May 032013
Friday Film:: What Plants Talk About

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. Friday Film:: What …continue reading

Dec 092011
Friday Film:: Designing the Urban Ark: Biodiversity and the Future of Cities

Today’s Friday Film is a lecture by Dr. Kristina Hill, Associate Professor and Director of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History. I was familiar with her name as a co-editor of Ecology and Design with Bart Johnson, one of my professors at the University of Oregon so I was very interested to find this lecture online. It’s a fascinating talk which anyone with an interest in urban biodiversity and stormwater management will find stimulating with some fascinating ideas. The lecture begins with an interesting introduction to the history of ecological city design …continue reading

Nov 042011
Friday Film:: Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination

The Friday Film this week looks at the topic of pollination with a TED talk from cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg. In this brief talk he presents footage from his film, Wings of Life which features incredible imagery of hummingbirds, bats, bees and other pollinators. From the TED website: Pollination: it’s vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film “Wings of Life,” inspired by the vanishing of one of nature’s primary pollinators, the honeybee. Friday Film:: Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of …continue reading

Oct 072011
Friday Film:: Life Nature You

In the latest installment of Friday Film we look at a short film titled Life Nature You by Myles Thompson. This film reminds us that wildlife is everywhere, even in a small patch of lawn in a suburban yard. The filmmakers daughter discovered  the tiny wildlife in her lawn and created a small nature reserve to protect the wildlife from the lawn mower. It’s a reminder that starting to realize the diversity in the smallest and most common of places can lead us to a wider understanding of the world and all of its ecosystems. Friday Film:: Life Nature You was …continue reading

Sep 232011
Friday Film:: City Bats

A new feature on The Metropolitan Field Guide will be a video post every other week. There are a lot of great videos out there about urban wildlife, urban biodiversity and many other topics related to the design of urban wildlife habitat. Some are art films while others are documentaries, lectures and discussions. To kick off this feature, the first video features the Congress Avenue Bridge Mexican free-tailed bats in Austin, the largest urban bat colony in North America. The bats leave the crevices at dusk every night from March through November while hundreds of people line up along the bridge, shores …continue reading

Apr 252011
Short Film:: Wild Jersey City by John Dunstan

Here is a wonderful short film featuring urban wildlife in Jersey City. The footage features osprey, kingfishers, egrets and more. It’s always great to see people feature urban nature because there’s not nearly enough focus and exploration of the urban environment. Thanks to John Dunstan for sending me a link to his wonderful film to share. wild jersey city from john dunstan on Vimeo. Music by Kevin Macleod “There is an increasing interest in wildlife close to and in urban areas, plus people are considering ways to integrate the two, this is all recorded in jersey city, which begins on …continue reading