Natural Landscaping and Harsh Municipal Code Realities

Our travails continue with the head-on collision of our aesthetics and the Village Council. Read this blog post to discover more about how personal opinion tries to trump Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

Healthy Snack Invented on Indian Reservation Faces Stiff Corporate Competition

The Pine Ridge Indian reservation is not the first place you’d look for good news about creating a new kind of economy that works for everyone. Pine Ridge is home to a fast-growing natural foods company, which created a healthy new product in the booming snack-food industry. Native American Natural Foods was inspired by wasna (a concoction of cured buffalo meat and berries) to invent the Tanka Bar — which is now for sale at Whole Foods, Costco, Amazon.com, natural-food stores and other groceries across the nation.

How to Relocate Spiders

Spiders are beneficial arachnids, meaning they have eight legs. They can be found in or near a home. Relocating spiders to a more appropriate place is a much wiser idea than killing them when they're in our way.

Encounters with Coyotes in the Past and Present

Coyotes live among us just as they have with our Native Peoples in the past. But unlike our Native Peoples understanding and respect of coyotes, our present day culture has little knowledge, and this greatly takes away from all the positive experiences we can have with America’s wild canine.

Coyote and Fox and Mesopredator Release

What changes a predator’s relationship with your farm? Relationships are two-sided, and human behavior has much to do with our relationships with predators. Here are two real-life stories about just that.

Slug Wars: Slug Control for Organic Gardens

Slugs can do a good amount of damage in the garden and quickly! Here are different methods to combat them in ways that are safe for you, your family, and the environment.

Finding Solace in the Garden

A day full of learning and fun created the perfect respite to my recent turmoil about lawn ordinances and greater world tragedies. There are so many friends and animal family that I have yet to discover—I will hold onto this day as a lovely treasure of proof that there are people who understand and walk similar paths.

The Grasses are Alive and Teeming with Wildlife

Meet some of our outdoor family members as I work to comply with the lawn ordinances being forced upon us. Hopefully, more of them are still alive and are adapting to something more akin to cave dwelling than open-forested lands.

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History

An understanding our human history teaches us much about our present day perspectives and our behaviors that manifest those perspectives. We can observe this in all facets of our human society, and it is most poignantly made aware to us in Dan Flores’ newly published book, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Read on!

Tracking Natural Events on the Homestead

Observing and recording natural events on your homestead offers many benefits, from sharpening your skills to developing data that help you understand natural patterns which influence your surroundings. Developing an organized approach to documenting and sharing your observations can be especially beneficial, creating a resource that’s useful to you and others.

Cougars Return to Their Homeland

Cougars, our American lion, historically have been the most widespread large carnivore of both North and South America. After being almost systematically annihilated from our continent by those who came before us, our big cat is making heroic attempts to return to their lost homeland. Will we let them?

The Airborne Bestiary

When we think of the atmosphere, we might assume it is mostly a lifeless place. Boy, are we wrong.

Can I Hatch an Egg I Found?

Springtime is egg season, and often wild bird eggs are found unattended, either in nests or simply lying on the ground. What is the best course of action when you find an egg? Find out here!

Off-Grid and Free: Living With Wolves and Remote Communications

They're back. The wolves. During breakfast one morning this past week, we heard a chorus of howling. Racing down to the shoreline, we saw 3 wolves in the center of the lake about a mile away. The wolves are a symbol of our wilderness location. Learn how we live with them and stay in touch with civilization.

Ethical Questions in a Carrot Bed

When the performing of regular garden chores presents you with ethical or moral dilemmas, what is your normal course of action? Do you think about the wildlife surrounding you? Read here to find out who was hiding in Blythe’s carrot bed and what she decided to do.

A Murmuration of Starlings

An examination of flocking behavior in starlings and the beauty and mystery we see when those flocks, or “murmurations” are extraordinarily large and active. Also an inquiry into the 500-year-old history of collective nouns for groups of animals.

Create a Wildlife Condominium in Your Own Backyard

Building your own wildlife habitat in the style of a brush pile can be fun and easy. It can also help with several problems at once—where to dispose of clippings and branches, how to provide shelter for wildlife, and how to lower our carbon footprint are all solved in this one simple addition to your garden.

This Stuff is for the Birds

Creating a friendly environment for wild birds on your property can help them and provide for hours of viewing opportunities for you.

Best Kinds of Bird Food to Put Out This Winter

Putting out food for the wild birds in your area will help them get the nutrition they need to thrive through the cold months. Avian nutrition means much more than tossing out a few seeds. If you’re not sure what to put on your wild bird grocery shopping list, check out this list to get started.

Reflections on Bear Hibernation and Behavior

Since moving to the mountains of Southern Colorado, we have encountered many black bears and because of those encounters, we have learned much about the species. I find it incredible that bears and other smaller critters can hibernate. Our winters are sometimes 7+ months long and for any animal to put itself into a dormant state for that long is simply amazing. Read more insights into how bear hibernation works.

5 Easy Squirrel Calls (with Video)

Here are five very quick, simple calls you can make to mimic the sound of a squirrel "cutting" using items you can find around your home!

Simple Lifestyle with Nature's Animals

More than 20 years ago, we made the decision to live a more simple life. Living in the big city, we had accumulated many possessions that had, at best, limited function. When we decided on a more uncluttered and simple lifestyle, we called an auctioneer and had him auction off the majority of our possessions. When we moved to our small cabin in the mountains we were immersed in nature.

Coyote: A Keystone Carnivore

Every member of an ecosystem community needs to be present in order to keep your land healthy and vibrant. That includes the carnivores - both terrestrial and avian. But one carnivore affects that ecosystem community more than the others: the keystone carnivore. And Coyotes play the role of the keystone carnivore in many of the landscapes of North America.

Black Bear Encounters

In our many encounters with black bears, we have had no serious incidents. Achieve harmony living in bear territory by staying calm and giving bears favorable distance.

Seeing the Forest for the Deer

Deer are unique in that they are often managed regardless of habitat quality. When ecology and grazers are out of balance, impacts on forest health and herd health can be severe.

Our Native Carnivores: A Historical Perspective

As a conservation biologist whose focus is large carnivores, I find that historical perspectives regarding our understanding of our place within Earth’s communities and the behavior that flows from those perspectives is essential to understanding our present day relationship with carnivores. In my first post, I want to take you back in history, sharing with you worldviews and the actions that expressed those views, as Europeans settled on the American continent.

Fibromatosis in Wild Deer

We had a visit from a deer that looked to be in bad condition and the result was fibromatosis, a non-life-threatening skin condition afflicting mostly young male deer.

PBS Program Chronicles Sage Grouse and Other Inhabitants of the Sagebrush Sea

WNET Thirteen’s new Nature episode, “The Sagebrush Sea,” tracks the Greater Sage Grouse and other wildlife through the seasons as they struggle to survive in a rugged and changing landscape. The program airs Wednesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings) and will be available for streaming after the broadcast on the PBS website.

Help Your Trees By Burning Firewood

Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.

Sustainable Timber Management for Homesteaders

Managing timbered property can benefit your wildlife and your pocketbook, but beware! Timber buyers are often con-artists. Learn the questions you should be asking about sustainable timber management on your property or homestead.

Planning Yard Projects for Next Year? Begin With a YardMap

The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.

U.S. Deer Herds in Trouble

Warmer weather proliferated the rise of a viral infection in deer dubbed Episodic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), carried by a tiny biting fly called a midge. Unfortunately, individual state deer management, once based in science, has now grown to be political. Influenced by farm agency and insurance company lobbyists, legislators regularly appoint natural resources directors who are not faithful guardians of wildlife.

Relocating Wild Animals

If you’re considering taking measures to control wildlife in your area by relocating wild animals, you may want to think twice. Start by learning about what happens to wild animals after they’re trapped and released in a new location.

Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count to help scientists study winter bird populations: www.earthgauge.net/?p=33409

Eyes on Central Pennsylvania Wildlife

WTAJ has partnered with the National Environmental Education Foundation and Project Noah to help show wildlife and the impacts of weather on living things in Central Pennsylvania.

Deer Whisperer

While far-fetched, this is an absolute wildlife true story. Maybe it's coincidence, but I don't think so because I was looking into those warm friendly brown eyes.

The Ozarks Natural Beauty

Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.

A Need to Be Among the Cranes

It’s spring or promises to be, and so, again, I need to be among the Cranes. There’s an actual ache in my breastbone which pulls me to get my feet wet in the meadows, to watch the Sandhill Cranes eat and dance in the farm fields, to hear them wake and call to one another at dawn, and to see them ride thermals on the brighter, south wind days, kettle, then fly to the river to roost together on the sandbars in the river at dusk.

Wind Energy Blog No. 2: The Nature Conservancy

In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.

Enriching Activities Offered in the New Year

Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.  

Speak Up for the Conservation of U.S. National Forests

The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.

Warmer Winters and Heavy Snowfall: Brought to You by Global Warming

The National Wildlife Federation has released a report that explains the effects of climate change on winter weather. Warmer winters and heavy snow are causing problems for agriculture, wildlife, communities and even the skiing industry — and the NWF is calling for policy reforms to reduce emissions to slow the effects of global warming. Read on to learn more.

Bad News for Bats: White Nose Syndrome Persists

White nose syndrome continues to threaten bat populations. To help researchers find the cause, and hopefully a cure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded $800,000 in grants. Here's what one organization is doing to save the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.

National Wildlife Refuge Week

October 10 to 17 has been designated as National Wildlife Refuge Week, a great opportunity to visit the refuges close to you.

Gray Wolves: Endangered or Not?

The Bush administration is removing gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, but environmentalists think it could be a mistake.

Comment on the Gray Wolf's Status

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opens the debate of whether to remove the Northern Rocky gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. 

Monarchs Are On the Move

The 2008 fall monarch migration is underway, with better resources than ever for tracking the progress of these miraculous butterflies.

The Not-So-Great Divide

The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?

Make Your Pond Happy

Ponds serve many purposes that add an economic or recreational value to the landowner. If you own a pond or want to, read The Pond Guidebook to learn how to maintain or construct one.

A Need for Border Order

The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.

Get off the couch: It's July!

Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!

A Call for Border Order

The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.

Highway Safety & Wildlife Crossings

Animal-vehicle wrecks cause about 200 human fatalities and 29,000 injuries a year. The fight between wildlife and urban developers seems never-ending, but wildlife crossings can be a solution. Learn how you can help just by giving your state's Department of Transportation a call.

Get Off the Couch: It's July!!

Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!