Eco activism

CITIZENS SEARCHING FOR SALAMANDERS

Let’s here it for Volunteer Environmental Monitoring! Volunteers are our eyes and ears into what is happening in the natural world.  With dramatic cuts in government-funded monitoring programs, volunteers have stepped up to the plate.  Grassroots environmental groups continue the monitoring that would have to be abandoned if it depended […]

THINKING LIKE A BLUEBIRD

Last summer some friends gave us a bluebird house.  At that point, I knew one thing about bluebirds – they are featured in a song that includes the words zippety doo dah. Not surprisingly, zip was exactly how many bluebirds we interested in our spiffy, new birdhouse. Now I am […]

ONE TINY PIECE IN A PATCHWORK PRAIRIE

Geography is destiny, and I got both my geography and my destiny defined a little more clearly yesterday at the University of Wisconsin-Arboretum’s Winter Enrichment Lecture Series.  Naturalist extraordinaire Rich Henderson shared his insights about the past, present and future ecology of prairies in Wisconsin.  He was speaking from 34 […]

PUSH SOLAR PANEL COSTS DOWN

We don’t have to rip our mountains apart to power our toasters.  A terawatt is equal to one trillion watts, and the sun hits earth with 20 TW.  Our biggest power plants produce puny gigawatts of power a small fraction of  the terawatts that the sun is bathing the earth […]

KEEP IT CLEAN AND GREEN

Obi-Wan Kenobi called Mos Eisley a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but I’ll bet that’s just because they hadn’t discovered any sodium bicarbonate on Tatooine. We are SO lucky to have plenty of baking soda on Planet Earth.  According to Planetgreen, there are 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use […]

Watt a Merry Christmas!

Both our girls made it home for Christmas. We lit some candles and exchanged a few presents on Christmas Eve. The highlight is a custom we picked up in the Netherlands, where the present exchange came with quirky, poems that hint at the object inside the wrappings and tease the […]

A VEGETARIAN GIVES THANKS

As the vegetarian mom in a vegetarian family, thanksgiving is not associated with roasted turkey around here. We all look forward to our traditional feast, which features a big, round, crispy-crusted, golden-brown dome of polenta marbled with savory beans and tangy cheeses. And we ladle rich, flavorful vegetarian gravy over […]

RAW MILK THANKSGIVING

SHOULD I SERVE MY THANKSGIVING GUESTS FOOD MADE WITH RAW MILK? My daughter is the new and proud owner of a cow share.  Last month she came home from LaCrosse with a glass jar of milk from her friendly, neighborhood family farm.  It was filled with the familiar white liquid, […]