Recent Blogs

  • The Views Aren’t Everything
    The Views Aren’t Everything I mainly said yes to climbing Mt. St. Helens for the views. I didn’t plan on hiking it, but when a group had extra permits, I agreed to do my first ever major summit because boy, that’s a picturesque mountain. I wanted to see it up close. But mountains are like Monet paintings—two very different images depending on your distance. When you climb this mountain, you are not on top…
  • Overnight Buckwheat Oatmeal
    Overnight Buckwheat Oatmeal For an easy, no bake, vegan breakfast, soak raw buckwheat oat groats overnight for perfect oatmeal. This meal is rich in nutrients and digests easily leaving us feeling satisfied, but not weighed down. Despite its name, buckwheat is a wheat-less, gluten-free grain. It comes from a plant related to thick-steamed, leafy rhubarb. When soaked overnight (or for at least 6 hours), it becomes fluffy and soft like cooked oatmeal, however…
  • The Seed Ambassadors Project
    The Seed Ambassadors Project In Oregon a group of seed farmers have organized in order to save and preserve seeds for future generations. Their aim was to collect varieties of seed from all over the world that would grow in their local climate. They then started offering the seed for sale to those who grow in a similar climate zone. This has brought biodiversity to their valley and assures the next generation will enjoy…
  • Peanut Coconut Carob Candy Bar
    Peanut Coconut Carob Candy Bar This recipe has very few ingredients and is quite easy to whip up. The clean up however is quite a sticky mess! This recipe is for those who want a less sweet candy. The carob and rice syrup give it some sweetness, but this will not be sugary like a junk food candy bar. 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup (I like the Lundberg Sweet Dreams Organic Brown Rice Syrup)1/2 cup…
  • Uncommon Features of the Cedar Waxwing
    Uncommon Features of the Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum translates from Latin into “silk tail of the cedars,” otherwise known as the cedar waxwing. This species is striking on many levels beyond mere aesthetics. Feeding primarily on fruit, which they swallow and process whole (seeds and all!), they require a ready water supply to aid digestion. They can, as a result, be found in a variety of moist habitats: deciduous or conifer, mixed woods, wetlands or scrubby…
  • That's Salal Folks!
    That's Salal Folks! I love foraging.I recently relocated to Portland from Northern California, and Californians are always a little too proud about how great the climate is for growing plants of all kinds (at least, when water is not as precious a commodity). Before moving to Portland, I had already discovered how enjoyable picking edible specialties from nature’s garden could be; I’m excited for seeing what Oregon has in store for mushroom season,…
  • Colony Collapse Disorder: its Causes and Implications
    Colony Collapse Disorder: its Causes and Implications Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, is a phenomenon, recognized in 2006, which affects honey bee populations. It is characterized as a state where the majority of the adult worker bees abandon the hive, leaving behind the queen, nurse bees, an abundance of food and the immature young. As the worker bees are central to a healthy colony, their absence ultimately causes the death of the hive. This syndrome was first…
  • Steeping Fresh Herbs for Teas From Your Garden
    Steeping Fresh Herbs for Teas From Your Garden Any edible culinary herb from your garden can also be steeped or brewed into a light refreshing herbal tea. Some of the best choices are Mint, Lavender, Thyme, and Chamomile but you can steep any herb for their various tastes and health benefits. To start you will want filtered water or spring water and to heat the water just short of boiling. Snip the herb or combination of herbs that…
  • Sweet potatoes - using and storing
    Sweet potatoes - using and storing Hello, I’m a sweet potato – don’t confuse me with the yam – we are not related! If you live in the United States you’ve probably been eating sweet potatoes not yams your entire life. You know your grandmothers world famous Thanksgiving Yam Pie? It’s most likely Sweet Potato Pie. Yams aren’t readily available in the United States. Now that you know you’ve been eating sweet potatoes here are a…
  • Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri
    Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri Forest Park in St. Louis is a beautiful urban retreat covering 1,371 acres, which is over 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York. It opened in 1876 and was home to the 1904 World’s Fair. Today the park has several different versatile attractions, with something for everyone. Forest Park incorporates cultural attractions, dining, recreation and natural elements all into one spacious park. Complete your relaxation with leisurely strolls,…
  • Sustainable Fashion: an interview with fashion designer Eve Styles
    Sustainable Fashion: an interview with fashion designer Eve Styles On August 8, 2015, the fifth annual Alley 33 Fashion Show took place in Portland, Oregon. This Fashion Show makes fashion sustainable. And that is to be lauded. Twenty-one designers were featured and all of the clothing was locally made and manufactured in or near Portland, Oregon, and readily available for purchase and wear. It was my second year at the event and the second time seeing EveSkywalker by Eve…

Natural Places!

  • Natural Places : Gertrude's Nose in the Shawangunks
    Natural Places : Gertrude's Nose in the Shawangunks There can be an art to finding a good hike. Sometimes it requires a little investigation and sometimes the well tread places, are well tread for a reason. Gertrude’s Nose, which is located in Lake Minnewaska State Park in the New York Shawangunk Mountains, is a pretty well-known hike; and absolutely worth it. Now, just because it is well-known, doesn’t mean it is crowded. The few times I’ve gone, I’ve…
  • Somes Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary
    Somes Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary My most recent visit to Somes-Meynell this past week went much better than the one prior. Nearly two years ago now, there had been a call to the local wildlife clinic about an eagle acting strangely there. She hadn’t left her perch for two days and appeared to have difficulty flying. After several awkward hours through the brush to retrieve her, the examination clearly indicated lead poisoning with the resultant…
  • Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge
    Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge Who doesn’t like a little adventure—finding a gem of a place, yet still undiscovered by the majority of people? Petit Manan is one of those places. It is only about an hour drive from Fire Island and Acadia, and yet it has none of the congestion of a well-known tourist hotspot. Petit Manan was amazing to be able to explore, with my canine companion in tow, in relative solitude. I…

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