Pollinators in Our Gardens: Butterflies and Moths

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and graceful of all pollinators. Through providing safe habitats we can also support the roles that butterflies play in pollination. Butterflies need flowers in full sun that are protected from wind, preferably away from roadways. About 75% of all flowering plants rely on animal pollinators and over 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators. Of those, about 1,000 are hummingbirds, bats, and small mammals. The rest are insects such as beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies, and moths. And, worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, b...
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Electricity for Our Homes: Wind Power or Mountaintop Removal

Electricity for Our Homes: Wind Power or Mountaintop Removal
In a world of rising energy prices, rising global temperatures, and rising sea levels, Americans are looking for clean and affordable energy. Yet under the influence of big energy companies, policy-makers are stubbornly clinging to the old, dirty fossil fuel technologies of the past. Along with global warming, mountaintop removal is an egregious example of the destructive impact of our addiction to coal. For years I've been saying, "I would RATHER have our mountains than this extremely environmentally damaging coal industry, I will do everything within my power to get  off of the grid and m...
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Renewable Energy and The Mouse That Roars Beats The Lazy Giant

According to the US Department of Energy: Wind energy today accounts for only 1 percent of the nation's electricity. A May report from the Energy Department concluded wind energy could generate 20 percent by 2030, with offshore sources accounting for nearly 20 percent of that. According to the Danish Wind Industry Association: The Danish energy plan, Energi21, from 1996 set up a target for 4,000 MW offshore wind power in 2030. These 4,000 MW are expected to produce 13.5 TWh per year equivalent to 40% of the Danish electricity consumption. Why is it that a country so small can best a countr...
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Water Table and Runoff

Several years ago in front of our place the county brought in some heavy equipment to clean the ditches that run alongside the road. They brought in backhoes, dump trucks and a grader. Being a man I just watched them - not thinking too much about it because I had to go to work shortly. A few days later as I was mowing the lawn (we were renting at the time and that was part of the agreement - personally I don't want a lawn) in the waning light of evening it struck me that what they do to maintain these roadside ditches is really environmentally unsound. There had been some grass growing a...
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Outdoor Skills: What I Learned While Taking a Wilderness Survival Class

This past spring I had taken a class that I have been wanting to take for some time, 'Wilderness Survival.' I was very excited that it was nearby and the instructor had a great deal of experience. The class was with Richard Cleveland, founder of Earth School: Nature Awareness and Self-Reliance, in western North Carolina. I made the 45 minute drive to the location of the class in the Smoky Mountains of western N.C. The morning was warm and sunny, perfect weather to participate in a class of this type. I had read everything on Richard's website and had spoken and emailed him several times bef...
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