landscape biology


Though I think that the expanses of turf that constitute most lawns have  all the classy appeal of Astroturf, and are an generally an environmental travesty, there are some things to be said for this stuff: Prevents erosion Slows down runoff Filters water Is better than a non-permeable surface So, […]


If bugs wrote books, they would probably begin their book on the human era, “It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times…..”  They would probably consider it a slightly scary book. I thought the Master Gardener Volunteer program (see my post Becoming a Master Gardener )  […]

The Dirt on Our “New” Topsoil

Before we build a house on our land, we will need a septic system.  The land has already passed its perc test (Doesn’t that sound cheerful?  It’s 6 a.m., and at the moment, I’m not sure I feel perky enough to pass any test.)  Our land is not only perky– […]


I garden like I cook – using a mix of intuition, inspiration, opportunity and random readings.  This system works better for cooking, where any totally “out there” idea produces just a single adventure for the taste buds rather than a failed crop for the year. This spring I finally enrolled […]


We call it The Pond, but that term probably evokes a much grander water body than it actually is. The previous owner built a little dam across the end of a ravine and lined the basin with clay from the neighboring field.  He never actually found the spring he expected, […]


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 […]


The snow has receded to tiny patches on northern hill slopes.  The plates of ice are floating on the mostly-open surface of the pond, and that has freed the Western Chorus Frogs, who began singing three days ago. These are tiny little frogs no bigger than the tip of a […]