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 […]

Made in the Shade

This is how it typically goes with solar arrays: We build them on open space rather than in developed areas. That is, they overwhelmingly occupy croplands, arid lands, and grasslands, not rooftops or parking lots.                                                 ~ Richard Conniff I live in the shadow of Lookout Mountain, part of Colorado’s Front Range, and from the top […]

Evolving

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and […]

Ugly Pumpkins

Leaves are covering the yards, the garden plants are slowly (or, if a freeze, quickly) dying, and the squirrel-mutilated faces on pumpkins are moldering across front porches everywhere. It’s the perfect time to start your garden compost pile! Composting is an age-old practice to conserve the nutrients that nature provides. Normally, trees, shrubs and grasses […]

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 […]

Still Hope

The hot weather — 90+ degree highs for several weeks in Denver, in mid-September! — coupled with the continuing isolation of the pandemic has me thinking about the apocalypse. Wildfires ravage the west, leaving destruction, homelessness, haze and foul air across the country and flooding locally. Drought has decimated the Colorado River and dropped many […]

Bored and Grumpy

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”                                  ~ Isaac Asimov​ “The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves.”                                 ~ Rachel Carson It’s nearly fall, so the weather is turning but still be […]

Superweeds

Superweeds “I’ve never been trained as an evolutionary biologist — you know, formally — but basically, what I feel like I try to do in my career is try to stop evolution,” Pat Tranel, a crop scientist says. “And it’s a pretty powerful force. It’s pretty hard to stop.”                                                                 ~ H. Claire Brown We’ve […]

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 […]