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 […]

Fighting Climate Change

“There is, however, a catch: The world must act now … If we’re too slow to start better managing and protecting these natural systems, the inaction will damage nature’s ability to help heal the planet … In other words, the longer we wait, the less nature can do.” ~ The Nature Conservancy We seem to […]

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 […]

The Forest Garden

Over the years, a vine has grown up under the aged eave of the tiny frame house to form a large ball of dead leaves and branches. Facing east, it catches the morning sun, but by afternoon is in the shade. Most of the time, it is chock-full of sparrows — flitting, chirping and dropping […]

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 […]

Plant A Tree, Save A Tree

“Love your neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” ~ Benjamin Franklin We first noticed when most of the big trees were gone. The old mobile home park had been located among some really giant old cottonwoods that provided shade, but undoubtedly created a hazard for the occupants in the flimsy structures below. Nonetheless, they […]

Fresh Meat

The destiny of the other items (in the freezer) was indistinct. They were for the consumption of the various occupants of the house, the whole food chain — bird, amphibian, beast and beetle, reptile, arachnid, man. A sign over the kitchen sink read, “EAT MORE POSSUM” in black on Chinese red. ~ John McPhee I […]