Death of a wild parrot

Edgewater, New Jersey is home to a boisterous flock of wild Quaker parrots.  Unfortunately, for those birds and their human neighbors, it’s also the site of some of the worst industrial poisoning in the United States.

A heartbreaking story and warning from the wonderful

The poisons that we place in our world will last for centuries. The species that we are extincting won’t come back. Humans will eventually wake up to the fact that lead, and uncountable other poisons in the air and water, are slowly and silently killing us. This will only occur once people begin to topple and fall, palsied, like my little green friend, unable to even raise themselves to eat.

My little green departed friend was one of those “canaries in the coal mine” and I really hoped he would make it. His death will only be marked here. Nobody, including the media, and especially the politicians, whose livelihoods are supported by the commercial poisoners, will make a peep about it. He will have died in vain, as so many of us do.

Here’s a related story from SierraActivists about the glacial pace of Superfund clean-ups in New Jersey. The post is a few months old, admittedly, but at the rate these projects are progressing, it’s likely still largely accurate. A September 8 NYTimes blurb listed 3 new Superfund sites added in New Jersey, which now has 115 sites, more than any other state.

More about the wild parrots of Edgewater.

“Fundamental to life” – Special showing of The Unforeseen

If you’re anywhere in the Central Texas area on October 27 or 28, you definitely don’t want to miss this:

The Corral Theatre in Wimberley, Texas, is having a sneak preview of award-winning Austin director Laura Dunn’s new film, “The Unforeseen,” on October 27 and 28

Sponsoring the film is the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association. Tickets for the Saturday screening, which features Dunn in a Q&A session, are $20. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Hays County Community Action Network. Tickets for the Sunday show are $5. The theater opens at 6:30p.m., and the film starts at 7:30 p.m. Movie goers may need to bring a sweater and lawn chair for this special screening.

The late Governor Ann Richards in The Unforeseen. “I don’t know what the technology is going to be that saves them.”

On a related note, Ruth tackles the same issue over at Cab Drollery

Canyon Gorge update

My stat counter tells me some of you may have seen the news that Canyon Lake Gorge will now be open to the public. If you are in the area and can get into one of these tours, trust me, it will blow your mind.

A rare opportunity to see the results of a natural “big bang,” a geologic feature that was created in the space of three days.

New canyongorgeorg (say it fast three times) website.

Friday Meleagris gallopavo blogging



I spent a lovely morning yesterday at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center with my naturalist class.


One of the women who’s helped teach the class works here, as a seed collector. One of her jobs is collecting seeds for the Millenium Seed Project at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

It’s a wondeful, humbling thing to know there are people out there working on projects like this. And it is a lot of work. Individuals traveling to find the plants, collecting the seeds by hand, transporting them,  cleaning and drying them, documenting every detail about where they came from, safely packaging and shipping them around the world for safekeeping.

We have a winner!


Ed from over at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, along with “Kathryn the horticulturist” have correctly ID’d my mystery plant as Allowissadula holosericea, (Chisos Mountain false Indianmallow, Chisos Mtn. False Indian-mallow, Velvet-leaf Mallow.)

More here from Lady Bird.

And their reward? Another photo, my favorite actually. Even though it doesn’t show the open blossom, I like the composition.

Smarty Pants! Yeah, you. Need your help.

I feel Teh Stupit but I can’t find out what kind of plant this is. I’m not finding it in my Texas field guides. Any help would be appreciated. I thought it was St. John’s Wort but the leaves don’t match. It seems to begun blooming fairly recently, meaning in the summer as opposed to the spring wildflower season. I haven’t seen any on roadsides but rather in heavily wooded areas, here in Hays County. Plants are about 24-40 inches high, leaves velvety and slightly aromatic.

Learn me, please.

unknown yellow flower

second yaller flr