Blog Archives

Vintage Nature Illustration Wednesday

Turpin Pierre Chaumeton 1814

Turpin Pierre Chaumeton 1814

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May Berry Go Round

Hello friends! Ah, spring time – the busiest season of all. And so it was this month that most of the plant writers were otherwise preoccupied with their plant obsessions! May’s Berry Go Round is a bit slim, but I hope you enjoy these articles on important backyard garden plants/considerations. You can visit the main Berry Go Round here site for more information about carnivals and becoming a carnival host.

Benjamin Vogt inspired me to start thinking about important backyard plants and practices with this quote: “I feel that my backyard habitat is critically important (in the face of such large-scale environmental degradation).” And it’s true: each of us with any amount of outdoor space, be it a patio or a thousand acres, has the opportunity to support life: plant life, insect life, possibly even animal life and full microhabitat life. You can read the article here at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog.

I also love this article by Carole Sevilla Brown called “Are Wildlife Gardeners Real Gardeners?”

This article from Mother Nature’s Backyard explores making your garden water-wise and “life-friendly!”

New Under the Sun has a particular preference for a prickly perennial known as Yellow Thistle.

Emma the Gardener wrote about a popular permaculture plant: comfrey!

Check out a gorgeous, rare species on Gravity’s Rainbow blog and learn how to help protect its specialized habitat.

If you’re interested in learning more, the first thing you can do is find out how to support native plants in your habitat. Native plants support pollinating insects, which in turn support native birds and mammals. Conserve water by getting rid of needless lawn space and plants that aren’t fit for your climate, particularly if you live in a dry one. Most of all, get into your green space and connect – deeply and fully – to nature and the great circle of life we’re all a part of! :) Thanks for joining me.

 

 

 

 

 

Curio Cabinet: Myrtlewood

CC myrtlewood

The Curio Cabinet series (#curioTuesday) is published biweekly, featuring an artifact of natural or cultural history and a brief selection of nifty facts. Curio Cabinet celebrates the history of curio collections, the roots of which played a part in the globalization of learning and scientific knowledge. Learn more here. Read the rest of this entry

[Video] Time-Lapse Flowers for Your Spring Viewing Pleasure

Watching videos of time-lapse plants has some strange, magical effect on me. We take the miracle of plant life for granted because it moves at such a slower pace than we’re used to. Maybe that’s why time-lapse is so cool – it speeds up the life of a plant so we can recognize it on our own terms. At any rate, I wanted to share some of my favorite vids with you to celebrate spring, spring, the coming of spring! As a very cool extra, there’s a vid tucked in there of a pumpkin – from seed to scale, which, at the end, will blow your mind.

Turn up your speakers and watch them dance. Tell us which one you liked best in the comments!


10 points if you can catch the slug in this one!

 

 

April Tweets & Pins

Here’s the monthly roundup of our favorite tweets and pins for your perusing pleasure. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest if you like what you see!

tweet pin

Astronomers pinpoint the exact date and time that Monet’s “Sunset” was painted.
This penguin slips on the ice and then I’m pretty sure he cusses.
What happens to your body without a spacesuit? NOTHING GOOD
Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman” is accused of animal mistreatment.
Photos: Camera-trapped predators of India.
Teach yourself to dream lucidly but, uh, watch out for the demons.
Spectacular renditions of superheroes in Pacific Northwestern indigenous art styles.
Two snakes of the same species can have surprisingly different venoms.
Video: 1-year old anteater has a fuzzy freakout over a log. You’re welcome.
Monsanto is returning to cross-breeding plants because people think GMOs are icky.

Ole Worm and the History of Curio Cabinets

I am an avid collector of small things both natural and cultural: rocks, seedpods, carvings, fetishes, art, more rocks, curiosities, skins, and – wait – did I already mention rocks?

Many of my naturalist comrades share this tendency to hoard similar items, perhaps as a way to remember the places we’ve been or to bring the outdoors inside. Our fascination with these items is not a new trend; in fact, collecting “curios” (defined as a rare or unusual object, considered attractive or interesting) dates back to the ending of the Middle Ages and the opening of the Renaissance.

1592 collection of engravings by the Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel. University of Massachusetts Amherst. Photo credit: www-sicd.u-strasbg.fr

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Call for Submissions: Backyard Plants to Save the Planet

Hello friends and fellow bloggers!

We’re hosting the May edition of Berry Go Round here and we want your articles. What better time to talk about important backyard plants than first thing this spring? We realize that calling it “Backyard Plants to Save the Planet” might be a lofty title, but the plain truth is that backyard gardeners have an incredible amount of power in the race to support failing populations of native birds, insects, and more. We can also support ourselves and reduce our dependence on the industrial food system by growing some of our own food, even if it’s just a little!

We want to focus on plants and projects that are accessible to the average gardener. The more we know, the more we can do!

Get creative and send us up to 3 of your articles (start writing!) on the following topics by posting a link in the comments section or tweeting it to us @RoamngNaturalst. Deadline is April 30th!

1. Plants that support reptiles/amphibians in your backyard.
2. Plants that support mammals in your backyard.
3. Plants that support native birds in your backyard.
4. Plants that support beneficial insects and especially pollinators in your backyard.
5. Plants you can eat that will contribute to reducing dependence on food system.
6. Plants that support the soil in your backyard.
7. Plants that support water conservation and purifying in your backyard.

Your article will be linked in the final post, published towards the end of May, and will be available for lots of new readers to see. We hope you’ll join us!

Vintage Nature Illustration Wednesday – Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes)

Nepenthes (Pitcher Plants) by Ernst Haeckel in Kunstformen der Natur.

Nepenthes (Pitcher Plants) by Ernst Haeckel in Kunstformen der Natur.

Roaming to the National Museum of Natural History

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.

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“RAAAR” is dinosaur for “I love you.”

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Roaming to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden in Pennsylvania, USA, that consists of more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. It started as a working farm purchased by William Penn in 1700, and evolved over the next two hundred years into one of the earliest and most extensive arboretums in the US. It was nearly sold for lumber but was purchased by Pierre du Pont 1906, who was determined not only to save the property, but to improve upon it for future generations to enjoy.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

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