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 […]

Biophilic Design

“The plantings that are around those landscapes or those buildings are chosen for the birds that follow migratory paths, to support the bugs those birds eat,” architect Justin Crane says … This could be described as an example of “biophilic design”, in which buildings and even interiors strike a better balance between people and nature … […]

The Fallacy of Biological Deserts

“Urban areas … have long been deemed to be devoid of biodiversity, especially by Americans, who glorify wilderness and believe that nature can flourish only where cities do not exist… This is called ‘the biological deserts fallacy’”                                                 ~ Janet Marinelli There are coyotes in Los Angeles and photos of rats stealing old pizza in Manhattan, […]

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 […]

Not Man Apart

“We can no longer afford to consider air and water common property, free to be abused by anyone without regard to consequences. Instead we should begin now to treat them as scarce resources, which we are no more free to contaminate than we are free to throw garbage into our neighbor’s yard.”                                             ~ President […]

Bugs Up!

“In 2020, locusts have swarmed in large numbers in dozens of countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. When swarms affect several countries at once in very large numbers, it is known as a plague.”                                                 ~ David Njagi This summer, the seventeen-year eruption of cicadas will […]

Anthropause

“As factories grew quiet and traffic dropped, ozone levels fell by 7 percent across the Northern Hemisphere. As air pollution across India dropped by a third, mountain snowpacks in the Indus Basin grew brighter. With less haze in the atmosphere, the sky let more sunlight through. The planet’s temperature temporarily jumped between a fifth and half of a degree.” […]