Wilson Park: Dogs, Flowers and Fungi (Oh! The Fungi!)

Deep oak and hickory wood laced with purring creeks and rocky rubble beckons me, but most days they must wait, as getting out of town to the nearest decent public hiking area requires twenty minutes--more than one can afford on a working day. Instead, I often opt for a five-minute drive (to avoid crossing a … Continue reading Wilson Park: Dogs, Flowers and Fungi (Oh! The Fungi!)

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Keystone Species in a Yellowstone Shell

Keystone species: like a stone bridging the two sides of an arch, once removed the structure crumbles. One of ecologists favorite example in the last twenty years has been the grey wolf. Humans have a long history of destroying ecosystems and obliterating biodiversity. More than likely we've seen the loss of more keystone species than … Continue reading Keystone Species in a Yellowstone Shell

6thExtinctioncover

Book Reflection: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Patrons of my local library vie for this book. I waited several weeks before I got a chance, even though The Sixth Extinction was published over a year before this time. Then I couldn't renew it, because of course someone else was in line to read it. Several weeks later down the waiting list I … Continue reading Book Reflection: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Book Reflection: Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina (Part I: Human Dimensions)

Likely the biggest decision I made this year, as superficial as it may sound, is join Goodreads—yes, a social media site. How did I let myself fall into the bottomless pit of neurotic status updates? Because books are cool. Duh. A function of Goodreads I take advantage of is the group. I joined a group … Continue reading Book Reflection: Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina (Part I: Human Dimensions)

Soil Food Web

Introduction to Soil Science: The Best Way to Put It

Sometimes I read articles and books or watch documentaries and I always wonder what is the best way to translate what I'm learning. I find most of anything in nature and natural sciences (if you care to split those--I don't, but I understand that they sometimes elicit two different concepts) fascinating beyond measure, like concurrent … Continue reading Introduction to Soil Science: The Best Way to Put It

Alan English Durango Silverton

Animas River: A History of Mining Contaminations

My family lived in western Colorado for many years, and one of us lived in Cortez in the southwest corner of the state. This is within an hour's drive of Durango and not much farther from Silverton. I love the area. Just about any location on Colorado's western slopes evoke nostalgia and childhood memories. It's easy … Continue reading Animas River: A History of Mining Contaminations

Yucca Pollination: a Story of a Synchronized Relationship

Honey bees get most of the press as far as pollinators are concerned. Sometimes butterflies and bats receive honorary mention. Usually only in certain circles do non-honey bees, essentially all bees save for the European brand that we raise in apiculture, take the stage. Yucca moths not so much. From a botanical and evolutionary standpoint, … Continue reading Yucca Pollination: a Story of a Synchronized Relationship

Thalicoides

Fascination of Plants Day

I found out about it too late.   It was late in the evening of May 18th, and I saw an Annals of Botany Facebook post from the Oxford University Press blog about Fascinating of Plants Day. Many others knew about it, as #FoPD yielded a plethora of tweets. I’ll be more prepared for it … Continue reading Fascination of Plants Day

bacteria and sweet potatoes

Agrobacterium and Sweet Potato Ecological Relationship

A friend of mine came across a fun article on a National Public Radio blog on transgenic organisms (genetic combination of two or more organisms that don't naturally breed) cultivated for thousands of years. Scientists have found that many variations of sweet potato, now grown all over the world, have an relationship with a class of … Continue reading Agrobacterium and Sweet Potato Ecological Relationship

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The Tick Eater

To some people, the warming of the season and growth of green vegetation means some sort of glorified, golden sun with trim lawns and swimming. I don’t know. I’m guessing. Well, when I lived in Colorado it was something like that, plus mosquitoes. Not in Arkansas. Here the onset of spring means a countdown to … Continue reading The Tick Eater