The Hummer and the Butterfly

28 07 2011
Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

The tiger swallowtails are out.

They are floating, sometimes recklessly, sometimes purposefully, their yellow bright against the blazing skies of July. They cross our 21st century byways, but they are just passing through our chronology. Theirs is an evolutionary time and place, one built – as layers of sand become the shore –  tiny life by tiny life.

Watching them, I can feel the simplicity of that life, if only for a tiny moment.

Then, one floats between me and the yellow Hummer in front of me. Its license plate reads, “Our Farms, Our Future.” Behind me, the couple smokes, his Bluetooth on, her tailgating mindlessly.

We are also in an evolutionary timeline. Which will predominate – the Hummer or the Butterfly? The moment or the mindless?

We can tell ourselves that one person cannot influence such monumental forces as evolution. I say, it depends what is evolving, and what we want to come of it.


15 09 2010
Geocache used in the Geocaching sport.

Image via Wikipedia

That’s right, eco. This new type of geocaching highlights the features of a location to inspire conservation awareness among explorers. Each ecocache, or buried container located using a GPS device,  contains a description of the site’s importance and an object symbolic of the area. It may even contain instructions for an interactive, ec0-activity. This website, with amusing translation into English (“box made of glass because of rodent”), explains the basics.

It sounds like a great twist to an exciting hobby that’s growing all the time – an estimated 5 million people in the U.S. participate. To get started geocaching or to find locations near you, go to the clearinghouse website: And let me know what’s in the box, if you do.

Seen and Heard

8 01 2009

Seen: A new element of style. Some creative folks in the Netherlands have created a font that uses up to 20% less ink. Get it free for your computer here. (Thanks to DailyCandy for the tip-off).

Heard: Imperiled bird songs. Audubon published a beautiful and frightening article about Canada’s endangered boreal forest and the North American birds that depend on it for survival. Read about it, and hear the birds sing, at the Boreal Songbird Initiative‘s important website.

A Big Step for Boreal Forests

13 08 2008

For all of you who signed the Boreal Songbird Initiative petition I posted on the Conservation Page a few months ago, this news should be especially heartening: Ontario’s leader has pledged to preserve 55 million acres of boreal forest (home to prime songbird habitat and climate-regulating trees) in large tracts, a move hailed by conservationists. You can read more about it at the International Boreal Conservation Campaign‘s webpage.


13 08 2008

I’m not talking about the Beyonce song. A beautiful partnership has formed between such seemingly divergent fields as law and art to promote awareness and action on behalf of wildlife endangered by climate change. At their website, Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World, you can view an online version of the traveling photography exhibit featuring works by some of the world’s best nature photographers. You can learn about animals that may be imperilled by climate change, and you can help. A sprinkling of quotes from the esteemed thinkers of the world, past and present, serves to lift the site into a spiritual experience.

Conservation Page Update

12 08 2008

Please check out the conservation page for an urgent action item concerning the Endangered Species Act. Simply click on the picture to visit the National Wildlife Federation for more information and an opportunity to help.

International Migratory Bird Day

9 05 2008

I know, the events are getting a bit tiresome, but there are so many good ones, and my husband especially wanted you all to know about International Migratory Bird Day, which is tomorrow. If you’ve never thought about where all those beautiful birds of summer go for the rest of the year, or if you’d be surprised to learn how important other continents (like South America) are for American bird populations, visit the website: Maybe tomorrow is a good day to buy a field guide, or to crack open the one you already have, and appreciate the beauties of flight. Esquire magazine agrees.

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