The Evils of Gardening

Everybody knows that gardening is a great pastime. Some might say I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, but I will note that every English murder mystery shows some old couple enjoying a day in their garden, harvesting wonderful bouquets and baskets of veggies. Of course, shortly you learn that one or both of them have […]

Redesigning Suburbia

Little boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes made of ticky-tackyLittle boxes, Little boxesLittle boxes all the sameThere’s a green one and a pink oneAnd a blue one and a yellow oneAnd they’re all made out of ticky-tackyAnd they all look just the same ~ Pete Seeger, Little Boxes Suburbs get a bad rap environmentally — spreading […]

Balance of Nature

“They say that if a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian rain forest, it can change the weather half a world away.”                 ~ Catherine McKenzie  The natural world maintains its balance through diversity and interconnectedness. There are upsets and cataclysmic changes from time to time, but usually life just goes on. That is until we […]

Shady Tricks

“A young tree has the cooling effect of five room-sized air conditioners working for 20 hours a day.” ~ Former London Councilor Jon Burke “… the net cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.“ ~ U.S. Forest Service The small town in northern Arizona […]

The Country Mouse and The City Mouse

“ I’m a country mouse, easily overwhelmed by humanity on the scale of cities, even those much smaller than this one (Kinshasa) … It struck me that the culture gap between city and country mouse might be wider than any other I’ve known.”                                                                 ~ Barbara Kingsolver I grew up in the suburbs of a […]

Local Food

Every summer, the Golden farmer’s market opens in the lot next to the library, a few blocks from our house. Early in June the selections are somewhat limited, focusing mostly on the breads, canned items, herbs and spices, root crops, leaf veggies and fruits and veggies imported from Arizona. By the end of June, though, […]

All of a Piece

“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.”           ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson “The tides are in our veins, we still mirror the stars, life is your child, but there is in me, older and harder […]

Street Trees

To this day, its origins remain a mystery. But somehow, amid the chaotic meeting of the so-called New World and the Old, two plants from continents thousands of miles apart — an American sycamore and an Oriental plane – met and reproduced.                                 ~ Zaria Gorvett One of the nice things about the old neighborhood […]

Good Lawn Almighty!

“I think idly about maybe, just maybe, this year I might just walk the talk and grow a natural yard, my own version of rewilding. Let nature have its way and see what evolves. After all, nature was here first and maybe she knows best what to do here.”                                                 ~ Steve Tarlton Every spring, […]

Shift the Stats

“Contact with nature in cities significantly reduces feelings of loneliness, according to a team of scientists … Loneliness is a major public health concern, their research shows, and can raise a person’s risk of death by 45% — more than air pollution, obesity or alcohol abuse.”                ~ Damian Carrington It is well known that […]