The Amazing Monarch: A Movie

Shot mostly in our backyard, here’s a little movie about the amazing Monarch Butterfly, why you should care, and what you can do save it from extinction.

Photos: Charles V Takes A Trek

Caught this late-season Monarch caterpillar as he wandered along our retaining wall,  into the brush, making his pilgrimage to his final transformation…Of course Sian named him “Charles”.

SDAT_120614-30For reasons no one really knows, Monarch caterpillars often travel fairly vast distances away from the milkweed to pupate. Charles here was about 10 feet from the milkweed plant he had been feeding and living on.

SDAT_120614-37Late season Monarch caterpillars are often darker than their summer kin. The increased width of the black bands allows them to absorb more heat as days get colder and shorter.

SDAT_120614-70This Charles survived last week’s storm and dips into the 40’s, but  his journey is just getting started. Later, Charles.

Two Killer Tweets From Thomas Rainer That Could Change The World For Better

On The Theory of Natural Selection As It Pertains to My 10 Month Old Daughter

Two Great Thinkers: Alfred Russel Wallace, and my kid, Aniko J Newsom
Two Great Thinkers: Alfred Russel Wallace, and my kid, Aniko J Newsom

My wife recently returned from a pre-school presentation thrown by a local “mommies group”. Here in LA, as in most other places in the USA, one is expected to begin panicking about school immediately after your kid parts ways from her placenta. I get it. Now that 1% percent of the population has successfully procured most of the booty, its kill or be killed at the waterhole. But man, even lion cubs spend a LOT of time messing around, chasing flies, scaring dogs; you know, kid stuff. When do our kids get to wander in the woods, turn over rocks, and chase frogs along creek banks and lie on their back, staring at clouds? Since when  did we adopt the imperative to fast-track toddlers toward their degree? Don’t all kids need time to wander? Were it not for wanderers, who would have brought us the theory of natural selection? Darwin? No! Well, not entirely…

Continue reading On The Theory of Natural Selection As It Pertains to My 10 Month Old Daughter

InHabit Interview: Rainwater Gardens for New York City?

Los Angeles, Please Take Note:

New York’s radical greening is becoming world famous, from the High Line to an overall, pollinator-friendly park’s initiative that is making all 5 boroughs more beautiful and more environmentally sound.  Taking environmentally smart design to a whole new level, here’s an interview @ InHabit.Com with Ate Atema Architects about a bio-design idea  that could radically impact water quality, CO2 emissions, and biodiversity, all in one, not-so-simple but very elegant living machine for the people of New York City.

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Agriculture, Pesticide Choices, and Path Dependency

Are You Eating Plastic? …From National Geographic

A very smart, very compelling short from National Geographic, on the impact of plastic on our oceans, our planet, and ourselves.

PLAY THE LA RIVER- The Game

Who’s In? This is a pretty cool way to explore-  and create – the LA  River.  As described by it’s creators:

Play the LA River is a come-one-come-all project by the arts collective Project 51 that invites Angelenos to enjoy, explore, reclaim & reimagine the mighty LA River as a grand civic space that can green & connect our communities.

Play The LA River will be running from Sept 2014- Sept 2015

Plan Bee: New Measures to Protect Pollinators in Europe

Honeybees and other pollinating insects have been in decline for decades.  Image: BBC News.
Honeybees and other pollinating insects have been in decline for decades. Image: BBC News.

Spend 15 minutes researching global pollinator decline and the ensuing economic impact, and I think you’ll agree the Red States and Blue States are all facing a staggering economic tsunami if we don’t take a tip from the UK, fast. So, dig: Inspiring move by the British government in the BBC News today. Thanks, in no small part to the efforts of the good people at Friends of The Earth and an organization called BUGLIFE, the UK has passed a $900 million dollar, 10 year strategy to increase pollinator habitat in the UK. Interestingly, Europe is way ahead of the US on this issue, and is taking big strides to help, that’s right, bugs, knowing that pollinators are responsible for $207 billion in agriculture, world-wide, annually. That’s something our Republican majority, those protectors of the heartland, should see as a real throwdown. Let’s get ‘er done, boys and girls!

Read about it here:

Plan Bee: New Measures to Protect Pollinators

The Hard Knocks And Fleeting Victories of Raising a Kid, Growing a Garden And Plotting The Future.

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