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 […]

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 […]

Keep Off the Grass

“In every town and city today, cutting across parks and waste ground, you’ll see unofficial paths created by walkers who have abandoned the pavements and roads to take short cuts and make asides. Town planners call these improvised routes ‘desire lines’, or ‘desire paths’.” ~ Robert Macfarlane In the mountain parks I know, one rule […]

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.” ~ […]

Do Straws Really Suck?

“We are drowning the sea in plastic.” ~ Melissa Breyer   “Would you like a straw?” the waitress asked. I hesitated. While I really like drinking my iced tea through a straw, visions of dying sea creatures and piles of trash on the beaches invaded my thinking. The photos of sea trash and stories of […]