Bird Talk

Quite a mix of birds has collected around the bird feeders outside our kitchen windows this year. The Chickadees and Juncos vie with the House Finches, Nuthatches and occasional Sparrow for a place at the trough. Lately, the big birds – Robins, Doves, Flickers and Jays – have become more aggressive in getting their share. […]

Redesigning Suburbia

Little boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes made of ticky-tackyLittle boxes, Little boxesLittle boxes all the sameThere’s a green one and a pink oneAnd a blue one and a yellow oneAnd they’re all made out of ticky-tackyAnd they all look just the same ~ Pete Seeger, Little Boxes Suburbs get a bad rap environmentally — spreading […]

Balance of Nature

“They say that if a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian rain forest, it can change the weather half a world away.”                 ~ Catherine McKenzie  The natural world maintains its balance through diversity and interconnectedness. There are upsets and cataclysmic changes from time to time, but usually life just goes on. That is until we […]

Living on The Edge

“Edge effects are the changes in biodiversity that occur inside the space surrounding the shared edge of two or more distinct ecosystems. This transitional zone rich in biodiversity is known as the ecotone; examples are between woodlands and plains, forests and mountains, and land and water.”                 ~ Gia Mora I live in a small […]

Rewilding

In one of the most used and abused states in the nation, a small but growing number of conservationists have advanced a radical theory: Iowa is ripe for rewilding … “The solutions exist,” restoration ecologist Leland Searles said. “It’s a matter of allowing the solutions to happen.”                                                                                 ~ Stephen Robert Miller It’s spring and […]

Don’t Fence Me In

“The 2020 analysis found that fences affect ecosystems on every scale, from decreasing insect abundance, because they give spiders ample places to build their webs, to impeding the long-distance migration of everything from wildebeests to mule deer. By concentrating animals more closely together than they might be in the wild, fences could increase disease transmission, […]

Window Cats

Betty, our older cat, likes to lie in her cat hammock in the kitchen window and watch the squirrels scamper on the back lawn; and the various birds that visit the feeders. She complains — with her scratchy meow — about some of them for unknown reasons. The doves, flickers and magpies are a particular […]

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 […]

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 […]

What’s in a Name?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”                                                 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare We called them ‘doodle bugs,’ but a girl I knew called them ‘rolly-pollys.’ When in college, I learned they were actually ‘wood lice’ or the singular, ‘woodlouse.’ Wikipedia lists about fifty other names for these guys, not including […]