I hope that you had a wonderful summer and that you have an interesting Fall to look forward to. This past summer, I got to celebrate my French grandmother’s 100th birthday in Nice and also spent a few days in Maine with loved ones, enjoying life on the coast. The air is just magic there.
Welcome to the Fall issue and a big thank you to all new subscribers!!
Let’s begin with mosquitoes. If you’re concerned about them where you live, I strongly recommend putting up a bat house or two. Read about the best places to put up bat houses here as well as the benefits of bats.
Another wonderful house to install in your garden is a Mason Bee House. Mason bees are non-aggressive and are excellent pollinators. You can learn more about them here.
I really enjoy spending time outdoors, wandering through the woods and observing nature on my walks, where I have found many natural treasures. Those treasures are illustrated on the cover of this issue, and if you are curious what some of them are, I made a list here.
The artist featured in this issue is well known and his work is all outdoors, and vast. The two works I feature I found to be particularly beautiful and wondrous. I like to feel WOW when I see art and his work definitely has a WOW factor.
Also truly amazing and wonderful is the eco cinema film series. It’s fascinating and educational, beautiful and inspiring. Take a moment to visit the world that the director Costas shows us.
The featured Gamechanger has created something remarkable and enduring, and I would love for you to learn about her. I’m also excited to share the blog I posted in Innovative Design. It’s a real eye opener, about a pressing issue that we all need to be aware of but one that affects each of us.
Trees in the forest in Maine are being cut to save songbirds and crows are being trained to help clean up a scourge in the parks, the same scourge that is contributing to pollution in the oceans. Another way to protect the ocean and the wildlife that call home, is by using this instead of environmentally harmful balloons.
It fills me with hope when I read a story about a natural and sustainable solution to an awful problem: plastic bags and food wrapping. I also get comfort when reading a soul- nourishing book like Braiding Sweetgrass, one of the 3 books I recommended in this issue.
And lastly, I added three new stories- about a wallet, a pencil case and a lamp to The Cabinet of Green Curiosities, a page dedicated to beautiful and fascinating unusual natural treasures and then others that become something else extraordinary via human intervention. Oh, and I almost forgot: Hickory Nut Milk. I made it last week from nuts I foraged from trees by the house. There was the most delicious smell in the house when boiling the nuts!
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I’ll leave you with a quote I love, from Braiding Sweetgrass: “ Breath it in, the sweet-smelling hair of Mother Earth, and you start to remember things you didn’t know you’d forgotten.”
Woodlanders,is a beautifully done film series by Costa Boutsikaris, a filmmaker from the Hudson Valley/NY, that documents the work of people who care for and depend on forests for their livelihood and well-being throughout the world.
In the Netherlands, where a floating park made from recycled plastic, has popped up, the recycled plastic is constructed into hexagonal pods, which mimic the landscape of Rotterdam’s Maas River before humans altered the landscape, according to the Recycled Island Foundation, the group behind the park.
The first island in Copenhagen’s Parkipelago set sail. Over the next year, the island will be moved around the lake, open for anyone and everyone to use. It’s one of the nine islands that will makeup the parkipelago in an attempt to create more public spaces in the city.
“It’s OK to cut some trees,” said Andrew Shultz, landowner outreach forester for the Maine Forest Service. He explained that selective thinning, which can be a single tree or a half acre, helps biodiversity and enhances wildlife habitat.
Why make your own? Did you know that conventional bubble soap contains unhealthy ingredients ( dishsoap and handsoap as well), frequently contain sodium laureth sulfate, a skin irritant that is likely contaminated with known cancer causing chemicals.
Bats are a natural pest control. Did you know that some bat species eat an incredible number of mosquitoes, as many as 1,200 in an hour of feeding! Bats are also critical pollinators of seeds and fruits that we eat.
In France, the wily crow is getting a makeover. Puy du Fou, a historical theme park in the Loire region about four hours from Paris, has trained six crows to pick up cigarette butts and bits of trash and dump them in a box.
Robyn Van En was one of the originators of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a business model that helps small, diverse organic farms cope with the expenses of organic farming methods by selling “shares” of the harvest to CSA members before the farming seasons begins.
Life Without Plastic by Jay Sinha and Chantal Plamondon
Life Without Plastic strives to create more awareness about BPA-based products, polystyrene and other single-use plastics, and provides readers with ideas for safe, reusable and affordable alternatives.
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.