Thursday, January 29, 2009 News News

Good story on study about climate crisis impact on invasive plants across Western US.

"The Princeton researchers used models of atmosphere and ocean circulation to predict the ways climates in the western U.S. will be changing by 2100. The results point to the need for governments to plan for climate changes including warming expected in the coming decades, the study said.

Losses to the global economy from intrusive plants, such as kudzu, a vine particularly prevalent in the southern U.S., may total about $1.4 trillion annually, according to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Global Invasive Species Program.

About three-quarters of the genetic diversity of crops have been lost over the last century and hundreds of the 7,000 registered animal breeds are threatened with extinction, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization."

Good background for upcoming Climate Impacts on NW Forests poster we're designing at Good Nature.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Clearing the Air: Obama’s Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards -

Obama’s Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards - Yeah!

Obama lets states clear the air. Automobile companies will now have to race each other to clean up their acts.

And my bet is that a lot of disease goes away with cleaner and cleaner air. We'll get ot the point where smog's ability to reflect heat back into space is missing, and have to double down on the ways we stop dump carbon into our atmosphere.

More soon.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Girl Effect: Cool thought making post you will like

Environment Blamed in Western Tree Deaths -

Environment Blamed in Western Tree Deaths - Nate Stephenson with USGS Western Ecological Research and Jerry Franklin are scientists with USFS PNW Research Station.

I met Nate working on Good Nature's Giant Sequoia poster.

Great to see Nate and Jerry get some press in the NYT.

Best fishes,


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Achieving Sustainable Site Design through Low Impact Development Practices | Whole Building Design Guide

Achieving Sustainable Site Design through Low Impact Development Practices | Whole Building Design Guide Low Impact Living will require big shifts away from car centric development. Smaller roads, more sidewalks, more plants and trees, welcome back of ditches in the guise of bioswales.

And it will be interesting to see how we transform our shingle rooftops from the botanical desert to gardens of Eden.

Check out the link above -- and a related story on aesthetics for a denser world that promotes ecosystem services.

How will I know when I have reached Low Impact enlightenment?

best fishes,


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Editorial - The Rural Life - Neighborhood of Zero -

Editorial - The Rural Life - Neighborhood of Zero - One of my favorite writers has a post in the NYT Opinion page today -- about how fricking cold it is in the Northeast.

Read with pleasure. Ewe will like it.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Torture's Blowback--

Torture’s Blowback - Room for Debate Blog - Read and weep.

Then seek justice for the criminals who ordered our American troops to disgrace the flag, to break the law, and to gut the Constitution of the United States of America.

Dick Cheney, George W. Bush: Time's up!

We will speak truth to power, and you will pay the price for this crucifixion of American values.

"A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not stake their own." -H.G. Wells, writer (1866-1946)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TUALATIN RIVER KEEPERS: Stormwater Movie Contest for Portland OR High Schools

TUALATIN RIVER KEEPERS Sponsors Fun Contest-- Make a Run off movie Great contest to get students filming where there stormwater from school goes to. Goal is for local high school students to create a 24 second television PSA to build awareness of street to stream runoff.

This contest is sponsored by Clean Water Services & Tualatin Riverkeepers --but I say-- copy the idea. These movies will be a great educational tool, and fun, creative response to teaching ecosystem services to teenagers and their parents.

best fishes,


Monday, January 12, 2009

Contact | Sol Journeys: Journeys that Awaken Your Inner Adventurer

Contact | Sol Journeys: Journeys that Awaken Your Inner Adventurer My friend Jill owns and runs this awesome Sol Journeys -- trips for women outside. Great opportunity to explore nature, spirit, food and exercise.

Check her site out. Go outside!


Top Five Ways to Stop 100 Year Floods Every Year in Seattlopolis

Dan Siemann from National Wildlife Federation writes this opinion piece on the need for low impact development. From Seattle Times (Check out cool photos and movies on Seatimes website.)

What do you want to do different immediately? We have to start changing the way we live -- and speed up low impact development projects across Puget Sound.

I think we have to stop putting Walmarts next to the Chehalis. We need to rip up pavement in Seattle and make it porous. We need to refurbish our desert like rooftops and green them with plants that soak up and slow rain water that hits our rooftops.


Of course, I think art helps make change more understandable-- Good Nature has made a beautiful Rain Garden poster field guide for western Washington and Oregon. Complete with 24 native plants that are keyed from dry to wet places in your garden.

We're designing a new "Green Roof" and another one titled "Low Impact Development" poster featuring 10 of he top low impact development techniques that help encourage gardeners to control storm water and stop run off and pollution washing down the streets to the ocean.

Let me know if you want more info on these neat new poster field guides. I plan to make a similar series for different regions of America.

best fishes,


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Daily Kos: Naomi Klein: Boycott and Divest from Israel UPDATED w/ POLL

Daily Kos: Naomi Klein: Boycott and Divest from Israel UPDATED w/ POLL I am all for this-- any way to stop this madness and Israeli aggression.



gardenhistorygirl This is a great blog written by a kindred spirit who has a sense of humor and interest in life. In this case life of gardens and their history. Before you go to sleep, pause for a Monet and check it out.

The Median Isn't the Message by Stephen Jay Gould

Edward Tufte: New ET Writings, Artworks & News

Here is a fine piece of writing by Stephen Jay Gould on his coming to terms with the discovery he had cancer.

Link from Edward Tufte, a graphic designer who has helped people imagine aesthetically pleasing information. That is information that is attractive, that interests one, humanely and beautifully rendered. I recommend browsing. Tufte always makes me feel smarter after reading.

The way a poster we design at Good Nature connects art and science together is all about the struggle to balance information in a way that doesn't overwhelm a page.

Your thoughts?


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Five Habits of Highly Effective Unemployed People: Laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh...

How To Be Unemployed
What wit!

Seattle flooding movie-- shot from helicopter over mighty Sno Valley

See the tree line in the Snoqualmie River Valley you see in this movie with all the water around it? That's the path of the river when it isn't flooded.

This movie shows the power of "the mighty Sno" -- and how big her flood plain really is. You'd never know thousands of people farm and live out there.

How much longer can we afford that I wonder?

Just think of all the toxic waste floating into the sea now that all this water has washed through every home and business, car lot and gas station in the Snoqualmie River.

Story about folks helping here

Given the certainty of climate crisis bringing us more big storms, do we really need to be building cities like Carnation and Duvall out there in the flood plain?

I love to go visit my friends who farm there. But it is crazy to develop more land that is really best used as a green sponge to slow and let water seep over.

We need to rip up the pavement here in Seattle, too. The days of cars hegemony in our lives is over. We simply can't afford all the costs -- pollution , climate impacts, and the killing of so many people every year in "accidents".



Comfort comes to the garden --

Comfort comes to the garden --

Former Israeli Army Captain: Three Reason to Stop the War On Gaza

Basta! Stop the Israeli war on Gaza. This is not a coincidence. The Israeli right knows there days of bombing with impunity are numbered because Obama will not be like Bush supporting this agression.

Sure the crazy people in Hamas lobbed bombs into Israel. But how is bombing everyone -- UN hospitals, mosques, schools with kids inside any solution, my brothers and sisters in Israel?

You are simply poking eyes out. More blind people running for their guns.

All people have a right to work, to eat, to clean water, and health care. And there must be recognition at some point that bombing and killing, walling people off is not a solution.

Join thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, and concerned people around the world to protest this war on Gaza. International day of protest January 10th. See links here as starting place for protests.

Americans have a special responsibility -- Israel is our 51st state -- and we fund them big time-- billions of dollars directly, and billions from business and money sent privately. All the bombing going on are part of the war machine we subsidize. Speak up with former soldiers like the Israeli above who are living proff there is another way.

Interested in learning more- check here

Peace out.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Unfortunate Location -- a poem about big conifers by Louis Jenkins from The Writer's Almanac

Unfortunate Location

by Louis Jenkins

In the front yard there are three big white pines, older
than anything in the neighborhood except the stones.
Magnificent trees that toss their heads in the wind
like the spirited black horses of a troika. It's hard to
know what to do, tall dark trees on the south side of
the house, an unfortunate location, blocking the
winter sun. Dark and damp. Moss grows on the roof,
the porch timbers rot and surely the roots have
reached the old bluestone foundation. At night, in
the wind, a tree could stumble and fall killing us in
our beds. The needles fall year after year making an
acid soil where no grass grows. We rake the fallen
debris, nothing to be done, we stand around with
sticks in our hands. Wonderful trees.

Rain Garden Classes in Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Carnation, Wallingford January-April 2009

( Art by John C. Pitcher Good Nature Publishing 2008 Rain Garden poster field guide )

January 8, 2009
Stewardship Partners Press Release

Rain Gardens

Help Protect Our Streams – Classroom and Installation Workshops

As our area grows, increasing
amounts of native forest and
prairie lands are replaced by
roads, roofs, driveways, and other
hard or impervious surfaces.

Rainfall that formerly was intercepted by
the forest canopy or soaked into
the soils now becomes stormwater
runoff flowing across the landscape.
This creates two problems. Localized
flooding can occur as too much water
floods yards, streets, and parking lots.
In addition, stormwater can wash a
variety of pollutants into local creeks
and rivers, and ultimately Puget Sound.

While modern developments include
highly engineered solutions for storm -
water management, rain gardens offer
a low impact development approach
that enables individual homeowners to
help protect streams and wetlands.

Rain gardens work like a native forest
by capturing and infiltrating storm -
water. Rain gardens reduce flooding
by absorbing water from impervious
surfaces; filter oil, grease, fecal bacteria
from pet waste, and toxic materi -
als before they can pollute streams,
lakes, and bays; help to recharge the
aquifer by increasing the quantity of
water that soaks into the ground; and
provide beneficial wildlife habitat.
In a nutshell, rain gardens are modest
depressions in the landscape of people’s
yards where water is directed.

Rain gardens are typically excavated to a
depth of about two feet, and then a
mix of highly amended, compost-rich
soil is placed in the depression filling it
to a level about 6-12 inches below the
surrounding landscape to enable ponding
to occur during periods of heavy
rain. This soil and compost mix soaks
up water which is rapidly retained.

Rain gardens are finished off with a
variety of plants that do well in both
wet winter and dry summer conditions.
While many of these plants are native
to the Northwest, a number of nonnative
ornamentals may also be used to
create a colorful, attractive landscape.
Rain gardens are easy to create but
they must be built carefully. They have
to be designed to accommodate the
correct amount of rainfall. Soil condi -
tions must also be carefully assessed
during the design to determine the
depth of the soil and compost mix.

To learn more about how you can
incorporate a rain garden into your
yard’s landscape, as well as other lowimpact
development practices, join us
for a hands-on classroom workshop on
rain garden design and construction.

The King Conservation District, Stewardship
Partners, Native Plant Salvage Project,
Seattle Tilth, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle
Public Utilities, NW Environmental
Education Council and King County
Department of Natural Resources and Parks
are offering Rain Gardens:

The Key to Managing
Rain Water and Protecting Puget Sound
classroom workshops beginning in
January. Workshop participants and
volunteers are also invited to learn
more by participating in an actual
rain garden installation workshop to
be scheduled later in the spring.
The complete rain garden
classroom schedule:

• Thursday, January 22, Bellevue
• Thursday, February 12, Carnation
• Tuesday, March 3, Renton
• Tuesday, March 17, Downtown Seattle
• Thursday, March 26, Wallingford
• Thursday, April 23, South Seattle

All workshops will be scheduled in
the evening hours and registration
is required. Participants will be
sent site-assessment instructions
in advance to help maximize their
learning at the workshops. Contact
Stewardship Partners to register and
for details: (206) 292-9875 or email

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How trees changed the world - life - 24 November 2007 - New Scientist

How trees changed the world - life - 24 November 2007 - New Scientist
Great magazine and story about the importance of trees to life on Earth.

NW Native Conifers art featuring Mike Lee's color pencil here.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Move to Increase Logging on Oregon Land -

Move to Increase Logging on Oregon Land - Last Call at the Bush Clear Cut Office. There is a whiff of desperation announcing this plan with a new administration coming in to office in less two weeks. (See map and more @ Sightline Institute )

Instead of waiting to see what Obama wants-- Earthjustice and other green groups are going to federal court to stop the sales of thousands of acres of our forests to clearcutters.

No matter that Oregon's Governor and two clean water agencies are against the sales. Here is a perfect example of an agency like BLM -- working in the same Dept of Interior as FWS -- making it possible to double the rate of logging and ruin salmon and other wildlife habitat.

Had enough?



Our Bay: Resolving to achieve a cleaner bay - Environment

Our Bay: Resolving to achieve a cleaner bay - Environment - ( 50 ways to clean up Chesapeake Bay-- good starter kit for a new poster I am designing for Puget Sound and some rivers in the NW.

best fishes,


Thursday, January 01, 2009

On the origin of speciation

On the origin of speciation

Well done story on Darwin's importance -- and interesting photo poster