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

Oct 172013
 
Book Review:: Gardening for the Birds

Whenever I see another book about landscaping or gardening for the birds come out, I’m usually dubious. My shelves are full of generic guides on how to attract birds and unsurprisingly, they’re much the same. They usually focus heavily on bird feeders, bird baths and plants which are often labeled as native, yet are only really native to small portions of the country. It’s a very hard thing to write a book for the whole, giant, diverse continent and nearly every single one I have seen makes little attempt to address this in the plant choices. They instead list various …continue reading

Sep 172013
 
Book Review:: The Urban Bestiary

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild is the new book from author Lyanda Lynn Haupt who also wrote one of my favorite books, Crow Planet. It’s one of the books I recommend most often in conversation and blog posts. It’s a book that made me a better urban naturalist and opened my eyes to improved observation skills. Needless to say, I had high expectations from Haupt’s new book, to be released on September 17th. I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed. One of the first messages of this book is carried over from Crow Planet and that is the idea of …continue reading

Aug 092013
 
Book Review:: Ladybirds

The newly released 2nd edition of Ladybirds is number 10 in Pelagic Publishing’s Naturalist’s Handbook series. If this series sounds familiar it’s because I reviewed the Bumblebees book here and found it a phenomenal resource for learning about the life history of bumblebees. Thus I was very excited to receive a copy of Ladybirds and hoped it would be just as enlightening about a very common insect. I found I wasn’t disappointed and learned a great deal about an insect which we often overlook simply because they’re everywhere. Like Bumblebees it focuses on British species, but the first few chapters are about …continue reading

Apr 022013
 
Book Review:: Ecosystem Services Come to Town

The most important objective in the management of the environment must the the maintenance of biodiversity and the habitats that support it, because without this we cannot survive. When a book has a quote like this, it’s a must-have for me. Ecosystem Services Come to Town: Greening Cities by Working With Nature is a new book by Gary Grant, published last year by Wiley-Blackwell. It’s an excellent overview of urban design which features a topic near and dear to this blog, urban biodiversity. Too many books on urban design focus on solar power, alternative transportation, energy efficient buildings, zero waste and other …continue reading

Feb 272013
 
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Post:: What A Plant Knows

This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. If you are looking for a good book, one that will completely alter the way you view plants, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz will fit the bill. You’ll never look at, or touch a plant without thinking about how they sense the world, including you, again. The book is divided into senses, starting with the ones we share, such as sight, smell and feel, including a lengthy discussion on …continue reading