Why Wasps, Hornets and Yellowjackets Are Good

We Have a Live and Let Live Policy

A recent visitor was aghast that we’ve allowed this nest to get so big. Ok, huge. What were we thinking?! Especially since this is a hornet nest and they are considered more aggressive than paper wasps. (We also have a bunch of those nests around but they’re not as impressive.)

wasp nest on porch

Paper wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets all belong to the Vespidae family. All of them provide valuable ecological services, including pollination, predation, and parasitism.

So, what I was thinking was that I was thankful to have more pollinators to help with my garden and more insect eaters to help keep the garden insect population down […]

2021-09-16T09:44:21-04:00September 10th, 2021|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|0 Comments

Our Newest Animal Family

red fox

Longtime readers of this blog know that there has been a fair amount of animal loss over the last few years. Wink is our last man standing. And when it’s his time to join his animal family on the other side, I’m not sure I will be ready to go right back to adding more animals.

It’s been decades and decades since I’ve lived without animals. While the joy they’ve provided me is immeasurable, I think I want to have a few years where I can feel free to travel without leaving my fur family behind or having to worry about them. We’ll see…

In the meantime, I’ve been noticing that our wild […]

2021-08-03T14:17:38-04:00August 3rd, 2021|Nature|0 Comments

Have You Ever Wondered…

The things I think about…

I’ve had to do some work recently that’s required looking at maps, which got me thinking about how map land sizes can be skewed. Which got me thinking about the times I’ve flown over oceans and couldn’t fathom their size, which got me thinking about how perception changes based on context. And then I got to thinking about how much land vs how much ocean… Well, you can see the rabbit hole I went down.

Click on this image to see full size.
Earth's Surface percentages

Visualizing Countries by Share of Earth’s Surface

There are over 510 million square kilometers of area on the surface of […]

2021-02-15T08:26:51-05:00February 3rd, 2021|Nature|0 Comments

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

maple leaves blowing in wind
I overheard Cait explaining to someone recently that what I do for fun is to spend time outside, especially on windy days.  I intuitively understand the benefits of being out in nature—I don’t need scientific proof.

But if you do, there is actually a word for this: uitwaaien. “It’s basically the activity of spending time in the wind, usually by going for a walk or a bike ride. Today, the practice is so common that it’s known as ‘uitwaaien.’ It ‘literally translates to outblowing,’ explains Caitlin Meyer, a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Dutch Linguistics.

In a Nautilus blog post, Alice Fleerackers […]

2019-11-24T17:31:55-05:00November 24th, 2019|Nature|2 Comments

Didn’t There Used to be a Thing About Living Within One’s Means?

Life is indeed overwhelming these days. What with the non-stop political circus ramping up to beyond frenzied levels, just for starters… Even so, we need to find a way to not be distracted and to remember to expand our consciousness beyond our short-term, short-sighted actions.

Earth Overshoot Day came on July 29 this year. This is the second time the day, which marks the time at which humanity has used up its allotment of natural planetary resources for the year, occurred in the month. It had occurred in August between 2010 and 2017.

Infographic: The World is Not Enough [...]
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2020-12-29T12:48:24-05:00August 12th, 2019|Nature, spirituality|0 Comments

One of the Most Incredible Scents on the Planet

Flowering-black-locust

This is a Black Locust tree. Our property is full of them. And at this time of year, the most glorious scent wafts through the air. I do believe it may be my all-time most favorite smell. If only the web had a scratch-n-sniff feature… But come to find out, perfumeries have also discovered this heavenly scent and its used in many perfumes.

It’s also one of my all-time favorite wild edibles The flower clusters taste like the sweetest of sweet spring peas with a floral note–which shouldn’t be surprising because Black Locusts are actually in the pea family (Fabaceae).

The entire flower portion is […]

2020-08-25T10:01:14-04:00May 17th, 2018|Nature, Nature's Grocery Store|0 Comments

Bird Songs – How Many Could You Identify?

My long-time readers are probably almost as familiar with the road I daily walk on as I am. These two decades started with Kiera 1 and Lilly, and continued with Kiera 2. She has been gone 4 years now, but I have kept walking, I guess as much out of habit as anything.

Lately,  I’ve used the walk as a kind of meditation to help clear my mind of work pressures. One of the easiest ways to push away work thoughts is to just listen. Listen to the wind. Listen to the insects. And really listen to the birds.

As I was listening, I tried to figure out how many bird songs I could identify.  And […]

2017-07-21T12:43:27-04:00June 11th, 2017|Life, Nature|0 Comments
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