Arthropod Apocalypse, Distilled


Life at ground level

For those of us who have been living under a rock and hadn’t heard about the arthropod apocalypse, the worldwide decline of insects, a critical element of any habitat, here’s this handy article explaining how we got here. Actually, those who live under an actual rock probably are only too aware.

Whip-poor-wills in Art


The four nightjars of Nebraska

Ever notice how rarely nightjars appear in outdoor art? No? Maybe it’s just me. Waterfowl art is so ubiquitous that my high school boyfriend in art class decided to spoof duck art by depicting a duck on a frozen planet acidic’s lake. He liked sci fi art, you see.

Ahem, well, I certainly appreciated this street mural of a whip-poor-will.

The Persistence of Pesticides


Rachel Carson. Photo Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Anyone tired of me talking about this topic yet? I talked about pesticides here, here, here, here, here, here  and here .

But now there’s this story and this video about pesticides, in particular the neonicotinoids, and their effect on birds and our own food. The story just doesn’t go away. Rachel Carson wrote at length about pesticides and their impact on the health of ourselves and our wild neighbors in Silent Spring, published in the 1960s, and we banned DDT as a result. Then we invented more.

[Side note: I highly recommend The Gentle Subversive, a short biography of Rachel Carson by Mark Hamilton Lytle.]

Water, water, water everywhere


It was a wet year in the Badlands. Beautiful, yes, but what does that mean for the organisms unused to so much moisture?

This summer in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area was a wet one. Many communities experienced flood as higher than average rainfall overfilled our waterways. We can expect more of this to come, according to climate scientists. In other areas, increased rainfall caused wet conditions that impacts habitat for animals not used to the moisture in their environment. But, remember, when we live near water, eventually it will come for you.

Water does not resist. Water flows,
When you plunge your hand into it,
all you feel is a caress. Water is not
a solid wall, it will not stop you. But
water always goes where it wants to
go, and nothing in the end can stand
against it. Water is patient. Dripping
water wears away a stone. Remember
that, my child. Remember you are
half water. If you cant go through an
obstacle, go around it. Water does.

~Margaret Atwood