Sep 162013
 
Monday Musings

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. For the inaugural edition, this is a poem by John Clare, an English poet from the 1800′s who was known at the time as  ”the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet” although he felt he didn’t belong among the peasants. Insects

Aug 092013
 
Book Review:: Ladybirds

The newly released 2nd edition of Ladybirds is number 10 in Pelagic Publishing’s Naturalist’s Handbook series. If this series sounds familiar it’s because I reviewed the Bumblebees book here and found it a phenomenal resource for learning about the life history of bumblebees. Thus I was very excited to receive a copy of Ladybirds and hoped it would be just as enlightening about a very common insect. I found I wasn’t disappointed and learned a great deal about an insect which we often overlook simply because they’re everywhere. Like Bumblebees it focuses on British species, but the first few chapters are about …continue reading

Mar 022012
 
Friday Film:: New Wild Garden

Today’s Friday Film features an inside look at the New Wild Garden from the 2011 Chelsea RHS Flower Show designed by Nigel Dunnett filmed by Dusty Gedge. The garden features a great many elements for wildlife including a stone wall for habitat with built-in insect shelters as well as an insect wall for solitary bees and other insects on the shelter. The shelter is constructed out of a reused shipping container by Green Roof Shelters and includes a green roof designed for biodiversity. Also part of the design is a beautiful rain garden which captures overflow water from the green roof …continue reading

Feb 152012
 
Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2012

Last year when I wrote about the Northwest Flower and Garden Show I talked a lot about how the gardens didn’t feature wildlife habitat, but could have easily done so and I featured specific examples. I also expressed hope that a nature organization would partner on a display garden. This year, my hope was realized with the Birdsong Garden, which was a partnership between the Washington Park Arboretum Foundation and Seattle Audubon. The garden aimed to illustrate the variety of bird habitat which can be found in the Washington Park Arboretum and featured many native plants including Indian Plum, Kinnikinnick, Evergreen …continue reading

Jan 252012
 
Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more

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

Nov 112011
 
Urban Species Profile:: Eight-spotted Skimmer

Common Name: Eight-spotted Skimmer Scientific Name: Libellula forensis Family: Libellulidae The Eight-spotted Skimmer is a common urban dragonfly that can be found in many parks, wetlands and other landscapes with water. Their range includes the Pacific Northwest, northern California and east to the Rockies. The Skimmer family is the largest odonate family and also among the dragonflies most likely to be seen. They are further categorized among the Skimmer family as King Skimmers, a group which includes some of the most familiar species due to their large size and often conspicuous wing markings. They are considered perchers instead of fliers because they hawk prey …continue reading