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 […]

Environmental Quandary

I am struck again by the apparently incompatible concept of man and nature. When we intrude into nature, do we decrease its nature-ness? “But all conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.” Aldo Leopold, A […]

Messing with Nature

The Naturalist’s Axiom: You can’t do just one thing. Law of Successful Tinkering: Save all the parts. Corollary: Save the instructions.                                                   Roderick Nash The brown head was just visible above the ripples in the water. We watched it cross the tank (what we called a farm pond) and disappear into the weeds at the […]

A Weed Is Just a Flower in The Wrong Place

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”                                                                   A.A. Milne “But these are weeds,” Melanie exclaimed, “We pull these up in our yard.” “Yes, but this isn’t your yard.” Paul noted kindly, looking out over the prairie. We were collecting native plant seeds on the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant site to […]

Changing Nature

The prairie stretched in front of us for several miles. “What do you see?” I asked. Sara looked around with that half-bored expression teens sometimes have, “Grass,” was all she said. “Look down, then.” I instructed, “What’s right here beneath you?” She looked askance, then looked down, “Well, some grass. Some rocks, some of those […]