Category: Nature


While I continue to recover my health, please enjoy these baby hummingbirds!

Thanks to Care2.com

Stream videos at Ustream

Check out this week’s issue of The Free Weekly for a concept design of one acre for Making Ripples!

Ryan & I have been thinking hard since August 2011 about how to make the most ripples on a small piece of land.  There are so many wonders to be created on just one acre for Ripples, if it’s healthy, protected and sustainable: native pollinators, trees, and wildlife; rainwater harvesting systems; technology that makes a difference globally; alternative power sources like solar panels; fresh organic vegetables and herbs; healing pathways through the forest, and much more!  These are just ideas, but some of them are already alive and well: technology help for non-profits, our blog and column, a rain barrel, bicycles, and more.  But we can’t make a more tangible difference in Northwest Arkansas without the land.  Have you seen this acre?  If so, let us know by emailing MakeSomeRipples@Gmail.com

Thanks! :)

Dogs that save endangered animal and plant species!

This week’s issue of The Free Weekly is probably my favorite issue ever, because of the wonderful inclusion of a new comic strip: Eve of the Ozarks.  It’s got a unique art style, awesome fairy-like characters and a decent plot set locally in Arkansas.  Also, check out this week’s Making Ripples column about trained dogs working as conservation heroes around the world, with lots of potential to help local species make a comeback, too. Here’s an incomplete list from Care2.com on the species that dogs are trained to find:

Black-footed ferrets
Bird and Bat Mortality at wind farms
Individual Siberian Tigers
Desert Tortoise
Kit Fox
Spotted Knapweed Invasions
Ringed Seal lairs and breathing holes
Discriminate between individual Maned Wolves from scat
Right Whale Faeces
Javan Rhinos
Sea Turtle Nests
Invasive Pythons in the Everglades

 

Check out Day by Day the Farm Girl Way!

This blog is one of the best I’ve found that discusses the life of a woman living on 10 acres and photographing wildlife.  I strive to learn more about native habitat creation, and get better with my camera (and my hand-drawn illustrations).  Recently, Day by Day the Farm Girl Way made an informative blog post about following animal trails and learning which species are visiting the area, what they’re eating, and more secrets of the forest.  Hop on down the trail and check it out!

Bringing you fuzzy tidings on colorful wings and wet noses this holiday season!

Yes, the bluejay is as big as the raccoon because it’s a baby raccoon named Pancake, the son of Waffles. Amanda drew this with the cheapest markers and black ink, using a mechanical pencil for the first sketch, then inking and coloring it in.  This drawing is the first in Ripples’ 2013 art, using circles and themes from our blog posts to illustrate the importance of sustainability and social justice.

Making Christmas magic for wildlife this year.

A bit of trivia from Science 2.0: the first artificial trees were basically really tall toilet brushes, manufactured by a toilet brush company!  Read what I’ve learned about artificial and real Christmas trees, the pros and the cons of each, in the latest column of Making Ripples in The Free Weekly that came out yesterday when I was so busy working on concept art for Ripples 2013 that I totally forgot to post a link!  Sorry folks.  But the art is coming along, and next week there will be a holiday surprise from Ripples to all of you!  Check out The Free Weekly online to learn about how you can recycle your live trees in Bella Vista this year to help little fishies have lake habitat.

Ryan & I are decorating our wildlife “tree” soon and will be posting photos here next week once we do.  Cross your fingers that we get a deer or some cute squirrels!

Celebrating the Harvest in Community

Yesterday, I participated in my fellowship’s tradition of Bread Communion, when everyone brings a loaf of bread to pass around in baskets during the service.  Each person takes a piece of bread, and together the congregation reflects on gratitude for each other and nature’s gifts. View full article »

On Wednesday night, I made my first rain barrel for our future homestead and garden!

I got four decent photos before my camera battery died.  But I’ll be painting our barrel in the coming year and taking photos of it’s progress into it’s new home once we’ve built the earthbag house and started a new garden.  How exciting to be building towards this dream, no matter what!  Every week brings something new to Ripples, whether it’s a full-length mirror for our handmade bathroom, an old stool to be decoupaged with animal photos (more on that later!) or from this week, a rain barrel!  Next week might even contain a bathroom sink, we’ll see :) View full article »

Drawing a dream into reality.

Window to Nature (black & white)

This sketch is done in pencil – just a quick representation of the scenes I want to elaborate on from my imagination.  The window seat is set into an earthbag wall, with salvaged glass firmly meeting the plaster so the home is energy-efficient (I hope).  There is ivy growing around the edge of the window, but honestly I’m not sure this invasive plant is native to Arkansas or not.  Ever since reading Ivy Cottage when I was a child, I’ve known that my house would have ivy growing on at least part of the house, kept in check so as not to destroy the building.  The entire scene is one I hope to live someday during fall 2014, if we’re lucky enough to complete the construction of our earthbag home by Christmas 2013 (we have not begun building and are still looking every once in awhile for the right spot to nurture Ripples’ values).  I can’t wait to cozy up with a good book and know that the very best gift, besides having a safe, free place to live, is what is outside the window: nature.

Window to Nature (color)

The latest Ripples’ column in The Free Weekly is about my favorite subject…wildlife! View full article »