13 Natural Events in September

September – the seventh month of the old Roman year. By the Julian arrangement, it became the ninth month but still retained its former name. This month marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Nature is everywhere, and it’s difficult to put every event in one place. But some events occur so…

Lots of bees in my yard; I like it!

My yard is always teeming with bees, butterflies and all sorts of various beneficial insects. Yes, I said “beneficial.” And we do nothing to get rid of them. That’s not a complaint; it’s by design. I don’t want to get rid of most of those bugs – especially not the bees. I’m sure by now you…

Is Biodegradable Food Considered Litter?

At this point, I’m sure you’ve all heard most of the information regarding Leave No Trace principles and strategies for limiting your impacts upon hiking trails and those upon your fellow trail users. As use of hiking trails — and the back country areas through which they pass — increases, all of us must be…

The Top 15 US City Parks

In the midst of the teeming bustle of a city, it can be difficult to get out into a forest, mountain, or ocean setting when we need it. Fortunately, most cities have created spaces where we can still get the benefit of nature’s healing and soothing powers. Because of that, we are able to spend…

Spring, Our Greatest Indicator of a Changing Climate

One of the greatest perks of living in a temperate region like the Mid-Atlantic is experiencing the on going march from one season into the next. The most recent transition from winter to spring is one of my favorites. Every year I am amazed by the relative speed with which trees come back from their…

The Evil Practice of Topping a Tree

Melodramatic titles aside, good tree care is a serious deal. When properly cared for, a tree can boost property value, provide shade, shelter wildlife, and even improve human well-being. Bad management practices, such as topping, can turn an otherwise wonderful tree into a potential safety hazard for many years in the future. To tell us…

8 Most Toxic Chemicals In Your Cleaning Products

I’m sorry to break the bad news, but it’s time for spring-cleaning. And that means a lot of consumers will be, rather ironically, bringing toxic-laden cleaning products into their homes. Don’t feel bad! Americans assume such products are safe or they wouldn’t be sold. But the fact is, there are more than 80,000 unregulated and…

“Jane’s Walk” Globally Honors a Legend

“No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at the boulevard of Paris, as the City Beautiful people did; and they can’t find it by looking at suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You’ve got to get out and walk.” — Jane Jacobs, “Downtown is for People“…

Corpse Flower ‘Sprout’ is Blooming Now!

Note: as of 4/28/16, Sprout has ended his bloom cycle. The webcam below is no longer a live feed but a video of his final four hours. It’s still something to watch in case you missed it live. And thank you to everyone who stopped by to enjoy this event. Please make sure you subscribe…

Witness Rare Bloom of Corpse Flower

(Note, as of 4/24/16: Experts had this flower blooming this weekend, but it still hasn’t happened yet. However, if you watched it the last two days, then you have seen a difference in the flower. I can’t imagine it not happening tomorrow. My husband’s take on this: “Maybe it doesn’t want to compete withe Game…

Best 3 Gardening Ideas No Matter Where You Live

The arrival of Spring signals that it’s time to reboot your garden. To help get you into the planting spirit, I selected three resources that offer a fresh take on the traditional garden. Whether you have a well-worn green thumb or have never picked up a trowel, these books will help you navigate new gardening…

Cooking with an Invasive Species

You’ve heard the saying: “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But what about: “when you find invasive species, make pesto?” Parks and nature centers all over the US recruit volunteers in spring to round up different invasive species and dispose of them in a way that will keep them from coming back. (In case…

Pigeon Air Patrol Tweets on London’s Pollution

There are days in London when the pollution is so bad that an asthmatic sitting in Trafalgar Square might actually breathe easier in Beijing. A recent study calculated that nearly 1,000 people a year die prematurely due to the city’s toxic air. Fortunately the city now has a new team of tireless pollution watchdogs —…

New Environmental Film ‘Wildways: Corridors of Life’

Wild Ways Trailer and Prologue from James Brundige on Vimeo. National Parks are protected all over the world. That’s the good news. However, scientists have been warning for decades that most protected areas are too small to preserve wide-ranging wildlife species over the long term, and it will only delay inevitable extinction for many species…

Jane Goodall Celebrates International Day of Forests

“I have always loved the forest, but it was not until I actually lived in the forests of Gombe that I came to realize, in the most vivid way, that the forest is a living, breathing entity of intertwining, interdependent life forms. It is perfect, complete, a powerful presence, and so much more — so…

Could You Live in a Yurt?

“What’s a Yurt,” you ask? A Yurt is a small, environmentally sustainable dwelling. It looks like a round tent, and is built to withstand all types of weather. It comes complete with living, kitchen, sleeping, and bathing areas. Have you seen Tree House Masters on Animal Planet? It’s like that, but in an on-the-ground-tent form.…

9 Ways to Reduce Your Pet’s Carbon Paw Print

From greener grooming and natural food, to cleaning up after Fido and Fluffy’s “accidents” and ridding them of pests, you can reduce your pet’s carbon paw print and improve their health and quality of life. Here, I’ve put together nine tips for caring for your four-legged family members while also caring for the environment. 1. Adopt…

What Was Your First Sign of Spring?

While out on a walk today, I noticed all the trees in the area were beginning to bud. Though the weather forecast here in the Mid-Atlantic is calling for snow on Friday, the unmistakable signs of spring are well on their way — like this budding/blooming maple tree in my front yard. And it couldn’t…

New Children’s Books of Activism and Outdoors

Starting children out early in their respect for nature is important, and one of the best ways to teach children anything is through a love of reading. Here are two new children’s books for you to read to your kids (or they can read to themselves). One shares a tale of environmental activism and the…

Protecting Nature: Step by Step, Bird by Bird

  In the book “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, she tells the childhood story of her little brother, who had to write a school report on North American birds. He procrastinated. Then, the night before the report was due, her brother finally sat down with his encyclopedias. That’s when he realized how many birds…