roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.
I am spoiled rotten to live so close to the Smithsonian Institution. If you’re not familiar, the Smithsonian is a group of museums, galleries, and a zoo that are located in Washington DC. I will admit with great shame that I have only visited a couple of the many locations, but the trouble is they’re so amazing that I end up returning to the same one(s) over and over.
I recently took my niece to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), since at the end of April the Fossil Hall dinosaur exhibit will be closing for renovations – FOR FIVE YEARS. As any good auntie should be, I was panicked and made sure, come hell or more winter weather, that I’d get her there.
Now of course, being a standard 4 year old, she was only mildly interested in the bones, particularly after overhearing someone say the phrase, “dinosaur gummies,” in reference to candy available at the gift shop. These were essentially the only dinosaurs she was thereafter interested in, but I persevered.
When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I took the bus everywhere. Sometimes it meant standing in the rain or being crushed against a damp herd of strangers, but it also often meant walking through beautiful neighborhoods and getting to see things blossom in the springtime.
On one such jaunt, I happened to be walking through a small park; really, more of a median to get from one side of a main road to the other. I almost missed it, but noticed this sign taped to a tree:
So I did.
I wish I had better photos, but I only had my cell phone with me that day. I was so excited that I told everyone I knew about this magical mushroom and the sweet, amazing person that told me about it via hand-written note. I wondered how many people had noticed that day, or, perhaps equally as curious, how many hadn’t. I wondered if the anonymous nature-lover had posted more signs around the city, or if this was a regular gig whereby said interpreter sought out secret goodies to expose via note. It was so exciting (and I don’t give one shit how dorky that is) that I wanted to run around the city myself and recreate the experience for others.
What would the world look like if we took the time to point out things of beauty and curiosity to strangers? I love this random act of interpretation.
Have you ever seen anything like this before? If so, please tell us in the comments! :) Thanks for reading!
I never forget to feed the birds. Every time I go outside, my muscle memory moves my eyeballs to the feeders to see if they need to be refilled.
But what I do forget is that, judging by how vocal they’re becoming, they’re getting into the mood for finding a mate and building a nest. The daylight clings a little longer, and all the trees – I just know it – are starting to stir. So this year I wanted to add another element to the backyard: a little depot for nesting supplies. Now most birds are going to use natural goodies, like twigs, moss, and (if you’re a hummingbird) even spider web silk, but birds are opportunists and if they decide yarn or dog hair would benefit the nest, they’ll certainly use it.
Cross the jump to see what I did this year!
Butterflies feed on lots of different plants, but each species need a particular plant or group of plants on which to lay their eggs. Monarch butterflies need Milkweed (Asclepias species) for reproduction, and these lovely indigenous flowers are in decline – between agricultural practices, roadside chemical sprays, and everything else that puts native species in decline, milkweed species, like many other plants that support native wildlife, are in trouble.
I wanted to take just a quick minute to assemble some resources and links that will help you gather all the necessary info on this topic, and the exciting movement happening in backyard gardens to protect the gorgeous, famous butterfly we call the Monarch.
Brrrr… are you guys ready for spring yet? We sure are! But since we still have a little longer in the cold, let’s celebrate more winter goodness.
As you may have read in our last post about animal winter survival methods, there are two basic types of tools for getting through extreme weather: physiological adaptations, and behavioral adaptations. For the human animal, our physiological adaptations may not seem readily apparent, and our behavioral adaptations look more like “culture.” Read on to learn ten awesome (and relatively random) facts about how we walking apes adapted to survive colder temps!
For life that must survive low temperatures and harsh weather in the Northern Hemisphere, there are three major routes to success. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages; a balance must be found between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. All groups of living things seem to use a good mix of each survival tactic, bringing their own special adaptations to the table. Read on for a quick look at how the Northern Hemisphere survives winter!