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. If you would like to contribute to this series as a guest writer, contact …continue reading
Julie Feinstein is a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History. She lives in New York City and writes about urban wildlife on her blog, Urban Wildlife Guide. She has recently published a fantastic book (which I’ll be reviewing soon) titled Field Guide to Urban Wildlife. You may remember her from her guest post about House Centipedes in the ‘On Being Misunderstood’ feature. She was good enough to answer some questions about her inspiration, experience and knowledge about urban wildlife. What does a collections manager at a natural history museum do? In addition to exhibits and educational displays, natural history …continue reading
The Virtuous Weed is a new 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 …continue reading
Standing on the sidewalk, looking up a steep slope towards the home of Landscape Architect Keith Geller, you know you’re about to enter a special landscape. Over the past 30 years, Geller has transformed a bare, grassy slope into an forested urban haven. His yard has been featured in magazines, books and newspapers stories and I was excited when I saw it listed on this years Washington Native Plant Society’s garden tour. It was a cloudy and drizzly day, but despite the weather, or perhaps because of it, this was the perfect example of what a Pacific Northwest garden could …continue reading
Today’s Friday Film is ‘What Plants Talk About’, an episode of Nature from PBS. When we think about plants, we don’t often associate a term like “behavior” with them, but experimental plant ecologist JC Cahill wants to change that. The University of Alberta professor maintains that plants do behave and lead anything but solitary and sedentary lives. What Plants Talk About teaches us all that plants are smarter and much more interactive than we thought! For more information about plant senses, read my review of What a Plant Knows on the Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens blog.