Wind Turbines and Birds Go Around and Round

Bird collisions happen because birds see the world differently.  ~ The American Bird Conservancy   “Creak, creak, creak…” lazily interrupted the silence of the prairie. Another hot day quail hunting, we walked up to the ancient windmill where the dogs could get water and tried futilely to avoid stepping in the cow pies where the […]

Pride and Prejudice

(Apologies to Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith) “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.” ~ Jonathan Swift As a regulator, I was often criticized for being biased and letting that bias prejudice my decisions. Of course, it was always the people who disliked my […]

In My Town

“… the growing number of empty and under-performing, especially retail, sites throughout suburbia gives us actually a tremendous opportunity to take our least-sustainable landscapes right now and convert them into more sustainable places. And in the process, what that allows us to do is to redirect a lot more of our growth back into existing […]

Natural Rhythms

“We cannot step outside life’s songs. This music made us; it is our nature.” ~ David Haskell quoted by Maria Popova In the opening scene of the movie, “Taps,” Gregory Hines, deep in the silence of night in a prison cell, hears drops of water on metal. The rhythmic plops make a beat that ultimately moves […]

The ‘Vores

    “Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends cooks.” ~ David Garrick Preparing dinner that night was complicated. Among the two extended families present we had vegetarians, a vegan, and people that were gluten- and lactose-intolerant. The three different pans of lasagna, salad and bread got everyone something to eat. Dessert was […]

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Little (Climate) Change?

“And so, I became miserably conflicted about climate change. I accepted its supremacy as the environmental issue of our time, but I felt bullied by its dominance. Not only did it make every grocery-store run a guilt trip; it made me feel selfish for caring more about birds in the present than about people in […]

Want Fries with That? (“You say potato…”)

“No food can afford a more decisive proof of its nourishing quality, or of its being peculiarly suitable to the health of the human constitution.” ~ Adam Smith We sat in a circle holding our fists in front of us and she circled us singing, “one potato, two potato,” etc. and bumping our fists with […]

Holy Days and Holidays

What do St. Nicolaus and St. Patrick have in common? They’re both Catholic saints and have Holy Days named in their honor. However, their Holy Days are also holidays that are not observed solely as religious, but assume huge cultural significance, as well. St. Nick is a fat, white-haired, jolly old man in a red […]

Soiled

“…farmers are learning a lesson that resonates throughout human interactions with the natural world: People reap more benefit from nature when they give up trying to vanquish it and instead see it clearly, as a demanding but indispensable ally.” ~ Jaques Leslie “If you’ve never heard about the amazing potential of regenerative agriculture and land […]