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 […]

Water on the Brain

The creek that runs a block from my house is bordered by open space, parks and trails. It makes for a nice transition into our old neighborhood with its large trees and established landscaping. It also makes the neighborhood feel more relaxed — casual and friendly. We’ve known that the presence of vegetation in nearly […]

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?” […]

Integration

“We are stealing nature from our children. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that we are destroying nature that they will have wanted us to preserve, although that is unfortunately also the case. What I mean here is that we’ve started to define nature in a way that’s so purist and so strict […]

Huntin’ Ain’t a Bad Way to Grow Up

“Well now,” he continued, “a gentleman starts down at his boots and works up to his hat. A gentleman is, first of all, polite. A gentleman never talks down to nobody, or even to anybody that says ‘anybody’ instead of ‘nobody’. A gentleman ain’t greedy. A gentleman don’t holler at anybody else’s dogs. A gentleman […]

Shoo Fly!

  “With each generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes that amount as the norm.” ~ Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman When we think about losing biodiversity, we tend to think of the last northern white rhinos protected by armed guards, of polar bears on dwindling ice floes. Extinction is […]

Down in the Dirt

Humans evolved in caves and fields — not in sanitized homes, cars and schools. And our immune systems developed to find and suppress foreign invaders, growing stronger with each battle won. ~ Christine Peterson It’s not there now, but I look forward to a time when we can essentially garden our homes — fill them […]

Be Green, Not Mean

“What’s in a fence? More than you’d think. In neighborhoods where as little as about $1,000 was spent transforming a vacant lot with some grass, a few trees, and a short wooden fence, people felt less depressed and less worthless.” ~ Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan In contrast to the suburbs or ex-burbs, urban areas are often relatively […]