Doom and Gloom

Some people walk in the rain; others just get wet. ~ Roger Miller It’s easy for me to get depressed these days. Heat waves and glacial melting present as dire warnings that climate change is here and not just some far-off threat that may plague future generations. National politics have become horribly malicious, and so […]

Home Garden

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Attwood My father’s garden was a small area about ten-foot by ten against the south side of the house that got intense sun early in the day, but was shaded in the afternoon. He didn’t start a garden until […]

Paths Less Traveled

Humans are animals and like all animals we leave tracks as we walk: signs of passage made in snow, sand, mud, grass, dew, earth or moss. The language of hunting has a word for such mark-making: ‘foil’. A creature’s ‘foil’ is its track. The path’s sediment comprised sentiment, and to follow a path might therefore […]

What Dreams May Come

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet Hamlet came across the bones of an old friend, Yorick (that some claim he knew well). In those days, in Europe and elsewhere, people […]

The Web of Waste

And what was even more striking to me, and what I really got hung up on, was that the world inside the screen seemed to have no physical reality of its own. ~ Andrew Blum “It was just waste. Nobody wanted it and it cost too much to recondition, so we just dumped it.” He […]

Footprints

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~ Arthur Ashe A few years ago I became intrigued by the concept of ‘carbon footprint’, the sum of all the greenhouse gases — like carbon dioxide — emitted by someone’s actions. Early on, the size of your footprint was represented by the […]

When is Public Space Not Public?

At the end of our street, where the pavement ends, an orange plastic fence stretched across the trail leading into an undeveloped area. A small sign noted that the trail was closed. Knowing it was just a few hundred yards to the regional bike trail — and following in the footprints of many others — […]

Aunt Eula

Conservation is a task in which we can all join. We can be proud of the virgin flora of our state and try to see it preserved. Let us save some of the old narrow winding roads, tree branches meeting overhead, birds singing and nesting, an occasional animal darting from cover, and persuade highway builders […]

Bee Good

“I always imagine that if you’ve never tasted anything sweet, tasting honey for the first time is just sort of nectar from the gods. We’ve evolved with bees, and bees have evolved with us at some level. And they’ve always inspired us. I also think it’s connected with our youth — you know, running barefoot […]

Tree Forts

 I have a Fort Theory of Ecology, Fort Theory of Conservation. Every ecologist I know, every conservation biologist I know, every conservation professional I know, built forts when they were kids. If we have a generation that doesn’t know how to build a fort, we’ll have a generation that doesn’t know how to care about […]