Category Environment

Global Worming

Non-native earthworms are perhaps the most serious of invasive land pests. Learn about them and avoid spreading them when possible.

Contagion: Contained?

As a biologist, I’ve always been interested in epidemiology of disease, and as a zoologist, particular those that originate in wild or domestic animals. And so there has been quite a bit to keep up with regarding the zoonoses of…

Landscape, Place and Memory

This topic of recent interest holds the potential for a vastly expanded ramble, with a point and even a conclusion perhaps, in another life time. But for now… Suffice it to say that I have been revisiting the mysteries of…

One Word, Benjamin: Plastics

This advice was innocent enough, in a smarmy and ominously-prescient sort of way when the “the graduate” got this insider tip so many decades ago. It was certainly the way the world of profit and growth were going, even then,…

Even At The Gates

I looked up from the kitchen window about 10 minutes before we were to depart for a hike and pot-luck across the county. WhatDaWhat! There not thirty feet away was a cluster of bittersweet (you never find just ONE Oriental…

Extirpated, Eradicated, Extinct

We were walking down our pasture loop yesterday, and for some reason, I remembered when we first walked this path in 1999, we often saw flying squirrels that would drive the dog-of-the-day crazy. Not any more. It’s been years since…

What Native Plants?

We rounded the bend on Griffith Creek last week to find a hundred yards of creekside lined thickly with a flat-topped pink-flowered shrub I recognized as Spirea, a member of the rose family. But the members of the genus I…

Spontaneous Flora of Floyd

One of my favorite features on the trip to town along 221 this time of year is the wildflower assortment, the “unplanted garden” in which yellow is disproportionately well represented. Much less familiar than the yellow-rayed Black Eyed Susans or…

Music, Mountains and Big Trees

Back in December, I was offered the opportunity to contribute a “500-700 word article on Southwest Virginia’s outdoors or nature” by the Crooked Road folks. It now appears (on page 23) in the program guide for next week’s Mountains of…