Where You At Q5: When was the last time a fire burned in your area?

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The fifth question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

When was the last time a fire burned in your area?

This is one of the quiz questions that reveals its Cascadian/West Coast USA origins. As Carolyn Merchant has noted in Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World (1992) the quiz is ‘culture-bound’. I write that because the whole concept of a fire burning ‘in your area’ seems to reflect the spread of wildfire over large parts of a landscape, something that happens regularly enough to note in California, but is much less familiar in northern Europe.

The widespread deforestation of the Atlantic Archipelago has left the UK without a lot of standing trees to burn and the climate here means that we have rarely experienced the hot, dry conditions that catalyse these types of conflagration. Continue reading “Where You At Q5: When was the last time a fire burned in your area?”

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Where You At Q4: What was the total rainfall in your area last year?

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Rubber duck in a rainwater butt

The fourth question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

What was the total rainfall in your area last year?

I think that annual average rainfall in Essex is about 600mm, but I don’t know how recent years have compared to that. The nearest Met Office ‘climate stations’ to me are at Writtle (c.29km away) and Shoeburyness (c.10.5 km away) – checking the Met Office site I see that for the period 1980-2010: Continue reading “Where You At Q4: What was the total rainfall in your area last year?”

Where You At Q3: What soil series are you standing on?

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Claire and students of the 2015 Design 4 ACTION Permaculture Design Course observing a London soil sample

The third question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

What soil series are you standing on?

A question to which my first response is ‘soil what?’ An alternate version of the bioregional quiz frames this question as ‘Describe the type of soil around your house.’ which is a bit more approachable. Another version asks ‘Describe the basic geology of the place you are living. What type of natural ground is there?”, which is also useful – but starts to move in on the territory of a later question (#16).

So I’m not familiar with the term ‘soil series’ – but I do know something about the soil here. Continue reading “Where You At Q3: What soil series are you standing on?”

Where You At Q2: How many days til the moon is full?

 

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The supermoon of March 19th, 2011

 

The second question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

How many days til the moon is full?

I’m not sure how good I would be at this calculation generally. I can’t remember seeing the moon lately but then I can’t remember looking at the night sky recently either. Today, Wednesday 11th April 2018, I’m pretty sure the last full moon was Easter Saturday – which was 31st March – which I think means that we are a few days off new moon – so perhaps it’s not surprising I haven’t seen the moon lately. The moon has a 28-day cycle, so the next full moon should be in about 17 days time – 28th April.

Ok, let’s check. Continue reading “Where You At Q2: How many days til the moon is full?”