Urban Species

“Cities are the 21st century’s dominant form of civilization — and they’re where humanity’s struggle for survival will take place … Half the planet’s population lives in cities. They are the world’s engines, generating four-fifths of the global GDP … As the economist Ed Glaeser puts it, ‘we are an urban species.’” ~ Robert Muggah […]

Nature Persists

“From a coyote’s-eye view, you could see what the trees were up to: Growth, failure, decay and the drip of acid water through the gravel were mixing a dirt out of the detritus. This hideous forest, I suddenly realized, was there to repair the damage done, and not at our bidding. Its intent was not […]

Plastic Panic

“It’s not nice to fool (with) Mother Nature” ~ Apologies to Chiffon Margarine I think it started with the dirty diaper panic. Years ago, it suddenly became the cause celebre among environmentalists (few of whom, I suspect, were actually parents). Dirty diapers littering the landscape and bursting out of the landfills. Dirty diapers oozing baby […]

Is Climate Change Contagious?

“All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it’s up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.” ― Albert Camus, The Plague Given the plague of zombies we’re seeing this Halloween, I thought I’d remind everyone that zombies are brought back […]

Diggin’ Dirt

Soil is the “excited skin” of the earth, as soil scientists put it, and whether we nourish that skin or scrape away at it has big implications for mitigating and weathering climate change. ~ Ula Chrobak I have played and worked in the dirt and mud in many places. From ocean beach sand castles to […]

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? […]