The Virtuous Weed is a 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 of …continue reading
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
News Bloomin’ lovely gardens brighten up London’s East End:: A competition for residents of London’s East End, the winners were chosen for showing “ what they can do with plants, wildlife and the environment.” Can biodiversity be accommodated in today’s urban environment?:: Posing the question, this piece from The Ecologist looks at recent efforts including the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 and the more recent Animal Estates project in London by Fritz Haeg. Yesterday’s pool is today’s pond:: An interesting idea of turning unused swimming pools into ponds for wildlife, making them require less maintenance and more environmentally friendly. Chicago Plans A …continue reading
News Access to wildlife should be a right, not a privilege:: An interesting article from the Guardian which discusses “that every child and young person has the right to grow up and live in a high-quality, wildlife-rich environment with ready access to the physical and mental health benefits, developmental advantages and play opportunities it affords.” Do not harm invasive species that pollinate, study warns:: This article details a fascinating study which found that many invasive pollinator species which have damaged native pollinator populations should not necessarily be removed or eradicated because they often take over the role of the pollinator they eliminated. …continue reading
The newly released 3rd edition of Bumblebees, number 6 of the Naturalists’ Handbooks series for ecology and identification by Pelagic Publishing, is a phenomenal resource. Focused on British bumblebees, this book is full of information about all aspects of the ecology of bumblebees which makes it a valuable resource for readers in any location. It’s a book which is not overburdened with too much scientific data (although much is referenced), but still packs in a great deal of information, this book is very useful. I recently researched bumblebees for an Urban Species Profile and I wish I’d had this book then …continue reading
Today marks the beginning of National Pollinator Week, a good time to think about pollinators. Many posts from The Metropolitan Field Guide have focused on pollinators, so to begin Pollinator Week, here is a roundup of the posts. Once you learn about pollinators, visit Pollinator Design and Butterfly and Moth Design for many resources to learn how to design for pollinators.