Down and Dirty

“It’s like magic,” he explained, “You drop a seed into the dirt, add a little water and you get squash! It’s like Jack and the Beanstalk.” The kindergartener was all excited after his day at school where the teacher had talked about plants and growing — and I had to bite my tongue as I […]

Bug Me No More?

“Climate change, loss of natural habitats and overexposure to pesticides are among the factors contributing to the decline of insects, including once-common species of flies, butterflies, beetles, bees and numerous others. More than two-thirds of all caddisfly populations have disappeared in the past decade.” ~ Johnny Wood The smell of insect repellent pervaded the camp […]

Nature Persists

“From a coyote’s-eye view, you could see what the trees were up to: Growth, failure, decay and the drip of acid water through the gravel were mixing a dirt out of the detritus. This hideous forest, I suddenly realized, was there to repair the damage done, and not at our bidding. Its intent was not […]

Yard Birds

The National Audubon Society reports the average population of common birds in North America has fallen by 68 percent since 1967; some individual species’ numbers are down by as much as 80 percent. ~ Margaret A. Haapoja Our yard is something of a mess. The lawn is mowed less often than most and full of […]

Nothing to Sneeze At

“A big part of the problem is most people don’t know much about trees, and think, well, trees are good and no trees are bad,” he says. “But trees are just like people, they have a multitude of differences. Some trees are human-friendly, and some are just the opposite.” ~ Tom Ogren quoted by Sabrina […]

Green and Easy

“Pollinators are important. Really important … The world’s pollinator species — including bees, flies, beetles and butterflies — are required by more than 85 percent of the flowering plants for reproduction. More than 100 crops in the U.S. need or benefit from pollinators, adding up to about $3 billion a year in economic value.” ~ […]

Out of Doors

“Perhaps it’s a deep evolutionary connection that remains after all these years, a hunger to spend time in an ancient space that was once our natural home. Or maybe it’s the closer social interactions, the cleaner and quieter air, the exercise, the relaxation, the exposure to microbes in dirt, all of which occurs when we’re […]

Bugging Out

“By one measure, bugs are the wildlife we know best, the nondomesticated animals whose lives intersect most intimately with our own: spiders in the shower, ants at the picnic, ticks buried in the skin. We sometimes feel that we know them rather too well. In another sense, though, they are one of our planet’s greatest […]

Balancing Nature

“’We started from this narrative in which the city is the villain, an evil landscape that chews up the environment and leaves nothing behind,’ he says.” “That’s certainly true, but the other reality is we’re not going to stop urbanizing the planet, so how do we turn cities into something good, something positive, for wildlife?” […]