Archive for the ‘ecology’ Category

Castanet’s Field Bag

March 14, 2009

my field bag

Originally uploaded by Castanet

I had to share the field bag of Castanet from In Heywood’s Meadow. Click on the image and it will take you to her Flickr page where she has added noted of all its contents, along with the contents of several others. She has truly inspired and motived me!


The Making of an Environmental Activist

February 15, 2009

When I Grow Up ...

Booh came home with this homework sheet, “What would be your dream job when you are an adult?” for vocational week at her school. Her answer, “I want to be an environmental activist.”

Right now she wants to save the ants that are coming back with the winter thaw at her school  She’s rallied her classmates and teachers together to support her “cause'” and for the second year in a row she and her classmates have  created posters saying, “Dot step on the awntss!  Woch awcht! ” (Read: “Don’t step on the ants!  Watch out!)  They’ve posted these signs throughout the school  This desire to protect the ants comes from her love of insects.  She use to want to be a Bug Doctor.  Makes sense that now she wants to be an environmental activist.

How does she know about environmental activism? She knows from stories I’ve shared about work I’ve done as a young environmental activist participating in non-violent civil disobedience.  And I’ve read stories to her about other non-violent peace, social and environmental activists, including Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and  Julia Butterfly Hill.  After learning about Julia Butterfly Hill, she did a sit-in in one of the trees in our front yard to protect it from being cut down.  I had to reassure her that we had no plans on clear-cutting our front yard!

Christmas Day Hike

December 30, 2008

On Christmas Day we hiked down our property to where the river and the stream meet. With all the snow we had, melting after a rainy now above freezing day, the river and creek are rushing!

The last second of this video might leave you wondering about the outcome of our hike. One thing I can say about Booh is she’s made of rubber (plus she has a great sense of humor!). So go ahead, laugh!

Snow Lichen

Snow Lichen

You can’t hear it too well, but J says “Look how high the creek is.” And then Booh replies, “It’s a creek, not a cricket.”

Then J says, “Hey honey, what’s this called.” That’s when Booh looks and loses her balance and does a face-plant into the snow.

This is what he was looking at.  Not sure what it is called, so we are calling it Snow Lichen until we can get an id.  There is a Flickr group called ID Please.  I posted this photo here and hopefully some wonderful botanist can do just that.

Murder of Crows

December 29, 2008

What an amazing winter sunset we had last night!  We had been ice skating with good friends when we came outside to a spectacular view.  The air was balmy and we stood in the parking lot outside of the ice skating rink watching the sky change from orange to pink to violet.  If only the utility poles and fence (and houses and road and mounds of gray snow) weren’t in the way of this beautiful scene. 

And to add to this amazing view, on the opposite side of the parking lot , was a murder of crows.  Below I’ve posted a short video I shot.  

I had no idea that a collective noun for a flock of crows was a murder of crows.  And how lucky were we to witness them on the 4th Holy Night.  But what does it all mean? 

No Farms No Food

July 31, 2008
Potatoes at the Florence Farmers Market

Three Varieties of Potatoes at the Farmer's Market.

The folks over at American Farmland Trust are offering a Free No Farms No Food Bumper Sticker. Put it on your car or bulletin board at work. Or distribute them at your local farmers market or county fair. When you display your No Farms No Food bumper sticker, you’re helping raise awareness about the importance of our farms and ranches and the delicious, fresh foods they produce. Click HERE to request your free sticker, while learning about AMT’s pledge to local food and farms.

Smitten with Uncle Rock

March 1, 2006

Booh & Uncle Rock. Late winter, 2006.

How could she not be? He sang Yellow Submarine, her all time favorite song. He played the guitar, the one thing she wants from the Christmas Spider. He’s tall and thin, a common thread amongst all her crushes. And funny to boot!

She had been waiting for weeks to see Uncle Rock, who did a family performance at a local cafe on Saturday morning. With songs like “Rock & Roll Babysitter,” “Sugar Talkin’,” and “Gettin’ Big Blues,” his CD is her #1 request every time we get in the car. She even wore her black biker boots so she could stomp around like a rock & roll babysitter.

We met Uncle Rock (a.k.a. Robert Burke Warren ) sailing on the Hudson River aboard the Sloop Clearwater, a historical tall sailboat. We drove up to Kingston, NY, with our neighbor and her daughter and spent the day sailing on the river, learning about the ecology of the river while listening to live music, and then having lunch at Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant in the Roundout in Kingston. (They have the BEST homemade corn tortillas and mole sauce!) The sailboat is part of Clearwater, an environmental advocacy and education organization based out of Poughkeepsie, NY.

The wind was calm that day so we didn’t do much sailing, but I didn’t mind so much. I felt it was better for Booh’s first time on a sailboat (age 4) to have calm waters. She went down into the galley and I told her stories of when I use to work in the galley on the MV Greenpeace. She asked me if there were grocery stores out at sea and if they sold only fish and nori.

That day on the Sloop Clearwater she was given the very important task of tossing the buoy over the ships side, followed by a net to collect specimens for the kids to look at and learn about. Hogchokers (Trinectes maculatus) were one of the several marine species retrieved from the river. It’s a small flat fish that feels like a puppy’s tongue when you run you fingers over it. Farmers use to feed their hogs these fish, but they would occasionally get lodged in their throats due to the fishes morphology, choking the hog. Now when Booh chokes on something she’s eating, I’ll call it a Hogchoker, which only makes her laugh and choke again. (Sometimes I really question my mothering skills.)