Sep 172014
 
Book Review:: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

As one who spends a fair amount of time crawling around my yard in search of interesting insects, I was, needless to say, excited to see a new book from Timber Press with the title Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control. It’s written by horticulturist and self-proclaimed ‘bug lover’ Jessica Walliser. With a quick glance through the book, it’s easy to see it’s up to the typical high standard of Timber Press books and full of wonderful and inspiring images of beautiful bug-friendly gardens. As this is not a typical sort of book that …continue reading

Jun 162014
 
Wildlife Plants:: Fireweed

Perhaps it’s because the plant has bright, colorful flowers, when en masse, can look like a burning field, or simply because this plant commonly colonized areas which have been recently burned, the aptly named Fireweed is a beautiful plant with benefits for pollinators. Chamerion angustifolium is also known as Rosebay Willowherb and is a perennial growing and spreading from rhizome roots. It’s fairly common and blooms during the summer reaching heights of 2-5 feet. It prefers disturbed sites, especially recent burns, as well as meadows and forests. The lance-shaped leaves are up to 8″ in length and numerous on their climb …continue reading

Apr 042014
 
The Virtuous Weed:: Self-Heal

The Virtuous Weed is a feature on The Metropolitan Field Guide inspired by The Weeds in My Street on the Cryptoforestry blog. The definition of weed is a highly complicated and controversial affair as Richard Mabey discusses in his fascinating book, Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants. Are they simply plants in the wrong place or defined as such for another reason; because they’re invasive, or toxic or disturbing agriculture, or because we disapprove of their behavior? Weeds often spark many debates on forums and blogs among various groups. What is behind all of this? I intend to get down to the basics of …continue reading

Mar 192014
 
Foragings:: The latest news, resources and designs

News Camera Trap Tuesday: Islands in Los Angeles:: “What Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, is surrounded by, however, is freeways. And homes, and businesses. Urban sprawl.” What Is the Point of Zoos?:: “I am also a great advocate of zoos that focus on native species and their ecosystems, and I hope to one day see, or hear about, an urban exhibit that truly links zoos with the cities that surround them.” Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planet:: “Research shows that cities can in fact support biodiversity and this can have major implications for conservation …continue reading

Feb 242014
 
Foragings:: The latest news, resources and designs

News ASLA Releases Guide To Health Benefits of Nature:: “The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has created a terrific and handy collection of studies that all demonstrate the positive impacts the natural environment has us.” Zombies vs. animals? The living dead wouldn’t stand a chance:: “Next time you’re lying in bed, unable to fall asleep thanks to the vague anxiety of half-rotten corpses munching on you in the dark, remember this: if there was ever a zombie uprising, wildlife would kick its ass.” Lovefest: Landscape Architects and Restoration Ecologists:: “Landscape architecture and ecological restoration are really different disciplines, but increasingly these fields are …continue reading

Feb 182014
 
The Experience of 10,000 Crows

Every night from fall to spring, upwards of 10,000 crows fly from downtown Seattle and other surrounding areas to the University of Washington’s Bothell campus, located on the far north end of Lake Washington. They are here for their nightly roost, where all 10,000 of them, cawing and making a ruckus impossible to miss, gather together before descending into the wetland trees. There are several other crow roosts around the Puget Sound area, but none as large or magnificent as the Bothell roost. Along with the University of Washington, Cascade Community College shares this campus and hosted a crow evening …continue reading