Black Oak Down by Shepherd Bliss

by Shepherd Bliss
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Santa Rosa, California
June 26, 2014


Image by Scott Hess via Flickr

A loud, crashing sound startles my young farm-hand Emily Danler awake in the dark of the night. She camps out in order to start picking berries at sun-up. My dog, inside, barks. After a physically-demanding day farming, I sleep through it all.

Looking down the boysenberry field to the bottom of Kokopelli Farm the next morning, tears come to my eyes. The tall, old black oak had split right down the middle of its deep, wide trunk. I would never again see its crimson leaves announcing the beginning of Spring. Continue reading

Gratitude to Trees by Shepherd Bliss

Weeping Fir Tree

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by Shepherd Bliss
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
September 13, 2012

Morning: Listening

Trees transform, shield, shade and provide oxygen, fruit, and beauty. They offer many other gifts. Without trees, humans would not survive. Through the magical process of photosynthesis, tree leaves and other green plants release oxygen by transforming carbon dioxide and water.

As our human learning community walks into the woods here beyond the Dominican University of California, I invite you to experience the plant community. Continue reading

This is Zionism: Olive Trees being destroyed


June 08, 2010 — The uprooting of the olive trees and destruction of the land of Abu Nidal in the village of Al-Walaja. This heartbreaking experience was exacerbated by the fact that the apartheid wall being built will encircle the village on all sides cutting all the villagers from their agricultural lands. 30 homes have been demolished and others are slated for demolition. The village is basically being ethnically cleansed methodically. It started in 1948 when villagers were removed from half their lands and continued after 1967 as the Zionist movement coveted and went after the rest of their lands.

Continue reading