Commenting area

  1. Kelly Senser ( said…

    I love dragonflies (and damselflies!) too, Kelly. Slowly learning to ID the ones that visit our habitat. Fortunate to have a natural water source nearby and plenty of spots for perching. Happy day! –Kelly
    March 4, 2010 4:50 AM

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  2. Ric Brewer ( said…

    Thanks for the great story on Zoomazium’s green roof! Here’s a link to the zoo’s site with even more background about the roof:

    Also, here’s a link to the What’s in Bloom section of our site that gives a peek into the thousands of plants on the zoo’s 92 acres:

    Ric Brewer
    Woodland Park Zoo
    February 23, 2010 9:55 AM

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  3. Cubs said…

    We love that you found the entries and had fun reviewing them…thanks so much for encouraging others to explore. You saw the same wonderfulness that we did. Imagine being able to make a whole category of entries of nests built upon garden tools….amazing! Christianne White, Celebrate Urban Birds

    January 27, 2010 6:45 AM

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  4. A post after mine own blog.

  5. I enjoyed Rain Gardens: Managing water sustainably in the garden and designed landscape by Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden. Any suggestions for east coast rain garden resources?

  6. Enjoyed reading the case studies. Which site manages stormwater runoff most effectively or is not useful to make such a comparison?

    • I think it’s very useful to make the comparison, the problem is whether or not they’re being monitored. I’m not aware that Astor or Mt. Tabor is monitored and I haven’t found any information about performance since installation. The Glencoe rain garden was tested shortly after installation, but I’m not sure if it’s still undergoing monitoring. You can read the report from the City of Portland, Flow Test. It would be more interesting now, after it’s been installed for a few years, to see again how it’s working.

      It may be worth looking into the next time I head to Portland, that would be a fun research project. I find the Mt. Tabor interesting because that project most closely follows the ‘stormwater chain’ that is addressed in the Rain Gardens book so in theory, it would manage more effectively because it has the most systems. The other two are, as far as I know, just rain gardens.

  7. thank you, Kelly. The Vermont guide is closest to home (NYC). It is convenient that the guides are web-based.

  8. This is a great paper, Kelly. I’m going to add your blog entry to a list of resources we are creating for further information about the water cycle.

    You may be interested in the film we made at Surfrider Foundation that summarizes some of it.
    You can see it here:

  9. The Bumblebee City Nesters reminds me of the proposed bird habitat at Holbeck Urban Village ( I appreciate children interacting with the Insect Hotel.

  10. I absolutely agree Georgia, there is a lot of similarity to the design from the Holbeck Urban Village. I really enjoy how there are different creative approaches to designing habitat like this. Two major ones seem to be adapting human structures, such as houses or high-rises, into wildlife structures while the other is more of an abstract, artistic approach.

    The interaction is an interesting idea because I’m not sure how effective a habitat element can be if it’s accessible to people. Perhaps insects aren’t as impacted by human disturbance as birds or mammals may be, I really don’t know. It’d be an interesting topic to look into though.

  11. Serviceberries are delicious ( We’ve eaten a lot of the fruit this spring.

  12. Fascinating difference between the preferences of the female and male hedgehog!

    By the way, the Sustainable Sites Initiative briefly mentions stormwater management design (swales) and wildlife habitat here

  13. check out Urban Birds Offered New Nests in London at urbangardensweb

  14. Wondering how green roof designers account for the habitat needs of nighthawks and other urban birds.

  15. The short answer is that in North America they don’t really. From what I’ve seen it’s much more geared towards stormwater management and if wildlife happens to come then it’s a bonus, but they’re not specifically designed for urban birds. However in the UK and Switzerland, there are many, excellent projects that are designed for specific species of birds such as the Black Redstart in London. It’s a subject very familiar to me because this was the focus of my comprehensive project at the University of Oregon. I will post a longer answer to your thought soon with some examples from Europe.

  16. Bryant’s art work is very creative and reminded me of a recent exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum titled Trash Menagerie —

    • Thanks for that link Georgia, there are some phenomenal works on the interactive page! I think I’ll post about them later. I found them very fascinating and I really liked how so many cultures had similar ideas but came up with such uniquely creative works.

  17. Mark Owens July 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm · · Reply

    What a nice article. Thanks for the links. I am busy looking at fitting a swift box to my house to see if can help the depleted numbers. I am also thinking of fitting a nest box cameratoo. Hopefully, I will be able to show the birds using the box as well help increase numbers too. They need all the help they can get. I will e-mail over photos when my project is live if that helps. Keep up the good blog. Thanks Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      I’m very glad you found the article helpful and I’d love to see photos once you get the box going! What an excellent idea to put a camera into the box. Best of luck on your project, can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  18. The incorporation of bee habitat into a conventional yard framework is a valuable contribution.

  19. Kelly, you have such inspired observations. I am always of reminded of something or some things, like our nature-made profiles! We have one of Bradner Gardens Park in Seattle ( You’ve also inspired me to (finally!) write a profile about the butterfly habitat traffic circle in our old neighborhood in Berkeley and the habitat garden off an off ramp in San Francisco.

  20. Thank you for the nice comment Georgia! Thanks for sharing your link of the Bradner Gardens Park, another thing I was unaware of that you’ve brought to my attention in Seattle, I will go visit and check it out soon. I greatly look forward to your posts and I’m really glad I inspired you!

  21. They are a great medium to work with. I make the Biohaven Floating Islands on the east coast and am very excited about the ability to marry together the functionality of cleaning water with the aesthetics of art and horticulture.

  22. Two years ago I attended a presentation about the Biohaven Floating Island hosted by the SF Public Utilities Commission. The product was used successfully in a variety of settings.

    Am also reminded of floating farms in Bangladesh.

  23. Artificial lighting might also affect trees. See A paper about this was presented at the Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting conference in 2002. See

  24. Thought you’d be interested in this Sunset article about “Nectar plants for honey bees”:

  25. Enjoyed reading this post — rich detail. Your point about system design is well taken. A Berkeley, CA plug: in the Le Conte neighborhood, one of the traffic circles has been converted into butterfly habitat as well as the school yard across from the rotary.

  26. Will you post about your thesis project or have you already done so?

  27. I like that the roof design for your target species – the Common Nighthawk — would accommodate other avian species.

  28. Glad you saw the “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven.” I bookmarked it for a future Bird Watch post or tweet. What do you think about the installation in terms of habitat potential?

  29. Oooh, I love plants with white berries so this has been on my shopping list for a while, but it’s very hard to find for sale!! I have seen it growing in the woods in my town so maybe it’s time to collect berries and try propagating it myself from seed….it’s supposed to be a good shrub for tough, dry conditions so I am interested to see how it fares on your balcony!

    • Hi Ellen,

      I agree, white berries are wonderful, especially when they last through the winter.

      You may want to try cuttings instead of seeds, I looked up Symphoricarpos in my propagation books and here’s what it says about seed. “Seeds are extremely difficult to germinate because of hard, impermeable coats and partially developed embryos”. But if you want to try, here’s how you do it: fruit ripens September to November, the fruit is macerated to remove the pulp and then the seeds dried before storage. The best way to germination is after warm stratification for 4-6 months.

      Cuttings on the other hand are extremely easy to root. Softwoods and semi-hardwoods from June-August are the easiest and cuttings are easily over-wintered.

      This information is from “The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture”, which is an excellent book.

      If you decide to try seeds, let us know how it goes! I’d be very interested to hear about it.

      • Kelly – thanks for that info (I only just saw it!)…I think I’ll try it from cuttings of local plants next year. Promise to keep you updated on my progress!

  30. Riku Cajander October 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm · · Reply

    Looks very interesting and important book.
    But how can I get one copy, because I live here in Finland?
    I have also written two books about wildlife and gardens, and would be very eager to see the book.
    Do you know are the books delivered in Finland, too.

    Mr. Riku Cajander
    biologist, environmental journalist.

  31. I think the ideas with the trees that have been done are wonderful!

  32. Arlo Petersen October 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm · · Reply

    One summer when we lived on the south border of Camp Bonneville in Camas school district we had a swarm of thousands on the south side of our house. Then they started showing up inside. There were mounds of them in the corner of the ceiling. We vacuumed them and that is when we really discovered the foul odor of which you spoke. We got them removed but what seems like a couple of months later they reappeared. I am assuming that the warm environment might have caused them to hatch a new batch.

    For several years after, whenever we would move a piece of furniture clean out an old box, we would find many dried ladybugs.

  33. I hope you will look into the Lost Ladybug Project. With the help of citizen scientists they are tracking the different verities of ladybugs, where and when they are found. Their site includes lots of interesting information and you can submit your findings.
    During the last three years most of the ladybugs I have found have been non-native.

  34. oh wow, Kelly, that tree-shaped woodpile is amazing!! I would show it to my hubby because he loves that kind of stuff, but I’m afraid he’ll use the firewood we just ordered and try to create something like that at home…and then we’ll freeze all winter because he won’t let me use any of the logs!! Thanks for sharing, you have a great site!

  35. In Brooklyn, we find very tall communications towers to be a good place to spot perched peregrines. There is one near the southern end of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that regularly hosts the birds; the tallest thing around for some distance, the tower serves as a cliff overlooking all the prey-ridden air below. The tower at Bishop Ford High School, across the street from Green-Wood Cemetery, often has red-tailed hawks on top of it, but peregrines like the lower rungs. The city is surprisingly raptor- rich, actually, with nesting peregrines, red-tails, and, by far the most numerous, American kestrels (who favor 19th century cornices), as well as passing-through merlins, sharp-shinned hawks, and Coopers hawks. Overhead: osprey, broad-wing hawks, and more rarely, bald eagles. Around Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway Peninsula: northern harriers. Last winter a northern goshawk spent several days in Prospect Park. You can see a lot around here just by traveling by subway.

  36. Carter Hartz November 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm · · Reply

    I absolutely love your blog. I wish every urban development would provide some type of urban wildlife habitat. Perhaps you’ve covered this in your posts, but I’d be curious to know if you believe providing urban habitats could make much of a positive impact on the rapid loss of animal and plant species that is occurring? Do you think green roofs could play an important role in preserving bird and insect species? I suppose much more work needs to be done to improve the connectedness of habitat areas in urban areas for animal movement, as well as the improve the opportunities for animals to hide, etc.

    • Hi Carter, thank you for the comment! I do think that urban habitats could make a positive impact. Granted, they can’t replace large-scale wetlands or forests, but many types of urban habitat together could be effective. Combining green roofs, planters, green walls, parks, yards, rain gardens, river banks and other available spaces could really make an impact, especially if planned to connect green spaces via corridors.

      I do think green roofs could benefit birds and insects, and in fact they already are playing an important role. In London, many green roofs are designed for the rare black redstart and are already successfully being used for nesting. Insects could benefit greatly from green roofs and some studies have indicated good insect and spider populations on various green roofs. Good design is important, specific species have different needs and there is no magic system that will benefit all.

      You’re absolutely right about the need to connecting habitat areas for movement and improving cover and shelter. There are so many opportunities out there, hopefully we’ll see more good designs in the future.

  37. Kathy Malone November 9, 2010 at 7:55 am · · Reply

    Kelly, I love this site!! Congratulations on such a wonderful site. Thanks so much for posting a link to Community ButterflyScaping (University of Florida). I really hope communities pick up on this concept, Kathy

    • Thank you for the nice comment Kathy, I greatly appreciate it! I agree, I hope communities pick up on it too. Hopefully the successful programs will serve as good case studies for other communities.

  38. Kelly, it was so great to have you as a guest writer! I really enjoyed reading about how we can become scientists in our own backyards, and the list of links for simple ways to participate is really helpful. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  39. Carter Hartz November 25, 2010 at 7:12 am · · Reply

    This is great. Thanks a lot.

  40. Great to live in a BIG DENSELY POPULATED city that supports wildlife — go NYC.

  41. Is this a ranked list of the proposals?

  42. We don’t have Bush Tits on this side of the country, but I really enjoyed watching them while a grad student in Arizona. This is great info. Thanks!

  43. Jason Dewees January 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm · · Reply

    Thanks for a wonderful post.
    Minor fact-check: wouldn’t the southwestern-most point of the *continental* United States be here? The southwestern-most point in the US as a whole must surely be in Hawaii, like South Point of the Big Island or Kure Atoll.

  44. Kelly, I enjoy these profiles.

    I am interested in the riparian habitat created via diverting street runoff. Do you have any more information on this design feature?

    • Georgia, I couldn’t find any more information about the design unfortunately, but I started to dig around looking for the firm who won the Orchid Award for it, which is AEREA landscaping. I couldn’t find much information about the firm, but I did find the name Leslie Ryan linked to it, which happens to be a professor I had. I contacted her and asked her to come comment here.

  45. Great choice and nice photos! It’s probably really good to choose a tree that you can also observe from a balcony or so. Welcome to the project!

  46. great idea to let the birds guide you!

  47. Thanks for getting the word out about the project. Do you follow Bronwyn’s recent post was about the silver birch.

  48. Fascinating post. I’ll have to read the whole series.

  49. Great round-up. Thanks for providing.

  50. Thanks for mentioning my post! Wonderful round-up of links.

  51. Birches are such fascinating trees. I look forward to hearing more. Greetings from Wales, UK.

    • Thanks for the comment Caroline! I love Wales, such beautiful scenery and lovely people. Unfortunately I only spent a couple of days there, but I most certainly plan to visit again.

  52. Bernadette Helkowski February 2, 2011 at 8:20 am · · Reply

    I attended a Winter symposium at Michigan State University last Saturday. Went to the class about bees and that we should all have a bee haven in our yards. I want to build one but I can’t locate the directions to build. I was told to visit website I could not find the info. Can you direct me to the right place. Thank you very much

  53. Great info on lupines, Kelly. I am a sucker for blue and purple flowers, so lupines have always been favorites of mine.

    I didn’t know about the link between blue butterflies and lupines. Just shows how when we lose one species, we often lose one or more other species that are closely associated with the first.

    • Thanks for visiting Ivan,

      You’re absolutely right about how connected everything is. I didn’t even get into how ants figure into these relationships. Although maybe I should have. Ants tend some species of Blues such as the Karner blue, and harvest a sugary liquid the caterpillar produces. It’s believed the ants help keep them safe from predators and parasites in turn. Another part of the story of the Xerces blue was that the native ants which tended their larvae, had been displaced by an ant from South America. Another aspect which could have also factored into the demise of the Xerces.

  54. Fascinating post. I never really thought about gardens in quite this way. Animals certainly love retaining walls, of all kinds. Here in NYC, squirrels and raccoons nest in park walls. I suppose a city park is a kind of giant, messy garden …?

  55. I guess Justin Bieber is right: Canada is simply a better country than the US.

  56. This is a fascinating study. However,I am puzzled to read the comment re. the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the sight of crows feasting on the victims. Amazingly, only a small number of people died, about 8, so hardly sufficient numbers to attract any significant number of carrion birds. I would have thought that in 17th century England, battlefields were more likely places to witness large numbers of bodies and therefore crows etc. Far more likely to provoke hatred of the birds across the country and not just in London which was a small place back then. Where did you source this information?

    • Hi Lou, thanks for reading! The information about the Great Fire came directly from Crow Planet…”The great London fire of 1666 cemented a centuries-long hatred of crows. Ravens and crows descended with such zeal upon the charred victims that the grieving survivors appealed to King Charles II, begging him to exterminate the birds, a task he oversaw with vigor. Nests were decimated and bounties paid on the skins of crows and ravens.”

      As for the death toll, there were only a few official deaths, but many more may have not been counted due to being cremated or from a low class.

      Here’s a quote from the BBC history page about the fire. “Officially, only four people died, but John Evelyn referred in his diary to ‘the stench that came from some poor creatures’ bodies’ and the true toll is likely to have been much higher, rising further in the following months.”

  57. Nice post. Crows are fascinating creatures. I love to watch them here in NYC, although there are not as many in Manhattan as I would like to see. (My experience of the Pacific Northwest from Portland to Vancouver, B.C. is that it is the heart of Crow Nation.) In NYC, I watched one crow stand on a rock in the park and, holding a nut in its beak, bang it over and over into the rock until the nut split open. Seems like a lot of work for a little meat, but then I feel the same way about lobster – too much work!

  58. hay there is this an awesome site! Great info!

  59. Sounds like a book worth picking up. I observe crows all the time- why not? They’re everywhere, and they are very interesting. Watching them band together and chase away eagles and hawks is amazing.

  60. I love your Foragings posts, Kelly. Thanks!

  61. Mary Anderson March 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm · · Reply

    I love, love, love this blog!!! Thanks for all the good articles and tips.

  62. Thanks for the link to the article about the SF garden controversy. The article only mentioned one disgruntled resident so the title seems a bit misleading.

    I interviewed Jane as part of my nature making project and I studied the city’s permeability efforts — both municipal and nonprofit — in the course of writing my dissertation.

  63. Kelly, this is a great post. Not only a solid analysis of the flower show, but your approach is very creative. Future show participants should consult with you to improve upon the wildlife factor of their displays.

  64. Your favorite that you saved for last is done by The Lusher Life Project. Mari Malcolm is the owner.

  65. Nice shots and interesting critique. I agree that designing a garden should automatically include designing for wildlife. Thanks for the facebook “like.”

  66. Nice post. Pacific NW is so rich in habitats. I lived in Portland Oregon decades ago – used to walk in a wetland area full of birds.

  67. Ecological Gardening March 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm · · Reply

    This is really interesting–new habitat from old trash. My hometown of Chicago has its own landfill story along much of the lakefront.

  68. Thanks for the great post and photos, Kelly, and for contributing to Marsh Madness! I would love to visit it some day.

    This reminded me of a book I picked up in a used bookstore some time ago: Union Bay: The Life of a City Marsh (1951), by Harry W. Higman and Earl J. Larrison. A pleasant read about urban wildlife. Seattle was much smaller then, at least the metro area. It’s nice to read that new species are still being found!

  69. Maria Mcguinness March 26, 2011 at 7:22 am · · Reply

    I would like to be on your email list.

    • Hi Maria, you can sign up to be notified of new posts via email on the top right-hand of this page in the box titled ‘Follow The Metropolitan Field Guide’. The email subscription form is the icon on the right. Thank you for visiting!

  70. I love them because they’re native, grow well in sun or shade, and with almost any amount of water. They have 4 seasons of interest too. Amazing plants, proud to have them in my garden and yard!

  71. Dan Martin April 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm · · Reply

    Great idea. I am going to share this idea with as many people as I can. More people need to be aware of the importance of using built environment to facilitate urban habitat for wild life.

  72. That’s awesome! I would love to see something like that for North American bats. Makes me want to put up a bat house.

  73. As of July 2010, eleven species of large mammals have used 24 wildlife crossings more than 220,000 times since 1996. This includes grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and more recently wolverine and lynx.

  74. Ouch, that really sounds pretty hard: lots of rain and wind. Here in Switzerland it was quite the opposite: lots of sun and not enough rain, one of the warmest Marches. I’m glad you start to see some green now and didn’t quit observing.

  75. Spring is slow to show it’s face here on the east coast this year, too. We’ll get one nice “teaser” day when it’s warm and the sun is shining, only to be followed by a week of cold, damp, gray, rainy weather. And yet I hope…….

  76. This is a great post and the obvious take away is that providing habitat to urban wildlife can and usually does improve the experience for humans as well. It does not have to be one or the other.

  77. nest box brick

  78. Canada is beautiful. We were lucky enough to visit Vancouver and Banff and I particulary remember Lake Louise. Stunning.

  79. celestial elf April 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm · · Reply

    Great Post thank you 😀
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterflys tale ~
    bright blessings
    elf ~

  80. Great post. None of these books have I read–guess I’d better get busy.


  81. David Attenborough is indeed inspirational in everything he does. I enjoy anything by him whether it be a book or a film. Your book selections are surely inspirational. And your blog certainly reflects your commitment to nature. Thank you for participating in The Earth Day Reading Project!

  82. Thank you for this Kelly … the concept is fun and streches the imagination … I have always loved the concept of underground houses and this takes that to a whole new level.
    Importantly, while the city concept has limited relevance, it will give me ideas on how to create a community focus for our surburban restoration. Our initial Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan: identifies common issues gaining support from multiple property owners with widely different motivations and perceptions of environment.
    Michael Fox
    Mt Gravatt Environment Group

  83. Floating city project was inspired by the disastrous consequences of Hurricane Katrina from 2005. which hit New Orleans. The damage was so great that the city is still in the process of rebuilding. Now a group of designers, whose base is in Boston, made ​​a new proposal for a floating city that will be located on the Mississippi River levee. The project named “New Orleans Arcology Habitat” is an acronym NOAH.

  84. Sound so interesting and noble…

  85. And I am so thrilled that you’ll be sharing your wisdom with us 🙂 Welcome to the team!!

  86. One of my favorites! We have a ton of skunk cabbage growing along the creek in our backyard. I love how it transforms the forest floor.

  87. Really like your photo montage!

  88. We’ve got Skunk Cabbage here on the East Coast too, and it’s a wonderful plant for early season flies and other pollinators. And my favorite thing is that even after a long, hard winter you know that spring really will come when you see (or smell) the first Skunk Cabbage of the year.

  89. This is so wonderful to see a community band together to create habitat for wildlife! I really hope we begin to see more and more communities doing this.

  90. Nice post. We’ve had bumble bees around the yard, but it seems like there are fewer than last year. Maybe they’ll return if the weather ever improves!

  91. I really enjoy your photographs. With my youngster on Thursday morning, I observed lots of bees in a lovely church garden in the West Village.

  92. I’m going to check it out (hopefully literally if my library has it)

  93. This post makes me recall a few lines from one of my most favorite poems from William Balke: Sound the Flute!/Now it’s mute/Birds delight/Day and Night/Nightingale/In the dale/Lark in Sky/Merrily/Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year. Ah, spring!

  94. Our neighbor has a bunch of these growing in their front yard right now. They are a nice splash of color on yet another cloudy day.

  95. You are right Kelly. This design is exciting in its novelty and creativity. I like the use of an agricultural landscape element (ridge and furrow) to address an urbanized problem.

  96. I have a colony of bees which have made a nest in hole in my barn wall, which was originally made by mice or squirrels. I had never been stung by a bee until this year and one evening while putting my goats in for the night, one became very aggressive and chased me as I left the barn and got me. I have always practiced the art of movely slowly when around bees, and not swatting at them, but there were three or four buzzing my head while working and I made the mistake of swatting at one, and that’s all it took. I live in western Washington state, and have never seen bees like these, their lower back is a rather bright red color. I don’t like killing bees because I know they are very beneficial, but as they are right at the entrance of my barn and I don’t want them closed in at night with my goats, I am a little concerned about their presence. Plus, although the pain wasn’t all that bad, I am not particularly fond of them buzzing my head while working and the fact this bee had the nerve to actually chase me down and sting me. I am also concerned that they are nesting in the wall of the barn which contains fiberglass insulation and wonder if it is harmful to them. Any suggestions?

    • we have hundreds of honey bees and bumble bees mainly on a small Japanese Holly Hedge. One of the bumbles stung me yesterday while i was weeding – maybe a nest in the ground under a grassy plant ? the bees are great for pollinating but the quantities and buzz is unnerving

  97. Be good to talk to you about IHDC – after I emailed you last I was thinking of talking with you and Marielle in NYC about are plans to export it in 2012/13

    • I would absolutely love to see it back here again. As you know the IHDC was modeled after the competition of a similar name from Portland. I made the single biggest mistake of my entire school career by choosing one design studio over another and missed out on the opportunity to submit a design to the original competition. It’s unfortunate Metro hasn’t followed up with another competition, but I think it would be great to see in the Pacific Northwest again one way or another.

  98. Great post. I saw a similar backyard habitat exhibit at the Portland Zoo last weekend.

  99. That’s a fabulous green roof. A picture f the overall building would be nice, so as to see how the roof appears in the design. Is the roof only visible from the top, or does the building have more of an “earth-sheltered” design?

  100. This seed catalogue concept reminded me of vacant lot greening strategies proposed in the Vacant to Vibrant handbook at

    • Thanks for sharing that book Georgia, I wasn’t familiar with it. It’s a great idea, I like how they outlined the different possibilities for lots and that community expression was one of them. It would be nice to see a program where this sort of idea could be implemented in partnership with the property owner for use on a temporary basis. In my neighborhood, there were several lots that sat empty for multiple years while waiting out the economic problems, permitting issues, financing, etc. It would be great to see those lots being used in the interim for the community. I just saw a story from San Francisco about Parkmobiles, temporary parks that can be moved around the city and that type of mobile idea would be great for vacant lots and could move from lot to lot until it’s developed or had a more permanent solution. Funny how certain random things come together in a short time to start the brain thinking.

  101. This is fascinating Kelly. I love the recipe approach, and am imagining the combinations of each type.

  102. Abigail Joy Mott August 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm · · Reply

    Just in case Ellen is still looking for Pacific Snowberry to purchase in Seattle, I picked up a gallon plant at Swanson’s a few months ago and it is so lovely! Those inconspicuous pink buds are just starting to shoot, and I’m thinking I may even have berries this winter! Thank you for this beautiful, reverent write-up, MFG!

  103. I love my salmonberry plants! I have some in the yard and they exploded this year- not sure why. Deer ate most of one early in the season but it had a comeback.

  104. A very curious idea. I wonder what would happen if the load on the membrane was too great? I assume there would be built in safety systems to counter catastrophe? I’m also not convinced enough light would make it through the alley ways and I’d be interested to see case studies for the lighting done. Still, a very curious idea. Thanks for sharing.

  105. I was never aware of this project. I have noted in the past that appreciation of nature was a Northwest value. This is one of the best examples of this I have seen. Thanks for the post.

  106. Georgia (local ecologist) September 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm · · Reply

    Thanks for the shout-out.

  107. Thanks, this article helped me alot

  108. Wow. Would I like to see that!

  109. Love this plant. It is a great one for naturalizing an area. It spreads fast!

  110. ooh, great idea!

  111. Thanks for the info! I always wondered about their name because I’ve seen them on the ground.

  112. Love your new feature, and you chose a fine clip to start it off. I saw the Austin bats once years ago. An extraordinary sight! You’re lucky out in the Northwest that you have no white nose syndrome, the emerging disease that is killing bats in the Northeast. Here’s hoping scientists can figure out how to stop it before it spreads across the country.

  113. Precious, in a good way. My son found a hurt Monarch in the playground last week and he and his friend still talk about it.

  114. Great intro to crows, an amazing bird. I’ve always been crazy for crows, especially when I lived in the Northwest (Portland is Crow City, too). Loved “Crow Planet”, which I think I learned about from an earlier post of yours.

  115. Great photo of a hoverfly on your insect hotel.

  116. Ah, dragonflies! Here on the east coast, we have a remarkable seabird called the Black Skimmer, so I thought your post was about a type of bird I’d never encountered. What a handsome insect the Eight-spotted skimmer is. Thanks for introducing it to me.

  117. Great post, Kelly! I saw this dragonfly species out in the Alvord Desert, east of Steens Mountains. They were hanging out by Mickey Hot Springs. Very cool insects. Thanks for all the good information in your post.

  118. I love the challenge of maples v. sycamores.

    However, the hard part in North America, I think, is distinguishing between a London Plane and its American parent, particularly with amount cross-breeding which has gone on. I don’t know if the Asians have the same\ difficulty distinguishing the Asian parent.

    The only the only test I find that is reliable in the field: an older tree that has a straight, tall trunk and the bark at the bottom has lost the camouflage look and is now craggy- light to medium brown is definitely an American Sycamore. Some say you can distinguish by the shape and size of the leaf, the number of seed pods in a cluster, or whether the under bark is more creamy or more white but a study of a 100 local trees in Stamford CT didn’t find these distinctions always reliable.

    BTW: in my neck of the woods, Acer rubrum (swamp or red maple) has a v-shaped sinus which is helpful to distinguish it from the sugar maples and (invasive) Norway maples, that have rounded sinuses.

  119. Love the new series, and this first post – thanks, Georgia and Kelly.

  120. Sue: thanks for the peer review. It is not only in your area where the sinuses of red maple leaves are v-shaped! The error is mine.

  121. Great post. We certified our yard through Washington Fish and Wildlife, mainly to support their program, but also for the inspiration the sign might bring to our neighbors. And here’s a confession for you: the reason we chose the F and W program? Because the sign is prettier! Alas, true. But the provide a lot of great education material via their website/newsletter.

  122. The following observation from your review is a very convincing reason to read this book!

    “One aspect of this book which puts it a head above the others is explaining why these design elements are important by explaining plant succession, wildlife populations and structural diversity.”

  123. Great photo, Kelly! I saw some of these guys at Ridgefield NWR last weekend.

    • Thanks Ivan! I got really lucky when I was living in the Willamette Valley, there was a small pond in a park near where I lived and they visited it in somewhat large numbers. It was easy to capture them with the camera just by sitting along the edge of the pond and waiting for them to swim by. I really like to listen to their calls, they seem to be very unique.

  124. There are now 10 new rain gardens installed in the West Seattle Delridge community by Stewardship Partners this past July. Enjoy a new Caffe Vita 12,000 Rain Gardens Coffee blend and a portion of sales goes towards installing rain gardens. All this exciting stuff and even an industrial rain garden at the Port of Tacoma that protects Commencement Bay from zinc and other heavy metals. Please visit our website for this and many other rain garden examples.

  125. Looks like a lovely & successful design that accommodates plants, wildlife & humans. Bravo.

  126. Georgia (local ecologist) February 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm · · Reply

    Here’s hoping visitors’ positive feedback will influence the content of future shows.
    I miss the SF Flower & Garden Show!

  127. Thank you for this fascinating piece. I came across one of these centipedes while visiting my father in Atlanta. Not knowing what it was I relocated it outside without losing a leg. I’ve never come across the house centipede in Florida, but would love to have one on patrol.

  128. Found you via an Iranian architecture page on fb! Will hope to dip in and out to learn more about designs which hold/filter water whilst being good for wildlife (humans too!). Great website, thanks.

  129. I love this new series…it will have me thinking twice!

  130. im terrified of these things. i thought reading this article could help me understand them better.nope…still terrified as ever!

  131. I love the humour in you story!

  132. That’s a very interesting decorating idea… and also an idea how to transform a poor location into a place of interest

  133. Tracey Byrne October 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm · · Reply

    What is the most profound interaction you have had with urban nature?
    I was out in my garden (well–what we were hoping would soon be a part of our garden); the rock-hard “antique” dirt had sat under a house for 50 years before burning down in the 70s, and this empty lot, now ours we were slowly bringing back to life.
    So, I was out hacking away with my shovel I noticed that something had been able to create a tunnel. Weird. It was way too small to be a mole, maybe 1/4″ diameter. Hmmmm. Who else can dig through this kind of clay? I carefully chunked up a few more shovel-fulls and then sat down to rest, and within minutes an enormous worm appeared; it undulated over the newly tilled dirt, wiggled it’s way for about 6 feet, and then slowly burrowed into the clay. OMG. I was stunned. This was no garden worm.
    I still don’t know what kind of worm it was, but it was at least 18″ long, pinkish white, and definitely not a snake.
    Profound in that I was totally mesmerized: I must have watched it for 10 minutes before it disappeared. Sweet.

  134. Lynn Schueler October 3, 2012 at 8:54 am · · Reply

    I was walking Lincoln Park, watching a sea lion on its back, eating a salmon. All of a sudden, an eagle swooped from the cliffs above, snatched the salmon from the sea lion, and flew back up into the trees. The sea lion looked so comical as it raised its head and looked around, as if thinking “What happened? Where’s my lunch?”

  135. Tracey Byrne October 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm · · Reply

    As I came into the kitchen to make coffee early one morning, my cat was upset: her cat food bowl was empty (she always left a wee bit for the morning) and her water was muddy. Hmmmm.
    This continued for several days, and then one morning I noticed that in addition to the dirty water and missing food, there were little muddy footprints in the kitchen. We had a magnetic cat-door, but something was getting in.

    That night we waited in the dark, and sure enough, we heard the cat door slam…
    we gave our cat-food thief a minute, then snapped on the lights:

    there were three wide-eyed baby raccoons, busy washing their little paws and getting ready to eat.
    With their careful fingers they were able to lift the cat door towards themselves (and out-smart the lock) and then they were still small enough to fit through the cat-door. All three plunged through the cat-door, and we watched as they and mom hurried down the alley.

    Mystery solved.

  136. The pictures! Noooooo!

    Great article, but when I try to mellow my instinctive loathing of them, and then see those closeups, Gaaack! Back to the battlefront!

    Seriously though, this is an excellent piece on these creatures. I’ve been wondering about them for a year now, ever since I found the first one seemingly waiting to ambush me in the bathtub, and now I see that they are actually beneficial.


  137. Lovely article, Ivan, about fascinating animals. Smelling skunk doesn’t always mean that a skunk is near. Here in the niortheast, such a smell could mean skunk cabbage rather than skunk. And over the past few years, especially in certain urban settings like NYC, the smell is more likely to be caused by your neighbors smoking new strains of marijuana that smell remarkably like, yes, you guess it, skunk! We do have skunks in Manhattan, although mostly up near the northern tip of the island. For a while, I was smelling them everywhere, in the parks and the streets, and was starting to wonder what the heck was going on. I was enlightened by younger people in my life, who were pretty amused by my confusion.

  138. Although I’ve never seen one in inner SE Portland, we do smell them and a neighbor’s dog got a good spray in their back yard recently and they had quite a time removing the smell from the dog and the interior of their house and furniture.

  139. A great post as always Ivan. I always love to see someone speaking up for the “bad guys.” A dog and skunk story is one of our family’s classic memories. One night my childhood dog (a little poodle/terrier mix no bigger than a large rat!) came home smelling badly of skunk. It was late and stores were closed. All my mom had was frozen chunky tomato sauce. It helped, but as you noted, it doesn’t get rid of the smell completely. Poor dog had chunks in his fur for days! 🙂

  140. Even though my dogs have been sprayed many times, I’m a big fan of skunks. Sweet little creatures who deserve more respect! I’m a beekeeper too, but it’s easy enough to prevent skunks from raiding your hives. They aren’t causing me any problems with my bees. Great post!

  141. I think you can name it as Zebra Crossing for animals only!….MATTS

  142. Well shoot, that’s two times I’ve seen this book highly recommended. Awesome. Maybe in 20 years apartment complexes and industrial parks will be gardens.

  143. The quote you selected and the book cover are brilliant! Can’t wait to read the book. Thanks for the review.

  144. Vincent Vizachero February 10, 2013 at 5:20 am · · Reply

    This book is THE book for landscape designers, professional or amateur, who want to build sustainable constructed landscapes. Great review, Kelly. A must-buy!

  145. Very interesting! I know we have at least one underneath our bird feeder area. Do they occasionally eat seeds?

  146. What an amazing animal…fascinating post too! This is one animal we do not have yet where I live in central NY…my cursed critter is the vole as they do real damage to my gardens… I am not so worried about my lawn as I am eliminating more of it.

    • Thank you. According to several references I checked, there are two species of moles in your part of New York-the hairy-tailed mole and the star-nosed. Might check with your neighbors and see if they have seen evidence of moles. Voles can be a problem; out here they sometimes girdle young fruit trees in the winter. BT

  147. Fascinating post, thank you. I used to laugh at my dog who would start digging up the yard for no apparent reason until I read that dogs can hear the moles squeaking in their burrows,

  148. Kelly, excellent interview! I enjoyed your review so this book is on my list. I am thrilled to see threads of my nature-making project in this conversation — I’m on the right track. I hope you will conduct more interviews, maybe with a podcast option.

  149. I don’t have any experience with fossorials so am glad that Bob has written about the pocket gopher.

  150. The hydrologic cycle is indeed very complex. More so than I had ever thought previously. Thanks for the information I imagine it must have taken quite a while to put this all together.

  151. Great post for the first day of spring, Kelly! One of these days I am going to get a look at the ‘plums’ of this plant. I am thinking I could use cheesecloth or something to cover up a fertilized cluster of flowers and then return when the fruits are fully formed. The cheesecloth would keep birds or other animals from eating the fruits before I get a chance to observe them.

  152. I have so much Indian Plum growing in my backyard it isn’t funny. Every area which is partially shaded has these plants growing, and they keep volunteering! I have never seen a ripe fruit on any of them- maybe I’ll try Ivan’s trick.

  153. Fabulous article and I love the vintage illustrations that go along with the information. I have never seen a mole but we have marsupial moles in Australia I believe.

  154. Here in NW Florida Cherokee Plum is one of the first to bloom. In his book, Bringing Nature Home (highly recommended) Douglas Tallamy lists members of the Prunus genus as an important source of food for wildlife. “In the East they support 10 species of giant silk moths, such as cecropia moth, polyphemus moth, imperial moth, and io moth; 5 species of butterflies, such as the tiger swallowtail and red-spotted purple; 63 species of inchworms; and 18 species of dagger moths.” In February the nectar is a favorite of question mark butterflies in my yard.

    Mine is a tough tree. A couple of years ago a large forager broke the main trunk in half. As new growth came out I encouraged the branch that was pointing a little upwards to take the lead. The damage is hardly noticeable now.

    I must also mention the beautiful reddish color of the wood. A striking native, not to be missed.

  155. I”m wondering if I can raise Mason Bees in southern New Jersey>

  156. Sandra Mole May 21, 2013 at 1:21 pm · · Reply

    What an interesting story! She’s great!

  157. If Julie’s book is anything like her blog, I can’t wait to read it and look forward to your review of the book.

  158. Lisa Keith June 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm · ·

    Love this! As a budding naturalist who works with the public on a regular basis, I so appreciate a place where I can troll for resources with ease, and you deliver with the most intriguing and interesting links. Thank you for your thorough work. – lk

  159. rick raton June 7, 2013 at 8:37 am · · Reply

    I have two large bushes that were planted 20 years ago. Now I have small ones growing elsewhere in the yard. I live in southern Arizona at 4500 feet. They start blooming in January here and the fruit starts to ripen in May. Now early June the berries are ripening fast. They last a long time as the ONLY BIRD that eats these berries is the Mockingbird.

  160. How fantastic is this?! I checked out the website and was pleased to find the “Trees to Feed the Bees” list.

    I will have to find the River of Flowers site in NYC; wonder if NYC Wildflower Week is involved.

  161. Thanks for writing about these guys! I just observed a house centipede cleaning itself today and found this article while googling the behavior. It’s really neat to watch them be so particular about cleanliness since people often assume they’re dirty.

  162. This post is brilliant! We watched Nemo many times this summer so “Mine! Mine!” was a comment chant in our home. We had a memorably bad experience with a lunch snatching gull this summer too. Glad to learn about the diversity and food ways of this bird group.

  163. What all birds need when raising their young is insects. Baby birds need the concentrated fat and protien. This is a hard sell to gardeners. They don’t want to see insect chewed plants.

  164. Barbara Radecki November 3, 2013 at 9:13 am · · Reply

    Very interesting points on whether feeding birds with bird feeders helps or hinders the local population. Some studies seem to indicate feeding birds in the winter is a good idea. I think the concept of planting native plants to encourage birds to the area is an excellent idea.

  165. Hi Kelly – big fan of MFG! You make some good points about misunderstood weeds, but I’d have to respectfully disagree with the pokeweed suggestion. Phytolacca americana is relatively new to the NW, but it’s already on Oregon’s invasive weed watch list. The primary concern is that this weed spreads quite easily (via birds) and all parts of the plant can be toxic if ingested by humans or livestock. In the Portland area, efforts are being made to prevent this weed from becoming established ( . For people who like the look of pokeweed, I’d suggest our native elderberries as an alternative.

    • Hello Kelly! I am so happy to just now discover your site! Thank you!
      And to Erik Carr ^ EVERY plant has many uses that are often unknown and dismissed under the umbrella of thinking that the plant is a noxious ‘weed.’ Pokeweed is one of the most powerful medicines in the plant kingdom and has been successfully used in cancer treatment and is currently being researched and tested for leukemia and AIDS. It is vigorous and dominant, so must be tended with this in mind. But often our toxic plants are therefore our most powerful plants; poisons kill poisons. As with every plant, it evolved alongside us and all our relations, and so can not be dismissed or ‘weeded’ out simply for fear that it might poison. Livestock will avoid it at all times unless their pasture or forage is so scarce or limited that they are desperate. Animals KNOW when a plant is poison and will not ingest it willingly.
      Just a quick search for ‘pokeweed medicinal uses’ will reveal its uses throughout history and its potential future uses in the pharmaceutical world. I love pokeweed and always allow some bushes to grow on our Botanical sanctuary. The birds and animals love them too.

      ‘pokeweed medicinal uses’ search examples:
      Thank you!
      Barbara Salvatore
      author of
      “Big Horse Woman”
      “…Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.” ~ Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket) (ca. 1884-1936)

    • It’s interesting that Oregon would list it on their invasive watch list and that the USDA map would show it as native in 40 states including Oregon.

      I have read many times that it is toxic. I also grew up eating it so I don’t see how it is a hazard to anyone. My mother who is now 89 still delights in finding it growing in her yard and starts picking the leaves to cook as soon as they are available in the spring. My favorite way to eat them is battered and fried but she also likes them cooked like turnip greens.

    • I have seen pokeweed since I was a little girl 50 plus years ago. I learned the berries were poisonous but we used them as ink during play. Poke leaves can be eaten when the plant is young, although I never have. I haven’t noticed it being invasive at all. I have one plant growing up near my birdfeeders, obviously a seed was deposited there by my bird friends. Can’t see why anyone would call it invasive. Now, the Asian honeysuckle, that’s an invasive plant!

  166. Darlene Arrivillaga November 12, 2013 at 12:44 pm · · Reply

    What about milkweed being the only thing Monarch butterflies eat?

    • milkweed is the only plant that Monarch butterfly caterpillars can feed on (host plants) but, the adult Monarch butterfly will feed on many other plants as well (nectar plants). If you research it, there are many varieties of milkweed available but be sure which variety is suitable for each butterfly species. But, nature knows best so, the butterflies will know which to use. I am sorry if this reply is not what you were seeking with your question.

  167. I have a couple of stands of chicory growing on each side of my driveway. The Goldfinches love it and return year after year. I love the blue flowers in the morning. It grows wild and all I had to do was not mow those sections of lawn. Surprisingly, I have had people ask me what those pretty blue flowers are.

  168. Kelly Colgan Azar November 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm · · Reply

    You’re so right Vicky, on all counts. However, we can learn. We learned to appreciate abstract art, atonal music and modern dance. With a little help from wily environmentalists, we can learn to appreciate a garden as much for its wild and uninvited elements as its planned ones.
    Very nice book review – I enjoyed it very much!

  169. Thanks for the interesting info. Sometimes the “weeds” are the prettiest (and most useful) plants in the field.

  170. Madonna Albiero February 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm · · Reply

    Thank you for the opportunity to be more aware of what really matters.

  171. You are a kindred spirit, Kelly, and I’m so glad I found your blog. We’ll be coming to Seattle next month, and I’m putting as many of your 5 fave parks on the must see list as possible. Beavers are my special animal, so I hope we see some great evidence of their habitation.

  172. melissa scott March 17, 2014 at 1:24 am · · Reply

    the birds are highly upset in the states and world over non native species sold and planted ruining their soils uneducated people planting killed the native trees shrubs grasses and plants animals really like the government refusing to order them removed from propertys and do it right even the government is wrong stop telling sellers and people moving to the areas okay the soil must be corrected

  173. Thanks for the post and information Kelly. We’re learning so much about roof landscaping and green initiatives for that space – very intriguing as it moves from large buildings to private homes in the suburbs.

  174. Doris M. Livezey March 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm · · Reply

    I have two questions about mason bees.

    I purchased a tube with 5 bee cocoons in it. I just took them out of my frig. One cocoon is so large in the tube that I can’t fit it into my house with the 5/16 holes. And, in the plastic bag, there are a lot of little specks – are they little poops? Do I clean them off before I put the tube outdoors.

    It makes no sense to me how the cocoons at the back of the tube start to leave the tube first. How does it push out the one in front and the one in front of that, etc. Is the yellow fluggy stuff the pollen in the tube from last year?


  175. Roy Mezias April 13, 2014 at 2:53 am · · Reply

    Good morning Kelly
    I just received my first order of mason bees! I have them now in a large plastic opaque box with a small plate of sugar water in the event they need energy and hydration. Most of the mason bees that I ordered are still in their cocoons, which are in the fridge and will be taken out in about a week when they are to be transplanted outside.
    I have a question that perhaps you can help me with. Just starting out in (honey) Bee Keeping, so I know there are no guarantees, but are there any ways to try to keep the mason bees attracted to their mason bee house ( I have two in the plastic box with them. I am hoping if I keep the mason bees in the box with their new mason bee house, they will get used to it) and not fly away, once they are released? They will be released in a property with flowers and fruit trees so perhaps that will keep them around. It would be a bummer if they simply fly away. Thoughts?

    Best wishes,

    Roy and Anna

  176. Pretty late in the day, but just thought you’d like to know that I have one of these living in my kitchen – seen for the first time tonight. I live in the north of England. Don’t think they’re very common here. I think it might be hunting woodlice. Or it might have come in with the male house spiders. It’s mating season for these big boys in the UK at the moment. Oh joy. More multi-legged monstrosity.

  177. I absolutely love, love, love this plant! Have an abundance through summer and it breaks my heart to see it fade away already. We just had our house painted and in prepping the painters cut down 90% of bushes next to house. Even though it was at the end of its blooming season, bees were still coming for the nectar (I love bees, too) and such a joy to see them all day busily working all the blooms. We’re moving to Kay County, OK and I am taking seeds with us in the hopes the Fireweed will grow as beautifully there. Again, so happy I caught sight of the picture just now!

  178. Bev Alfeld, contributing editor FG September 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm · · Reply

    Fruit Gardener magazine needs photos of salmonberries. Do you have any we could use for publication?
    If so, please send to (Ron Couch). Thanks.

  179. Awwwww, what a little cutie! Come to papa, come to papa, I’m gonna make a terrarium just for you and give ya yummy snacks! OMG! OMG! OMG! Look at that face, cuteness explosion!

  180. I love this plant but i dont think i can get it in Africa (Nigeria) and if i can get it what is the commonly name in Nigeria.

  181. Kelly,
    Congratulations! I knew about your daughter but not the garden! I look forward to reading more about the garden and how your family engages with it all.

  182. Hi Kelly,
    I just discovered the Metropolitan Field Guide through the Portland Nature Focus newsletter. I love your website.
    Do you have a subscription for newsletters? I would like to sign up so I don’t miss your great posts.

    Also, I’m the managing editor for OutdoorsNW magazine and I’m always looking for new fresh writers like yourself. Would you be interested in talking more about writing a few articles for our 2016 editorial calendar?

    Thank you and take care,

    Kris Parfitt

  183. Hi Kris,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read some of my website! I’m very glad you like it. You can submit your email here to get updates every time I post:

    I had some technical problems with my previous newsletter plugin and I’m currently in the process of setting up a new system for them. I’ll be more than happy to let you know when that is ready.

    I am certainly interested in writing articles, I’ll follow up with an email to the address you provided. Thank you!

  184. There’s also an atmospheric reason for beginning the dawn chorus so early: the nighttime inversion forces cool air down. The sounds reflect off of this cooler layer and propagate further than they do when the warming ground lifts the air up. So the birds songs can be heard at a greater distance.

  185. Hello. I must say I thank you for the post about the centiped. When I was younger my dad told me they eat spiders not to kill them

    After finding one on the wall I decided to investigate if they in fact do… thank you for sharing my? Chad

  186. Ms. Brenner – thanks much for your helpful information. I now know exactly where to plant my new snowberry plants. Noted in Birds & Blooms that snowberry was much loved by birds in the winter. Ordered 6 plants from Oikos Tree Crops here in Michigan (we are in the Northeast quadrant of Lower Michigan, 30 miles west of Alpena). Hopefully, the plantings will survive our recently-extreme frigid temps.

  187. Ms. Brenner – a question for you. In my previous comment I mentioned having just purchased 6 snowberry plants (1′ tall) which were labeled as “Dwarf.” Don’t know if you can recommend a supplier of non-dwarf varieties. Thanks, again.

  188. Hi dude. I might can help mate to send some from UK if you will send me some from your country eh?:)

  189. We had one visit our home today in southern Wisconsin. Definitely a beautiful creature…. Next time one visits we may just keep it in a terrarium. I was happy to see an article about them. Incidentally, we also have a bathroom spider. We named her Fido (because she seems to be the size of a small dog!)

  190. i turned the apartment lights on and there it was. I didn’t have time to react. He shot across the wall like it was on fire. I haven’t seen him since. I know he keeps the place free of insects but it is still creepy. Good article.

  191. Kelly,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write that comprehensive and lovely review! We truly appreciate it. Your readers might also want to check out my website and blog:

  192. I’m writing from, a multi-disciplinary collaboration focused on the planning, design and construction of streets as a method for improving our built environment.

    We’re publishing a book and are including a case study write-up of the Pollinator Pathway project. Do you own the rights to the images you’ve posted on your blog? If so, might you be willing to send me high-res versions, with permission to publish, as well as any photo credit information?

    Your help is much appreciated!

    Catherine Courtenaye

  193. This was a really nice read. I’m glad to see that some gardeners are becoming more interested in growing indigenous plants- it really helps the indigenous systems hang on as long as they can.

  194. Hi Catherine,
    Thank you for stopping by my website, I do own the copyright to the photographs in this post, but the planting template is owned by the Pollinator Pathway. I’d be happy to discuss selling the images for use in your book, you can contact me via the contact form under ‘About’ in the menu at the top of the website..

  195. Looks like a great year!

  196. Good for you, and us, Kelly! The hair ice and evening grosbeaks eating seeds are fascinating finds.

  197. Thank you Georgia! It was very exciting to watch, I’m looking forward to going back.

  198. Fascinating!!! I never had a clue. So much to learn, so little time. ☺

  199. Jan Brett’s books are great. I didn’t will make a special point to look for Mossy on our next library trip since it’s your favorite Brett title.
    400 books is impressive, by the way!

  200. I hope you enjoy it Georgia!

  201. Great article and thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge about the crows at UWB/CC. I am a student at CC and I spend a few minutes every night… or more watching and walking around admiring the thousands of crows (I would not be suprised if it well over 10,000 now). It is a beautiful spectacle of nature and one I hope we get to see for some time.

  202. It’s great to read this post, and to see the photos, Kelly. We read bald eagle and crow books this week.

  203. What happy serendipity!

  204. What a treasure, in terms of the content and the inter-generational connections!

  205. The “On Cloud Nine” enamel mug is adorable!

  206. Excellent review of a wonderful set of improvememts at the Zoo – which inspire us all! Thank you!

  207. Happy Birthday, Amalie! Have a great year 4.

  208. Gabe Walker March 22, 2016 at 10:43 am · · Reply

    Bears love these things. There’s a band of snow berries along the Delta river a couple miles long and the Bears crush these things. It’s brings em in the yard. Good news is they seem to stay busy in the berries!

  209. Congrats on 100 days! What commitment!

  210. Thank you very much!!

  211. Carol Kohler April 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm · · Reply

    Awesome pictures today. Camera or phone?

  212. Dear Kelly

    Thanks so much for this nice review of Baby Birds! Sorry the birds I worked with aren’t all indigenous to your area. There’s much to be learned by extrapolation to species that *are* found in the Pacific Northwest: your wrens and chickadees, titmice and bluebirds should act a lot like ours. Thanks for getting it–that it’s unique and has never been tackled before. I already want to do Vol. II! Best,
    Julie Zickefoose

  213. Glad you are keeping the lilacs for now. I really like the flowers and their scent. And of course, those bees are voting with their buzz.

  214. Thank you! All but the two photos of the flies were with my Nikon camera, the flies with my phone.

  215. Nice additions to your nature picture book collection!

  216. K. Forster April 27, 2016 at 7:43 am · · Reply

    Hi Kelly!

    Love this 365 day project you are doing. And your woodland garden so lovely! I did something similar at my last property where we had a side yard that needed alot of love. The riverstone looks great. Sweet that you found a good place for the spider. I encounter many as I was landscaping last summer (for work) and always made the effort to move them somewhere safer.


  217. Katherine,

    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment! I’m so glad to hear from other people who save spiders. Anyone who takes the time to save spiders and other small creatures is a hero in my book.

  218. Very inspiring, I will follow your footsteps. People say that the best for of adulation is copying the best. So I will di just that.

  219. Carol Kohler May 2, 2016 at 4:19 pm · · Reply

    Amazing photos.

  220. Day 127! And so many improvement projects! It’s a treat to read your daily nature journal.

  221. Thank you Georgia! I’m glad you’re enjoying them and thanks for sticking with me and following along. 🙂

  222. I am so bummed right now that the only programs of his on Netflix are those that he narrated. None of the ones he was actually in the episodes are available for streaming. Might have to start checking them out from our library… I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jane Goodall and Edward O. Wilson. I’d love to meet Attenborough too!

  223. I’d love to meet him too Michael! To be honest, I’ve gone all out for my David Attenborough DVD collection, even buying a UK DVD player so I can watch them all. Some of the older ones aren’t even available in the US, in any format.

  224. I’ll be suggesting some DVD purchases to the Multnomah County Library. 🙂

  225. Carol Kohler May 11, 2016 at 10:18 pm · · Reply

    You are right. What a great day! You never know what is out there if you never take the time to stop and look. Good for you.

  226. Thanks for writing this. We had one in the kitchen. My mom just took it out!!!!!!:):):):)

  227. Carol Kohler May 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm · · Reply


  228. Carol Kohler May 31, 2016 at 9:30 pm · · Reply

    Incredible photos! I can see why you like your new camera.

  229. Wow I want to get a look at your curiosity cabinet! Loved reading this post–I learned some new things! Thank you!

  230. Carol Kohler June 2, 2016 at 8:34 pm · · Reply

    Very cool. To bad about the chick though.

  231. The brown grass and sagebrush is such an amazing contrast the green on this side of the cascades, isn’t it? The change occurs so quickly. It’s an amazing shift.
    I must have driven right by you yesterday on my way back from Columbia NWR. I’ll wave next time!

  232. Everything I am reading about the Eight spotted Skimmer says it is a western species. I have seen and photographed a female today in Ohio.

  233. Hi Christina,

    Yes, everything indicates that Eight-spotted Skimmer is a western species. There are several species with very similar looking females, such as the Common Whitetail. You may submit your photos to BugGuide and see what they say about it.

  234. I woke up with one in my mouth once. I had bitten down in my sleep while snoring and it almost disintegrated in my mouth. I ran to the washroom, looked in the mirror and its legs were all over my tongue. I’m forever traumatized by this.

  235. Glad your beach walk was enjoyable after an unpleasant night.

  236. I wish I could live harmoniously with them, but if I am aware of ones presence, I will do battle with it. Since I lack many many arms and legs to make it a fair fight, I utilize my superior technology. Thank goodness for my vacuum.

  237. Yay! You’re in Scotland!
    Kelly, may I suggest you delete the intro “365 days of nature” as that is the lead for all of the bloglovin’ updates I get and it usurps any of your daily stories. So it’s like getting the same update every day and I havent been clicking on your dailies as a result. Those who follow you know about your 365 effort so you can drop it from your intro all together. Just my two cents! Can’t wait for more updates and sorry about your luggage!

  238. Such wonderful wildlife viewing! You are seeing so much just right in situ, cant wait to hear more!

  239. How totally frustrating for you, Kelly! By the way the moth photo from day 207 is just beautiful. I am staring at it now. I’ll look forward to your round up when you come into wifi contact again!

  240. Welcome back! I was in your hood today, tidying up at the vacant lot. Glad you are back safe and sound and trust that Scotland was fabulous!

  241. Those syrphids — could it have been a mind-control fungal infection, or something? Can’t quite make sense of it. I’ve seen lots of individual flying insects dead at tips of leaves this time of year, but never a whole mess of the same species like that.

  242. Was it perhaps one of the flightless oil beetles? I saw a whole phalanx of them once….

  243. Oh, now having seen the photo, it really does look like a carabid who’s had its elytra snapped off halfway. Very odd.

  244. Carol Kohler August 29, 2016 at 9:20 am · · Reply

    Absolutely amazing.

    • Possible! I did a quick search online and they look rather large. The ones I have are tiny but maybe there are more. I need to spend more time researching. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll continue to look into it.

  245. Are you saying you purposely leave lights on to attract moths? Urban artificial lights are a major threat to moth and other populations.

  246. We leave our porch lights on for safety and all of our new porch lights are dark sky approved lights. Before we upgraded the lights, the old ones attracted moths, a few each week. During the summer I do put out moth traps or lights once in awhile to document the moths we have in this area and I try to submit them to various citizen science projects. I also participate most years in National Moth Week by exploring the moth diversity that visits our yard.

  247. Full of nature, adventure, politics and power, and family and friendships, I enjoyed this book very much.

  248. I too had a traumatizing experience. I got out of the shower one day and wrapped my towel around myself only to feel an odd wiggling sensation on my stomach. I looked and there it was, the centipede and legs crushed but still wiggling. I always shake out my towels rigorously now before using them..

  249. Love it: pluviophile! I am too! I just texted my friend about it saying loved both the incredible warm day we had on Friday but also the rainy day on Saturday (colder + grey). The air always seems to fresh from a rainfall (and I guess it is!) and I enjoy cozy days that give us an opportunity to slow down. Interesting read – thanks for the review!

  250. Bryony Angell October 10, 2016 at 9:34 am · · Reply

    What a great shot of those Bushtits!

  251. A librarian friend who follows your blog faithfully suggested that I browse through it because of the nature content. I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through it today.and and love your articles on nature! The bird in one of your photos with the gold spot on top of its head is called a Golden Crown Kinglet. They are busy in the spring time collecting seeds that have blown on the road from the winds in my neighborhood.

    I look forward to your future posts