, generally, who I am, and, hopefully, who I’m becoming.

Most recent visitors have been spared the political polemics, but that doesn’t mean they’re not part of my philosophy. I can’t imagine having values if you aren’t going to advocate them openly and publicly. It’s just that lately I have expressed that side of my philosophy on Facebook.

However, I’m a devoted environmentalist and when this video showed up on one of the political sites I follow, Organizing Notes, I had to pass it on:

Tweaking Site Layouts Demands Compromises

Hopefully you’ve found something that you like about my new site layout. There are several things I like about, though I’ll have to admit that I’m also ambivalent about a lot of the changes


The most obvious of those changes is whether to go with the light or dark theme that comes standard with the Twenty Eleven Theme. I prefer the dark theme with the black background when an entry features photographs because it does a good job of setting them off. On the other hand, I definitely prefer the light theme when an entry consists mainly of words because I don’t like reading white letters on a black background. Overall, I think I’m favoring the light theme. Let me know if you have a definite preference.

I prefer the new way of listing categories, though I’m rather embarrassed by how many entries are “uncategorized.” In my defense, early programs I used to blog did not provide any means of categorizing entries. As a result, any of the entries from the first three years are so are “uncategorized.” Of course, procrastination and sheer laziness have also played a part in my failure to categorize effectively. As time allows, I’m going through some old entries and trying to categorize them and make them more accessible. I suppose I really ought to try to move into the present and use “tags,” but I wouldn’t count on that happening instantaneously.

I also prefer the new way of archiving, though I’ve noticed that all these JavaScript also slow down the loading of my page. Still, if the reader is actually interested in exploring my archives, the hierarchical approach makes that much easier, though it also makes it obvious that better titles would make my content more accessible.

I wish I’d found the new Blog list plugin that I’m using before I went through the list the other day looking for blogs that were no longer being updated. When I originally installed the plugin it listed the blogs in the order they had been updated (which I prefer), but installing two other plugins afterwards somehow disabled that feature and I haven’t been able to get it turned back on. Even before that, it was flawed as some sites would not show up as being updated even when I knew that they had been because I’d read them on my RSS feed. I suspect that it must have something to do with the way Google reads, or doesn’t read the sites, because the plugin depend on a Google API key. Needless to say, there was no way I was ever going to resolve these issues.

Behind the scenes I’m quite fond of the editor built into Jetpack, though I’ve just gone back and deleted the option to check for passive voice. I forgot how annoying I used to find that when using Microsoft Word. However, in the process of adding categories from some old entries, I’ve discovered a number of silly typos, the kind that are easily caught by an editor, and easily overlooked by a writer, that have managed to slip by me for a long time.

Unless You Look Down

If you can take your eyes off the mountain long enough, you will soon discover that the flowers are equally breathtaking. The new Visitor’s Center had a display of mountain flowers, and I was particularly struck by how far phlox, a rather dainty flower at first glance, roots penetrated the soil, making it possible to grow in places other flowers can’t. Needless to say, on this trip I saw phlox everyone,


though I’m not sure I ever noticed them before.

Of course, it’s impossible to look at flowers closely like these Asters

Bee on Aster

without also noticing the insects that thrive on them. On this day, the bees seemed to drawn to the purple flowers, whether Asters or Jacob’s Ladder.

Jacob's Ladder

In sheer numbers, the bees far outnumbered the butterflies,

Butterfly on Aster

but this butterfly, an Edith’s Checkerspot, I think, seemed everywhere I looked.

Best of all, the Indian Paintbrush was magnificent, whether the passionate pink variety that dominated lower altitudes,

Indian Paintbrush

or the lovely orange varieties that dominated at higher altitudes.

Indian Paintbrush

Everywhere Is Up

From the moment you arrive at the Sunrise parking lot, you find yourself looking up at the mountain.

Rainier from Sunrise Parking Lot

The further you climb, the larger the mountain looms as you begin to realize it consists of enormous ridge lines

Rainier Ridge

that dwarf any ridge lines

Ridge Line

you’ve already surmounted.

Arriving at the peak of the day’s hike, incredibly the mountain looms even higher than it did before you started your climb,

The Peak

and you’re left looking up.