January 2012

Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution

The world is a constantly changing place and humans are doing their best to turn it from a beautiful natural space to a mechanized monstrosity at the cost of the animals and plants of the world. You can't read the paper without hearing about a new species on the brink of extinction or some criminal illegally hunting endangered species.


If you are like me, then you felt that there is little hope for the animals of the world. Humans will destroy without abandon and kill anything in their path for the sake of progress and money. Then I read, Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution by Caroline Fraser. For the first time, I had hope that maybe we're not screwing it all up after all. The book outlines the efforts and plans to repopulate the wild and reclaim natural habitats.

National Audubon Society Guide to Nature Photography

Nature is so inspiring. Between the brilliant colors of flowers and animals and the dazzling light show put on by the sun, moon and stars, there isn't any shortage of potential for truly breathtaking photographic art. If you like taking pictures of the amazing world around us, you know that sometimes it's hard to capture the true essence of your natural subject, be it flora or fauna. There are times when you may get lucky, but you can take literally a hundred pictures before you get one that really tells the story the way you want it to.

The beauty part is that with digital photography you can get a good idea of how you're doing while you're at the location. Before digital, you could snap a couple hundred pictures without knowing if any turned out the way you'd hoped. Then, you'd have to wait for processing before you could see the final products of your efforts. It was costly and often frustrating. Now, with digital photography the wait time is minimized and you don't have to spend money developing pictures that you don't want. The trouble is that using digital cameras requires different techniques to get the most out of your work.

Landscaping With Nature: Using Nature's Designs to Plan Your Yard

Many nature lovers enjoy visiting new, natural locations and admiring how beautifully one plant complements the next. The great outdoors calls to many purely on exquisite design alone—and it all happened naturally.

A large number of homeowners seek to replicate the beauty of national parks and meadows, but without the help of professional landscapers or an innate eye for what works, they find themselves wondering where to begin. Putting together a gorgeous natural landscape that captures the essence of a pristine outdoor wonderland takes more effort than just choosing a bunch of wildflower seeds from a catalog.

Natural landscapes can be the ultimate in lush tranquility, but to make it truly magnificent, you have to be able to have a great understanding of what plants, trees and flowers work together as they grow and how to arrange them to get the most from their seasons. And, if you want to go the extra mile and really complete the aesthetic, incorporating stone and water can turn your yard into a natural treasure.

Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate

Nature—it's what's for dinner, or at least it could be if you wanted it to. As long as you know what you're looking for anyway.

It's no secret to nature lovers that there is a whole world full of edible foods around us all the time, and not just when we're at the grocery store. Nature was created to be self-sustaining, and therefore is flush with edible goodies that we walk past every day. Of course, not everything is fit for human consumption, so it's important to really know what you're doing if you decide to bring the great outdoors inside for dinner.

If you're interested in incorporating wild plants into your menu, you have to know the difference between what's safe and scrumptious and what's could be potentially hazardous or completely vile. It's not good eating if you wind up in the emergency room.

Trained botanist and wild foods expert John Kallis has written an incredibly detailed and photo-rich guide to eating North American plants called Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate. This book shares all sorts of green treasures and is broken up into four user-friendly categories to help you design a nature grown meal: tart, foundation, pungent and bitter.