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

Jan 202014
 
Hedgerows From Romans to Habitat

This is a revised and updated post which was originally published on June 2, 2010. History Although not as significant in the US as in the UK, hedgerows nonetheless offer a valuable design opportunity for wildlife habitat. In the simplest terms, a hedgerow is a row of wild trees and shrubs, packed closely together. In the UK they have a very long and interesting history, dating back thousands of years. They were a mixed blessing, good for wildlife, but very bad for peasant farmers. Historically, hedgerows were the remnants of woodlands cleared to make way for agricultural fields. With the …continue reading

Jan 062014
 
History and Habitat at Thomas Wales Park

Located in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, the Thomas C. Wales park was completed in 2010 and opened to the public in October of that year. The park was dedicated in early 2011 in honor of late Assistant US Attorney and Queen Anne resident Thomas C. Wales who was tragically murdered, a case which still remains unsolved. The park’s previous life as a gravel quarry had altered the landscape, leaving a large hole in the side of the hill in the shape of an amphitheater, where an unintended wetland had formed at the center. It was later used as a materials depot …continue reading

Nov 122013
 
On Being Misunderstood:: Weeds

On Being Misunderstood is a feature at The Metropolitan Field Guide which will look at the variety of flora and fauna we live with which are too commonly misunderstood. From plants to wildlife, many of our daily interactions with these species are often negative or confused. Many of these reactions are based on misinformation. This new feature seeks to combat these misconceptions by bringing in guest writers to explain some of these species to us so we all have a better understanding and to set the record straight.  This edition of On Being Misunderstood is written by  George Adams author of Gardening for …continue reading

Nov 042013
 
Monday Musings:: The Withering of the Boughs

Monday Musings is a new feature at The Metropolitan Field Guide which will offer one of my photographs along with a poem or a quote relating to some aspect of natural history. The following poem is from one of my favorite poets, William Butler Yeats. The Withering of the Boughs William Butler Yeats I cried when the moon was mutmuring to the birds: ‘Let peewit call and curlew cry where they will, I long for your merry and tender and pitiful words, For the roads are unending, and there is no place to my mind.’ The honey-pale moon lay low …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