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Naturalist Notebook 2021

Using natives in a home landscape

As a naturalist and lover of natural landscapes, I am always seeking ways of making my home landscape look its best while using native plantings. It all started 15 years ago when building my house. I was determined to stick with a non-traditional landscape around the foundation of the structure. After all, the house was in a particularly beautiful natural setting so why not use that to showcase native plantings. I wanted a front entry that would be an extension of the prairie that I seeded...
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Three astounding benefits of creating art from data

I have a confession to make. I am a data nerd. I love a good spreadsheet, seeing all those numbers (data points) neatly arrayed. But I am also an artist. And at first glance those two would seem to be incompatible. But they are not. Data can be the inspiration for art. Don’t think so? Hear me out. Picture bar graphs, pie charts and infographics. (Who doesn’t love a good pie chart?) All of these are visual ways to convey data, often making it easier for the reader to comprehend the information...
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Every fall, I engage in the ritual of scouring the various woodlots on my property to remove invasive honeysuckle. Fortunately, now after several years of doing this, most of the plants I have to remove are small.  Now it's just like weeding a garden. This past October, as I was out “weeding” the woods I happened to notice a small clump of unusual woody stems. Looking up I saw distinctive rosy-pink fruit hanging from the upper branches. Since there were no leaves left on the tree, I brought a...
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