This week’s Friday Film is An Original DUCKumentary, from Nature on PBS. Ducks are some of the most common and visible of urban wildlife. this episode will reveal much about these birds. From the PBS website: Masters of the water and air, they have conquered the globe. From deft dabblers to great divers, these are one of the Animal Kingdom’s ultimate athletes. Take a fascinating look at one of our most familiar birds. Find out more about ducks from Nature with these infographics, All About Ducks and Meet the Ducks.
News Experimental Landscapes: Alexander Felson on Ecology and Design:: A very interesting interview with ”Alexander Felson, an assistant professor at Yale in both the School of Foresty & Environmental Studies and the School of Architecture, is a different kind of urban ecologist. In his research and his design work, he calls for an ecological practice that moves from analyzing nature to shaping it, embedding scientific experiments into the design process.” Get off my lawn: Song sparrows escalate territorial threats – with video:: Ever wonder what Song Sparrows are saying? A new study finds that “This is one of the most complicated communication systems outside …continue reading
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) may be considered a painful weed by most, but it is a complicated plant with many hidden virtues ranging from a valuable wildlife plant to making beer. While most people are well aware of the evils of Stinging Nettle, not many are familiar with the good. The complexities of the Stinging Nettle startwith its history. It’s a native to North America, but it’s also a native to Europe as well as northern Africa and parts of Asia. There are currently five recognized subspecies of Urtica dioica. A perennial, this plant grows all spring and summer long. In most …continue reading
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
This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. Finding native plants can be hard work. Here in Seattle, there are a handful of nurseries which carry a few odd native plants. There are native plant nurseries, but nearly all are by appointment or wholesale only. The awesome Washington Native Plant Society has plant sales, but they’re not very often. So if you’ve been studying plant lists and reading native plant books but can’t find many, if any of those plants what are you …continue reading
One of the first plants I placed in my new yard this past fall was the Indian Plum. The reason it received this honor was because it is the earliest plants to bloom in the spring. Walk through parks or natural areas in the Pacific Northwest as early as February and you’ll see white flowers hanging in chains from this shrub when most other plants still show no sign of awakening. Indian Plum has many common names so the botanic name, Oemleria cerasiformis, is important to learn . Other common names include Osoberry, Skunk Bush and Bird Cherry. To make it even more …continue reading