I walked out into the usual construction noise, but threading through Next Door’s pneumatic nailers and skilsaws came a new sound: softer, sorta familiar, and somehow very, very important. A rolling, repetitive, ratcheting trill . . . a cross between a toad and a fanbelt? Continue reading “City of [Sandhill] Cranes”
Last week, my family hosted a simcha—a festive life-cycle event—and fed 160 well-wishers inside a Social Hall not known for its beauty.
“You’ll need something on the tables,” warned a friend the week before.
“Where are the centerpieces?” asked the man who arranged the tables. Continue reading “DIY Invasive Plant Decor”
I saw the puzzle at a used book sale. My kids are old, I am old, I don’t work at a school anymore, but I really, really wanted that preschool puzzle.
First, I showed it to my Middle Schooler. “Please tell me not to buy this gorgeous puzzle from 1975.”
“Put it back,” he said, putting it back.
Then, I texted a photo to my friend Taunia, and added the same (disingenuous) demand: “Please tell me not to buy this gorgeous puzzle from 1975.”
And Taunia answered, “How could you NOT!?” Continue reading “Native Puzzler”
“The fall of a sparrow,” so I’ve heard, does not go unnoticed. Or in this case, the “smooshing of a sparrow” in the grille of a Toyota. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Fall of a Sparrow”
On the very day I learn about an aphid’s “twin tailpipes (cornicles) at the rear of the insect,” an aphid appears in my kitchen and shows me twin tailpipes. See here on my arm? 6 legs, 2 antennae, and then the 2 dealies poking out the back? Cornicles. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Aphid Alarms”
“Bottlebrush buckeye!” I yelled on the sidewalk, but not super loud, so I wouldn’t embarrass the middle-schooler with me.
“Hmm,” said the middle-schooler. “I thought it was a ball in a sack.”
We were both right. All buckeye seeds hang in a ball in a sack. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Bottlebrush Buckeye”
Sometimes I gobble blueberries by the cup. Sometimes I drown them in heavy cream and then gobble by the cup. But this morning, I was restrained. I nibbled my blueberries slowly, one at a time, parcelling them out as the summer treats they are.
A lacewing is glad I did.
Because look: Continue reading “Kitchen Nature: Blueberry host”
Sidewalk Nature: Wild black cherries are ripe! Prunus serotina.
We need more native black cherry trees, so come chew a few drupes and plant the pits? Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Black Cherry”
Lyre-leaf sage. Isn’t it a pretty name? And a pretty flower? But this is another of those “weeds” people poison and mow and pluck out of precious lawn grass. Lyre-leaf sage is native, it spreads by seed, it can make a lovely groundcover (a good native alternative to Ajuga / Bugle), and I just this minute learned it is an excellent nectar plant for hummingbirds. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Hummingbird weeds”
Here’s my article from our neighborhood newsletter.
In it, I share what I’m trying at home
- Diverse lawn
- Shrinking lawn
- Lazy lawn
- Native lawn
- Messy lawn
- Toxin-free lawn