Changes Comin’

“As ocean temperatures rise, marine species are moving away from their warming and acidifying habitats to seek colder waters. There is, in effect, a mass migration of sea life towards the poles.” – Zoë Schlanger A couple of years ago while vacationing on the Oregon Coast, we were startled by the tsunami alarms going off […]

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 […]

Right-of-Way (Collisions Versus Collusions)

“One of the sad facts of the modern world is that humans are a nightmare for non-human animals. This is manifested in many ways, but one of the most devastating is how voraciously we gobble up wildlife habitat to suit our own needs.” ~ Melissa Breyer It was dark and my headlights had just picked […]

Hard Work and Invasive Species

A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place. ~ George Washington Carver The crew was clearing the Texas ranch of mesquite trees, using a bulldozer and drag chain. Then the small group of “illegals” would pile up the small trees and brush for burning. It was dirty work, and between the heavy equipment, […]

Garden of Delight

My garden is something of a chaotic mess this year. Luckily, at this time of year, I am deluged with gardening advice — most of which I should have heard and applied in late spring. Of course, the key to a ‘perfect’ garden is always intent. What kind of garden do you want? Flowers? Vegetables? […]

Bumbling Along with Nature

“Scientist Sánchez-Bayo said he had recently witnessed an insect crash himself. A recent family holiday involved a 400-mile (700km) drive across rural Australia, but he had not once had to clean the windscreen, he said. ‘Years ago you had to do this constantly.’” ~ Damian Carrington One of the scary effects of human actions on […]

Pines in Lines

Once, while studying groundwater contamination at an air base in Florida, I was taken to several old, abandoned landfills to determine which of them should be drilled for testing. One presented a real problem: In the twenty years since it had been closed, the landfill had been planted with pine trees — part of the […]

How High’s the Water, Mama?

How high’s the water, Mama? Five feet high and risin’. How high’s the water, Papa? She said it’s five feet high and risin’. Well, the rails are washed out north of town. We gotta head for higher ground. We can’t come back till the water goes down, Five feet high and risin’ ~ Johnny Cash, […]

The Vegetable Garden in my Mind

Gardening is about optimism. I look through the catalogs in winter and read articles about plants and vegetables, dreaming of what this year’s garden will be like. I am excited to order seeds and get excited all over again when they arrive. I dream of fresh veggie dishes as I ponder the cold and snow […]

The Salt of the Earth

“I shivered in those solitudes when I heard the voice of the salt in the desert.” ― Pablo Neruda It was Earth Day and the environmental department that I worked for had planned a party celebrating the environmental movement. Unfortunately, no one had told the building landlord about it, and at 9 am a crew […]