Tuesday, April 30, 2019

When Green Comes

I made a fire in the woodstove this morning and it sure feels good. With all that wonderful green outside, it’s a blow to the system to step out and find it’s actually cold and windy. We even saw some snowflakes dancing around.

Mark and I have had such fun with my TEDx talk on grazing. We check periodically to see how many views the video has garnered. And Facebook shares are international – Denmark, Kenya, Nova Scotia. There’s a worldwide community of folks that agree with us on the necessary role of grazing animals and they want to be heard. But is anyone viewing who thinks cows are the problem? Am I changing any minds? I hope so. On second thought, I don’t really expect to change minds, just crack them open.

The water has returned to the canal that runs through our property. Now, when the dogs come off their tether, they run to it to get a drink instead of following the trail to the hydrant and waiting for me to lift the spigot.

I’ve been tidying up the willows that line the canal in our driveway. Pruning and picking up limbs, revealing the breathtaking beauty of trees, is addicting. Seth taught me to operate Grandpa’s little chainsaw and I’m having such fun! I only need a man with a tractor for final clean up, which suits Mark just fine. I am now a force to be reckoned with on my own.

The bees are loving the first flower on our willows and box elders, and we’re happy to oblige their early spring pollen needs. And out our office window, the leaves are filling out on the quakie (quaking aspen). They’re the happiest, shiniest, chartreuse green-iest leaves you can imagine. Mark’s grandpa said when the quakie leaves are dime-sized it was time to turn out the cows. It’s a cowboy’s way of describing plant life phenophase!

I went to a workshop last week full of passionate people from conservation collaboratives across the West. Group after group talked about the value of working landscapes and keeping farmers and ranchers on the land. They even talked about the benefits of flood irrigation and how the pulsing wet and dry provide for birds, and how the system mimics an old-style flood plain. It was like getting a deep massage to hear positive messages about our way of life.

When I took my turn at the microphone, I shared a little bit of my world. I finished by saying, “if you get a chance to talk to a rancher, ask them a question.” I think they heard me. As the workshop continued, several people made a point to ask me a question. One fellow said, “How are you? That’s a question!” Indeed it is.

Here's that link:

Wendy's TEDx talk


  1. Another good write Wendy. You are so fun and interesting to her. I hope you are opening a lot of eyes and minds.