Birds of Happiness

And so, remember this, life is no abyssSomewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness                                                ~ Sandor Harmati Twenty-five years ago, we made a major addition to our house that expanded the kitchen and featured a string of large windows overlooking the back yard with a view to the mountains on the north. Originally, I put up […]

Both Sides Now

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides nowFrom up and down, and still somehowIt’s cloud illusions I recallI really don’t know clouds at all                                                 ~ Joni Mitchell Climate change is bringing worrying uncertainty to our weather patterns. We try to minimize or eliminate carbon emissions to reduce the greenhouse effect, but we’re taking too […]

Urban Nature

Humans need to find peace and quiet. Any parent has reached their screaming point from all the chaos that children and jobs can bring into their lives, but we all occasionally need some calming, uninterrupted time for our brain to settle down and clear out our thoughts. For some, a walk in the woods or […]

 Tree Songs

“To listen to trees, nature’s great connectors, is therefore to learn how to inhabit the relationships that give life its source, substance, and beauty.”                                                 Maria Popova in The Songs of Trees It’s a special, but not rare thing. I can sit on the patio and hear the whisper of the breeze through the trees […]

Ecological Landscaping

“He was as happy as a 12-year-old, trying to see what Mother Nature does there and then work it into a design … Science has kind of divorced itself from spirituality and emotion, but Darrel cultivates that experiential side of what landscapes evoke in us.”                                 ~ Ulrich Lorimer about landscape architect Darrel Morrison Nature […]

Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare a Little (Climate) Change? Part 2

Carbon dioxide, that fizzy stuff in our ‘carbonated’ beverages, is our climate’s enemy. Not the beverages, but the amount of CO2 that we have been emitting since the start of the industrial age. While many people try to ignore the science of human-induced climate change, others are trying to figure out what to do about […]

To Bee or Not to Bee

“In recent years, the mysterious disappearance of bees has puzzled experts from across the world. In the United States alone, the honeybee population has dropped by 50 percent from midcentury levels, and 700 species of bees are now at risk of extinction. Scientists can’t really pin down the cause of the ‘bee apocalypse,’ but point to […]

What’s Old Is New

“Regenerative gardening means practicing gardening in a holistic way that regenerates the soil, our bodies, our living environment, and our planet,” says Shangwen Chiu Kennedy, a landscape and urban designer. “It focuses on putting nutrients back into the soil, resulting in plants capturing and storing carbon from atmospheric CO2 in the soil while also improving soil health, […]

Trees Please

“The story is the same in nearly every city across the United States. With few exceptions, trees are sparse in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods and more prominent in wealthier, whiter neighborhoods. Redlining policies, dating back to the 1930s, laid the groundwork for this inequity.”                                                 ~ American Forests Sitting on our patio, I relished the soft breeze […]

Close to Home

“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 and […]