Idle Lands, Idle Hands

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop                                                 ~ Proverbs 16:27  The pandemic seems to have exacerbated a whole raft of social and economic problems. Personally, as a retiree, I find myself limited in the things I normally would do, such as shopping, travel, eating out, visiting friends, and even my volunteer activities. I can’t imagine being […]

Cold Fire

“Mushrooms are one of our biggest allies if we hope to have any chance of healing the earth.”                                                                 ~ Sarah Kuta Humans have changed the planet’s ecosystems, both intentionally and inadvertently. Our very presence requires competition with other species for resources and our successful proliferation compounds that issue. We also perform actions that damage […]

Where You Gonna Grow?

In recent years, scientists have documented countless species shifting their ranges toward the poles, higher into the mountains, and deeper into the seas in response to the changing climate. ~ Sonia Shah As our group of volunteers spread out across the buffer zone of the former nuclear weapons plant, we gathered native grass seeds to […]

Like Legos

“… it was all about refurbishing and reusing existing buildings. Wainright’s meaning is much more sophisticated; we may not keep every building forever, but if they are designed for deconstruction we can keep using all the parts. That’s the way to truly ban demolition.” ~ Lloyd Alter It was a hard lesson for a young […]

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 […]

Seeds of Change

“Okay,” the young student volunteer said, taking a break from collecting native grass seeds, “we’re going to use these to replant all that disturbed ground,” she pointed over to the old nuclear weapons manufacturing plant site, “then global warming will come along and turn it all into a desert. What’s the logic in that?” Several […]

Oh, Poop!

“And every Saturday we work in the yard Pick up the dog doo Hope that it’s hard (woof woof)” ~ Joe Walsh, Ordinary Average Guy A small pond forms where the creek backs up behind a small weir, and the adjacent park is a favorite with the geese. As I walk through with my young […]

The Plot Thickens

“So whether it’s redeveloping dying malls or re-inhabiting dead big-box stores or reconstructing wetlands out of parking lots, I think the fact is the growing number of empty and under-performing, especially retail, sites throughout suburbia gives us actually a tremendous opportunity to take our least-sustainable landscapes right now and convert them into more sustainable places.” […]

Community

One learns that it takes more than a collection of trees to make a forest, as we know it in this country. Unless they house that spirit of wildness and purity like a temple, they fail to satisfy. John Burroughs, Fresh Fields The sand around the greasewood bush on the dune was bare except for […]