I am a freelance, nonfiction writer who cares about the environment, individuality, creative expression, and simplicity. I'm glad you've found my blog, and I hope you'll join in the conversation by leaving a comment. Disagreements are allowed, even encouraged, but cruelty, vulgarity, and slander is not.

When the Lights Make You Dizzy

April 26th, 2013

"It's like the 1900s all over again," said Phil Jones, green building expert.

He was talking about lighting. Buying a light bulb hasn't come with so much uncertainty since the development of the incandescent market. Over time, the only significant additions to our options were the halogen and the fluorescent tube. Today, the options have grown, options themselves that are the midst of rapid improvement. While that has done wonders for energy efficiency, it presents a problem for consumers. Visit any store lighting section, and you'll find a ton of choices with little explanation as to what those choices mean.

The benefit -- and the confusion -- is even greater for commercial applications, because it usually takes a lot of lights to illuminate commercial space.

Meanwhile, it is in your interest to dig in and move forward. Not only do today's bulbs last significantly longer and use less energy than the old ones, LEDs don't produce heat. That equates to lower air conditioning bills, allows for better insulation around fixtures, and more.

Business or residential, here is a little advice:

Learn a New Language
Where we once bought bulbs based on watts, we must now buy according to lumens. Click here to learn why.

Where we once bought just a bulb, we must now choose between:

• Incandescent - electrical current heats a wire until it glows which is inside gas that is trapped inside a glass bulb. (Government standards are pushing us away from these, but the incandescent bulb has not been outlawed.)

• Halogen - an incandescent that uses halogen gas to increase output and life.

• Fluorescent - electrical current charges argon gas and mercury inside a tube. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are smaller tubes, curled into a compact bulb.

• Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) - a semiconducting chip emits light when voltage is applied. Multiple colors and wavelengths can be achieved.

Application Matters
Since LEDs don't emit heat, they don't melt snow. Since CFLs rely on heat to work, many do not work well outside at low temperatures. Since bulbs in either category vary greatly in brightness and color, each bulb must be matched to its intended purpose.

For these reasons and more, you must consider what you want the bulb to do before you shop (task, security, ambient, or accent lighting). Color comes into play here, too. Rated low-to-high on the kelvin (K) scale, low numbers are warm and relaxing while high ones are cool and energizing. (This link is about auto headlights, but starts with a decent explanation and simple rendering of the kelvin scale.)

Add in Controls
On a different shelf are lighting controls, which also play a role in convenience and efficiency. A motion control turns bathroom lights on when occupied. Dimmers with sensors lower output based on daylight. Timers remember to turn outside lights off after the party ends. You can hire an electrician to ensure you are not putting a low-voltage application onto a high-voltage feed and that the chosen control matches the intended bulb.

Consider Big-Picture Costs
Sticker shock can accompany the dizzying array of choices. Still, avoid cheap bulbs, plain and simple. Poor CFLs will take forever to reach full brightness. You wont get the same efficiency and longevity with the low-priced version of any variety. Look for the Energy Star label, but avoid the one that says, "Energy Star Partner." Also, remember to consider the reduced utility bill and the reduced number of bulbs you'll need to buy when upgrading. Fewer maintenance hours are needed, too, for applications such as in commercial parking lots, where changing a bulb is no small task. The good news is prices are predicted to come down, especially on LEDs, as the market and the technology increases.

Don't Forget About the Sun
One of my favorite things about working from home is that I don't have to turn on any lights if I don't want to. My desk is positioned near a window, and there are only a few days when I need additional light. Nature's lighting is better than artificial for my mood, health, and eyes. Sunlight offers the best electric-bill savings because the most efficient light bulb is the one turned off.

Hire Help
While we're on the subject of efficiency, Pennsylvania's electricity suppliers are rolling out the latest batch of upgrade incentives, due June 1st, subjecting you to even more energy-saving options. Tune in to your supplier for more info. I expect that many will offer rebates and discounts for what's called a home or commercial energy audit. An audit is the best place to start if you want to know about the efficiency of your entire building. An auditing professional will look at your situation and turn his or her knowledge into targeted advice. Home audits cost a few hundred dollars before rebates. Commercial audits are usually priced according to square footage. The audit will reveal much more than lighting inefficiencies; it will consider heating, air conditioning, electrical hot spots, and any other large power drain on your bill. With incentives come scams, so be very careful about whom you hire. Make sure they are credentialed by a reputable engineering or contractor association. Look for an affiliation with a green building council, etc. If you only want a lighting evaluation, hire an electrical contractor to give you an upgrade estimate (often for free). In either case, don't forget to ask them which bulb you should buy for every kind of light in your home.

I keep hearing media references to the fact that our energy-supply problems will not be solved simply by "changing a few light bulbs." But according to the Department of Energy, lighting makes up about 12% of our energy consumption and sometimes 40% of a commercial bill. So while we still have to tackle big issues such as transportation and heating, we can at least learn how to take advantage of today's lighting advancements without passing out from confusion.

by Ruth Heil


Still not satisfied? Click here for a comprehensive light bulb FAQ


  • To get to this blog's home page, click the Back to Basics heading at the top.
  • To share this or any post, click the headline, copy the URL, and paste it into an email.
  • To learn more about the author or signup for her mailing list, visit her Website.

Celebrate Through Learning

April 19th, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013 is officially Earth Day, and many of us will be celebrating the occasion this weekend. (I'll be picking litter out of the local stream on Saturday.) Our planet home certainly is something worth honoring.

It's been more than 40 years since the holiday's creation. Time has a way of graying out a purpose, and although there is no lack of participation in this event, it's helpful to understand the day's history in order to get the most from celebratory good intentions.

I briefly summarize the holiday's purpose in a piece I wrote for Lehigh Valley Marketplace. You can read it here.

The article goes on to talk about an issue pertinent to the valley region. Depending on where you live, environmental concerns might be related to something else, such as drought instead of flood. Whatever they are, the point is Earth Day is THE day to learn more about them. Or, if you are an educator, to teach more about them, to adults as well as children, the public as well as students. Strive to understand more about whatever Earth-related topic interests you, whether it be science, geography, history, politics, etc.

Misinformation and ignorance is nothing new, although it may feel as if we're drowning in it now more than ever. The truth is, we've come a long way. The cloud coming out of today's smokestack is far cleaner than what people had to contend with in the 1970s. But that's not to say we can relax and put our feet up, because the unscrupulous smokestack owners still have toxins to dispose of. They're just a lot more clever about bending the rules, rules put in place in part because of Earth Day. The more we arm ourselves with the truthful knowledge, the quicker we can identify such wrongdoings (and right doings) when we see them.

Meanwhile, celebrate! And do so knowing your actions are part of something big, really big ... like planet-sized big. And in the spirit of the day's original purpose, learn and/or teach, to stamp out that which the polluters love most: misinformation and ignorance.


  • To get to this blog's home page, click the Back to Basics heading at the top.
  • To share this or any post, click the headline, copy the URL, and paste it into an email.
  • To learn more about the author or signup for her mailing list, visit her Website.

A Short Story About Daily Life

April 12th, 2013

It takes a second for the numbers on the dashboard to register: 2:28.

“What happened? Inside, only moments ago, it was 2:15.” The sense of lateness intensifies as the tires roll down the driveway. Out the lane, 1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd. “How far is it exactly?” Each intersection, the long curves, the short straightaways, every point along the route flashes through my mind so I can calculate as the gas pedal crushes the floor.

“I sure do know how to move this old Honda when I want to, but I’m mature now; I know how bad it is to be driving this fast.” I hate to be late. “These people have appointments to keep, a full schedule I’m sure. One late patient can throw an entire day’s plan out of whack, and there’s no excuse for me right now.”

That thought got explanatory scenarios running through my mind: school buses, dilly dalliers, a dump truck, car trouble, wrong turn, construction, or job issue. I want to be ready to explain myself, but lying isn’t any better than being late.

“Focus. Where am I going? Why am I on route 29? I want to be over THERE.” I turn around in as-seen-on-tv fashion, showering the dirt parking lot with dust.

“OK, Ruth. No more of that.” I subtract three minutes from the numbers, knowing the clock is intentionally cushioned. “I think I can make it. Just don’t look at the speedometer; keep your eyes on the road.”

“Please tell me she is going straight ... dammit.” The unhurried driver gets in front of me at the fourway stop. “She’s either lost or drunk. Lady, would you PLEASE at least do the speed limit!” It’s never pleasant to hear yourself screaming. Before she turns off my route, I try to be grateful for being forced to slow down. “Maybe she saved me from a crash.”

A golfers’ cross walk sign appears. “Avoid mauling down happy people at leisure on a sunny day just because I can’t manage my time.” 1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd, a curve, downshift, stop. “Can I ever just open it up around here?”

Turning around one more time before reaching the office -- a misjudged shortcut -- adds precious seconds to my condition. “Well, I could tell the receptionist I was here on time but had to sit in this left-hand turn lane until a break in traffic let me pull into the entrance.” Gunning it across two lanes, I must brake quickly for the guy with the cane walking around the parking lot. 2:49 on my 3-minute-fast clock, I glide into an open space. With years of practice, I release the key, grab my purse, hit the lock, and slide off the seat with impeccable efficiency. “I’m here.”

Half jogging to the door, I pause for a composing breath before entering. One millisecond later, I discover a nagging fear is true: the waiting room is stacked, and I have no doubt they are all there for the same guy. Glass slides open with a rumble. “Ruth Heil for a 2:45,” I announce. The receptionist takes my copay and asks me to sit and wait.

2:49 becomes 3:00. 3:00 becomes 3:15. Like two weeks ago, I sit and I wait. At least this time I have pen and paper so I can write down this account to entertain myself.

The old man with the cane shuffles in to grumble about the office door being hard to find and sits among the crowd. It obviously didn’t matter how slowly he raced here either. Another redundant scene in my life has unfolded: rushing to meet my engagements for no reason at all.

3:15 becomes 3:30.

“Ruth.” the nurse calls, hugging her clipboard.

I know the wait is far from over; I’m only in the exam room. In preparation for the second leg of this tour, I take a seat and stare at the poster on the wall. “Sun damage can have serious consequences,” it says. “So too could rushing to get here,” I respond to no one.

3:46, a knock and the door opens.

“Sorry to make you wait, we got behind and we can’t seem to get caught up today,” he says.

“That is EXACTLY what he said two weeks ago. Exactly. Same inflection, cadence, and sincerity.” My trust in him fades.

He continues, “The biopsy report is back, and it’s good news. However, we should keep an eye on things. I'd like to see you every year.”

3:51, the old man is still watching the waiting room floor, and I’m back in my car. I check carefully behind me, back out of the spot, and think about another practice in the area. Still, I drive home calmly, enjoying the sunny day and the favorable report.

A few miles into my journey, up from behind me races a work van, hugging my bumper, its operator in a serious hurry.

I mutter to my rear view mirror, “Idiot.”


  • To get to this blog's home page, click the Back to Basics heading at the top.
  • To share this or any post, click the headline, copy the URL, and paste it into an email.
  • To learn more about the author or signup for her mailing list, visit her Website.

Change the message to change the world.

April 5th, 2013

You may say I'm living in a dream cloud, but I'm convinced American attitudes have changed. The conversation has restarted. People are talking about Nature as something to be treated with respect, not just from the soapbox in front of City Hall, but at the family dinner table, the company water cooler, and -- even more exciting -- the elementary-school bus stop. In spite of this, many refuse to change their perspective about their fellow citizens, their neighbors, or their society as a whole.

I know it's not easy.

It's darn hard to open the eyes of the world to the natural wonders around us. Many have tried for such a long time they don't trust society's new found appreciation. It wasn't long ago when speaking up in favor of conservation was considered lame, a task for hippies and granola eaters.

Those who took on the task did so because they were either really brave or completely indifferent to the name calling or the "outcast" label. They stated their opinions about clean air, water, and soil in the same way a kid declares his love for pizza. They revealed the senselessness of the progress-at-any-cost actions going on around them, even after fun was poked and names were slung, even when pegged as simpletons speaking out against the geniuses' approach that money was better than health because money could buy anything you ever needed.

I sympathize fully. Every spotlight on the importance of Nature seemingly overshadowed by a quest for financial gain. You can go back more than 100 years to find essays of the pain from watching society brutalize the pristine woods, dam the flowing waters, and clog the fresh air. It hurts. And it's been hurting for a long, long time.

I too have doubts about the buzz words such as sustainability, green, organic, and ecofriendly. There are plenty of folks who are buzzing right along with them, just following the herd in the same way they grabbed up Cabbage Patch Kids and Ugg® boots. I too must quiet the cynicism that creeps inside my own mind.

But now, as the tides have turned and the geniuses are forced to listen to the simpletons, it is the polluter and exploiter who have become the outcasts. Bravery or indifference no longer applies. One can speak passionately in favor of conservation without the stigma which existed jut a few years ago. But instead of capitalizing on this, too many are unwilling to make a fresh start.

Why we must try

You probably know the conversation:

"Hey Sally, I just heard about this exciting new product that is so energy efficient and won't harm the environment."

"That's great, Bill. Innovation from back-to-basics thinking, I love it!"

Then the creeper chimes in, "Yah, their advertisements are just a bunch of marketing babble. Go Green, like we're frogs or something. I don't trust them one iota. There's no proof that they care about anything other making money. Corporation and capitalism is about greed and nothing more."

There it is: distrust pollution. A positive tone ruined with negative reminders of the hurdles of the past. It's as if someone needs to point out that Adolf Hitler was a lunatic every time the subject of peace comes up. However valid the observation, it does nothing but stir up feelings of guilt, sadness, and frustration and gives power to a minority voice that was much too loud, none of which has any value in the creation of a new and promising future, the likes of which were the original topic of conversation.

Like a cucumber left in the garden too long, bitterness has set in. If left on the vine, the overripe thing will cause the entire plant to stop producing, letting one bitter bloom ruin the harvest. It's time to let it go.

This is not to suggest we should leave our guard down, that we should ignore those who are stupid enough to exploit Nature for profit any more than we should refrain from calling out a crazed, genocidal maniac when we see one. What I am suggesting is that we bite our cynical tongues, we yank out the hopeless cucumber plant, and we germinate fresh seeds. If we want change, we must layoff the learned assumptions from the past. Just as it's unfair to say all men with tiny mustaches are evil, there is no benefit in expecting that all corporate leaders of successful companies are greedy or every mansion owner prefers a cement pond to a pristine lake. Because if we do, if we continue to cling on to these feelings, we become embroiled in a search for enemies when what we really need is allies.

For 100 years people have written about their cherished, miraculous interactions with the world outside. There are millions of people who recognize the preciousness of Nature, and they see that Nature on earth is limited and therefore can be destroyed. As a writer who supports these caring people, I am continuously renewed by the fact that so many exist. They may not wear a badge on their lapel, defining them as environmentalists, but they know how special it is to be able to walk outside, breathe clean air, hear a bird's song, and see the natural masterpiece.

I still believe, all along, there were and are more cognizant people than blind ones. Long before green described anything more than a color, varying shades of environmentalists were in our midst -- grandmothers planting gardens with granddaughters; grandfathers going fishing with grandsons; shy naturists saying nothing at all. They cared, if for no other reason than because of the pesky little fact that we are nothing without a healthy planet to live on, and it took neither a simpleton nor a genius to figure that out.

Regardless, every person has an equal place here, each one dealt only one token, one round of play in life's game. During our time, the choices are constant and relentless. The perspective choice is entirely yours.

A question to ask yourself

I know a guy who greets every stranger as if he trusts they are someone he's going to like. People react to him favorably. He gives the benefit of the doubt, and most take advantage by letting their bright qualities shine. It's as if they want to be the best they can be in order to remain in his favor.

Another guy I know greets every stranger as if he assumes they are someone he's not going to like. People respond to him cautiously, sensing his distrust. They hold back their brightest qualities because they are unwilling to be open with someone like him, with his prove-to-me-why-I-should-like-you attitude. Most have no interest in being in his favor, not just because that's impossible, it's valueless.

So ask yourself, given your limited time and your unlimited passion in this wonderful world, which guy do you want to be?

Two examples of liter found on the banks of the Delaware River: fireworks trash and a rock structure (in back). Which one would you prefer to leave behind?

  • To get to this blog's home page, click the Back to Basics heading at the top.
  • To share this or any post, click the headline, copy the URL, and paste it into an email.
  • To learn more about the author or signup for her mailing list, visit her Website.

Can you see the forest through the deer?

March 22nd, 2013

Note: Unlike last week, this is a long post. However, if you've encountered an overabundance of deer in your neighborhood, it's one you will want to read.

To hear piano music while listening, click here. The song will open in a new window. Song Title: Anthem of My Heart; Composer: Robin Spielberg*; Pianist: Ruth Heil

Like all the years before, I once again learned a lot at this year's Watershed Congress Along the Schuylkill River, an annual environmental conference where the health of the ecosystem is the buzz. One presentation in particular addressed a popular concern: how do we contend with all these deer?

Drew Gilchrist's presentation was called, "The Deer Factor – Strategies for Successful Restoration Projects in Bambi-land." Having previously worked for a local organization called Natural Lands Trust, and now serving as a regional adviser for southeast Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, he's passionate about land conservation and environmental stewardship. He's also a habitat gardener, meaning instead of planting for flowers or vegetables, he plants for life (mammals, reptiles, insects, etc.). His presentation tied together his 30 years of work experience with his trial-and-error homeowner hobby. The room didn't have enough seats to accommodate all the people who wanted to hear Drew's observations of the ever-loved and ever-hated white-tailed deer.

For those who don't know it, 140 lb. mammals are eating and rubbing their way through our backyards, woods, and fields, seriously destroying the diversity of the plant life, carrying Lyme-disease-ridden ticks along with them. Sometimes they gnaw the plants to ground; other times they just nip the buds, making it impossible for the plant to flower and reproduce. The males use the surviving trees as communication signposts, rubbing and scraping their antlers into the bark, often inflicting harm the tree cannot overcome. Like humans, it could be said that there are just too many deer for the environment to withstand. Some predict the population will crash under its own weight, but whether or not that happens, their overabundance is consequential.


Seventeen years ago, my husband and I chose to buy the house we did because it came with a little bit of woods. The variety of trees and plants made it almost magical. Mayflowers, dogwoods...

redbud, anemone, trillium...

bloodroot, sassafras, jack-in-the-pulpit,

hickory, walnut, phlox.

Eventually, we went from rarely seeing a deer to nearly tripping over a tiny fawn in the backyard or waiting for a big doe to step aside and let us bring the car into the driveway.

First they frolicked.

Now, the only thing that can survive beyond a few weeks of sprouting are the plants the deer don't like: multiflora rose, barberry, and some choking vine I've yet to identify.

Then they nibbled.

So what happened?

I've heard lots of observations from frustrated folks who have either crashed into a deer on the road or lost their latest flowerbed to its stomach. "We built houses in their territory; where else are they supposed to go?" "They live here because they like our flowers." "They stay here because they are safe from natural predators." These are things I'd hear every time the subject came up, observations that didn't seem wrong but didn't feel totally right either.

We watched them grow.

Adorable as these photos may be, before I go any further, I'm going to come right out and say it: I would hunt if I knew how to do it. I eat meat, and I respect the man or woman who has met and given thanks to the animal he or she eats. I'm a quiet advocate for the organizations that support respectful hunting, and I am in their debt for the game and gamelands they work so hard to protect and conserve. I hike on those lands and watch the wildlife when I'm there. I wish more young people would follow their parents into the woods to sit still for hours and learn about the cycle of life.

Worried that my answer is to shoot all the deer? It's not, but I do value the traditional-hunters' opinion.

In Valley Forge National Park just a few miles from here, sharp shooters were hired to cull the population against ardent opposition from animal-rights groups and the like. Reports said they donated nine tons of deer meat to food banks in the first year alone. Snipers are not my kind of hunters, but something had to be done to safely remedy a desperate situation in a high-profile, heavily used, deer-flooded area, not just for the plants but also for the diseases related to Lyme and starvation. Did I support the hunt? Let's just say I wasn't one of the people trying to stop it.

Valley Forge National Park

Meanwhile last fall, while having lunch at the local bar, I heard a classic conversation that went something like this:

"So Ralph, did you get out hunting yet this year?"

"Yah, four of us went up to Potter County. One of us got a deer after six full days. There's nothing up there! My son won't go with me either, 'cause he knows it's a waste of time."

No deer in the woods. You hear it time and again. The game commission gets riddled with complaints from hunters who demand something be done to populate their hunting grounds with targets. We can't get rid of 'em; they can't find 'em. Why?

In fall here, they don't disappear; they just fade into the background.

The answer, as Drew called it, is edge habitat. Edge habitat occurs wherever the woods meets anything else but more woods. Cut a slice of woods away for a road, pipeline, house, yard, parking lot, or ball field and the effects will reach 300 feet into the remaining shade, effectively turning every edge into a kind of habitat that is far different from the interior characteristics that were once there.

Try to imagine 300 feet if you can. My entire one-and-one-third-acre property is only 200 feet deep at its longest line. Can you picture a place where the woodland is at least 300 feet from any one edge? Depending on where you live, it's tough land to find. And if it's there, it's probably isolated, like an island floating in an ocean of concrete and field, reducing its value as interior real estate.

Plant and animal species that live on the edge are typically generalists. They can survive on a variety of foods, and they can find shelter in a variety of spots. Meanwhile, the species that live in the interior are typically specialists. They have specific needs for food, shelter, or reproduction, and those critical ingredients need to be left alone, undisturbed, in order to persist.

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (where I live) is overflowing with edge habitat. The remnants of William Penn's woods, it's now an urban forest. We still have lots of trees, but they're in between houses, roads, yards, fields, and parking lots. Potter County, meanwhile, is filled with interior habitat, the quiet and unpopulated kind of place where a father would take his son to learn how to hunt.

White-tailed deer like edge habitat. They like the buds, stems, and leaves of the shrubs that grow there, and they like to move in and out from under the trees. They find safety in the brush-stage forest found there, whether the clearing was the result of man or nature.

Edge habitat is where Drew lives ... and tries to garden.

Having taken a few approaches to the deer problem, Drew has contended that we might as well learn to live with them. We can hunt, repel, feed, inoculate, sterilize, or just plain curse, but the deer population will keep exploding alongside us because they like the habitat we create. This is regardless of what we put in our flowerbeds, despite the presence or lack of predators, and irrelevant to how much real estate exists elsewhere in places like Potter County.

Meanwhile, Drew knows how important diverse plant life is to the ecosystem as a whole. Countless other species are dependent on that which the deer are eradicating. Thus he suggests we keep planting, but plant accordingly. To coexist we can select (and take measures to establish) varieties the deer don't favor.

Here are a few things Drew suggested:

  • Lists and suggestions for deer-resistant, native plants are available online, but patience in determining ultimate selection is required. Different deer have different tastes and therefore what works at one house will not work at another. Trial, error, and vigilance cannot be bypassed.
  • New plants of all varieties should be protected with barriers or repellents for the first year or more so they can get established, because deer will sample and thus destroy anything new.
  • Timing can matter as much as taste. Some days deer will chomp on a bush they'd otherwise leave untouched, such as when the winter advances and hunger grows. Pay attention and guard accordingly.
  • With the right timing, we can employ the deer to do the pruning, letting them devour any shrubs or perennials that respond with vigor to harsh cutting-back.

Difficult to photograph, this is my garden fence in July (milkweed stands in the background). Inside the fence (right) I left room for wildflowers. Outside the fence (left) are the same coneflowers, which some will tell you deer don't like. I've done no maintenance in or out; the only difference is deer access. You can see the result.

Still, I'm sad for all that is no longer growing in these woods. When you walk here, you can sense the old trees -- the ones who grew up before the deer moved in -- are also missing the new growth, the regeneration, the loss of offspring, the understory friendship. It's too small an area to hunt, and besides, my neighbors would not approve. It's too big an area to envelop with a fence, and I don't want to block passage for all anyway. With each year that passes without new seedlings, I find myself cherishing the unspoiled woodland interior more than ever before (a topic for a future post).

Living on the edge is just one chapter in a saga that is America's deer story. I'm still uncertain why the deer moved into my yard, since the area remains fairly the same as it was 17 years ago. There is much more to the problem than just this part, with some interests writing their own versions and players improvising their own lines. However, this chapter comes at the beginning of the book; it's not some new wild discovery, it's an old fact, one written as the species evolved.

I went to the conference in part to learn, in part to mingle, and in part to be reminded of such truths. Many who attended Drew's session were looking for ways to keep the deer from destroying their latest, riverbank-stabilization projects or freshly designed, community tree plantings. Like other sessions at the Congress, old facts were combined with new techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the best way to live in our environment.

I don't expect you to be willing to spend a sunny Saturday stuck inside a classroom, but if you're going to act, if your going to demand that others act, you should at least be willing to first ask questions and seek the scientific truths. Not only will you benefit after the results are better aligned with your intentions, our environment will benefit when your actions are better aligned with natural law. This is true whether you're talking about the deer population problem, your home's landscape (last week's post), or the globe's climate.

I will continue to curse the deer and chase them away from my garden. However, I will also recognize my role in the conditions. I will do my best to return new life to my little plot, life effected so that I may live where I prefer. And when in doubt, I will step aside, put my trust in Nature, and let her do her job, a job she does better than I ever could, sustaining life for all on a tiny rock called Earth, filled with oddities and surprises and secrets and -- in my neighborhood -- a whole bunch of deer.

*Musical note: "Anthem of My Heart" sheet music is available for purchase via Robin's site.

  • To get to this blog's home page, click the Back to Basics heading at the top.
  • To share this or any post, click the headline, copy the URL, and paste it into an email.
  • To learn more about the author or signup for her mailing list, visit her Website.