Posts Tagged ‘ecology’

Knowledge Workers and Yahweh’s Patents

In 1993, management guru Peter Drucker wrote the Post-Capitalist Society. Every few decades, Drucker wrote, society “rearranges itself.” The transformation-in-progress Drucker identified, the creation of a “post-capitalist society,” was the subject of his book. He wasn’t prepared to make a final prediction about what the post-capitalist society would be like, but: The basic economic resource […]


The Happy Plight of the Obese Marmot and Other Tales

In our recent blog discussions, we’ve pointed out that wildlife, challenged by global warming, is moving to more northern latitudes, and when they can, further up the slopes of mountains. The species range-shift, as it is called by scientists, is occurring far more rapidly than originally projected. With the warming changes, migrations also hear a […]


Is the Navy Getting it Right this Time?

I was ten years old, walking down Fifth Street on my way home, in Superior, Wisconsin on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese Navy launched its surprise attack on the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A friend shouted the news to me from his porch. The attack, by 353 Japanese planes launched from […]


A lesson from the Sequoias – growing tall, straight, and strong …

One hundred fifty million years ago, give or take, giant Sequoias and Redwoods grew throughout the United States. By the turn of the 20th Century, Paul Bunyan’s friends had logged these giant trees nearly out of existence. In 1907, only a relatively few, small tracts of land north of San Francisco, California, with Sequoias and […]


Gone Fishin’ – Getting “Unplugged” in the Real World

The February 2011 issue of the Smithsonian includes an “Interview” with Jane McGonigal, a computer game developer from San Francisco. The theme of the interview is that computer games can make people smarter and help humanity. The games Ms. McGonigal develop take place in a virtual reality, but are designed to encourage players to action […]


Did the Wrong Cat Take Over the Swamp?

This is a tale about two big cats. Big cats are “territorial,” like nearly all other of our Creator’s creatures. Robert Ardrey, in his 1966 classic, The Territorial Imperative, defines “territory” as an area of space, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve. Most species defend territory only against animals […]


Disappearing Florida – Sunrise or Sunset?

There’s something special about our island, Tierra Verde, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Living here is like being on a perpetual vacation in one of Gaia’s most beautiful places. Centuries ago, when native Americans settled this part of the globe, and the seas were much lower (about 120 meters lower – see our blog Abrupt Change […]


Disappearing Florida – Squeeze on the Swamp

Deep in the bald cypress forest of the Corkscrew Swamp in South Florida is Lettuce Lake. Its surface is covered with a mat of soft green floating vegetation known as “water lettuce.” The water lettuce provides shelter for crayfish, small fish, small reptiles, and amphibians and provides food for turtles and a vast variety of […]


Disappearing Florida – The Invaders

One of the early blogs I posted on this site was posted after a Florida Naturalist field trip within the St. Martins’ Preserve. I had heard about “invasive species” of plants and animals, but what I heard went in one ear and out the other. After the November 2009 field trip, I wrote the blog, […]


Disappearing Florida – The Eagle Has Landed!

Not all of the environmental information coming from Florida is discouraging. We do have an ecological success story! Our National Emblem, the Bald Eagle. After almost 40 years of concerted conservation efforts, the Eagle Has Landed! The Bald Eagle is the only eagle that is unique to North America. About half of the Bald Eagles […]


Disappearing Florida – Salt of Our Earth

Florida’s beaches are fascinating. On its East Coast sandy beaches are shaped by the merciless pounding from the Atlantic’s waves. These beaches are “high energy” beaches. In contrast, on the West Coast from about Citrus County north, around the bend to Apalachicola Bay, the coastal wetlands are “low energy“ landforms, without the pounding waves and […]


Disappearing Florida – Birds of a Feather Disappear Together

There’s something special about wading birds, like the Herons and the Egrets (members of the same specie family). Elegant, graceful, poetic in flight. And then there’s their feathers. Ken Burns, in his National Park PBS series and DVD provides telling information about our fashionable ladies’ quest for Egret and Heron feathers for their bonnets around […]


Disappearing Florida – Sea Life, from Turtles to Coral Reefs

Sea Life and Coral[/caption] Florida has the richest concentration of reptiles, sea turtles and other amphibians of any state. Sea turtles can live to be a 100 years old. However, they have a weakness. They lay their eggs – 50-200 at a time – in nests dug among beach dunes, far inland from the waters […]


Disappearing Florida – Coastal Hammocks

Unlike most of the photos we’ve featured in our blog, the picture above has not been included for its beauty. The dead red cedars were once part of a thriving “island hammock” – a tree-filled bit of high ground protruding above the high-tide line on a coastal salt marsh; in this case, on the Withlacoochee […]


Disappearing Florida – the Florida Panther

In April 2010, we published a blog titled “Did the wrong Cat take over the swamp?“ Our story was about the destructive, encroaching pressures put on the Everglades by urban growth, resulting not only in the loss of some of Florida’s most pristine wilderness, but also of the habitat of the Florida Panther. We wrote: […]


Disappearing Florida – the Brown Pelican

Living on a Florida coastal island, as we do, it’s hard to image that the Brown Pelican is an endangered specie. These awkward looking waterbirds, with wing spans up to seven feet, yellow heads, brown bodies, and suitcase-like beaks were nearly wiped out in the early 1900s by Gulf fishermen who slaughtered them, claiming they […]


Abrupt Change. The Legend of the Dreamcatcher. It’s a Bug’s Life!

On September 8, 2010, I was a guest on the web station, BBS 1 Radio, Conversations with Mary Keene. The conversation was about living through crisis, based on my 1991 book, Crash Landing – Surviving a Business Crisis. The conversation was recorded for your listening. The book is about lessons learned during the early 1980s, […]


Some “Bugs” that “Bear” Fixing

The winter of 2010 is going to be a tough winter for the bears in Yellowstone – and for a number of the Park’s visitors. There’s a shortage of whitebark pine cones, a favorite bear food. Bears like to load up on the pine cones before they hibernate for the long winter. But in recent […]


Rosy Fingers of Dawn on a Fragile Day

According to ancient Greek legend, each morning Eos, the goddess of dawn, rose from her home at the edge of Oceanus, the ocean that surrounds the world, to herald her brother Helios, the sun. Homer’s Iliad immortalized the legend by opening each epic, unspoiled day by a gentle turn from Eos’s rosy fingers of dawn. […]


“HDR” – high dynamic range imaging – captures the “complete” picture, but maybe not in Lake Wobegon!

One of the great features of digital photography is its ability to overcome the narrow visual range or latitude of film. Our eyes can take in an almost infinite range of shades from black to white, but film can not. In the pre-digital days, I loved Kodachrome slide film, rich with reds and yellows. But […]


A Visit to Eden, A Thought from Thoreau – and a Lesson for the Photographer

After a visit to our April 2010 blog, “Did the Wrong CAT take Over the Swamp?” Peter, a good friend and fellow photographer, asked me, “Are you a Photographer turned Planeteer, or a Planeteer turned Photographer?” I chuckled, “I’m a Photographer turned Planeteer!” Peter responded. “Thought so!” It wasn’t long after that quick exchange that […]


A Growing "Photo Op"!

Deserts are fascinating places for photographers. Deserts are filled with geometry – lines and curves, shaped by shadows and sweeping mountains of sand interspersed with dead trees and empty riverbeds, populated by unusual wildlife. Early on, as I developed my interest in photography, I bought a Brett Weston desert landscape, “Dune California.” In the mid […]


Did the Wrong “Cat“ Take Over the Swamp?

This is a tale about two big cats. Big cats are “territorial,” like nearly all other of our Creator’s creatures. Robert Ardrey, in his 1966 classic, The Territorial Imperative, defines “territory” as an area of space, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve. Most species defend territory only against animals […]


What Happens When the Well Runs Dry?

It’s so easy for us in the United States to get a glass of water. It’s free at restaurants. At home or in the park, we simply turn on the spigot, and refresh ourselves. But most of our Gaia neighbors don’t have it so easy. The single biggest cause of premature death on our globe […]