Friday, August 4, 2017

Will trees survive in playground?

Tent City was brutal for the shrubs and trees there, which seen as mere objects rather than living organisms. Will they fare better and will more be added, when the site becomes a playground? Will there be green space as well as playground space? Green space is sorely needed in a downtown setting. Let's hope the playground equipment will be made of wood and stone, rather than plastic, and that there will be a peaceful area for picnicking alongside.

Answer: no, most didn't survive. 

Wild and domestic animals and songbirds are thirsty

Let's all put out bowls of water anywhere we can -- gardens and boulevards. Creeks and ponds are getting low and stagnant. Make a spray for hummingbirds to shower in -- watch them arrive out of nowhere! Spray the leaves of trees for birds to find cupped water.
Raccoons are having a hard time digging insects out of hard dry grass. Making a wet patch helps. Be compassionate!

Restricting common sense

The CRD reservoir at Sooke is more than usually full, yet that water lies idle while grass fires keep erupting. Keeping the ground damp prevents fire, obviously, yet we have water restrictions. We use a lot more when the fires need to be put out. Brown grass is fuel, and water-less plantings are dead.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Climate change wasn't new in the 20th century

"We had better be without gold than without timber."
Horticulturalist John Evelyn wrote this in 1664 (in England), already fearing the day all the forests would have disappeared, and presumably urging conservation of this most valuable resource.
Alexander von Humboldt in 18th century Germany, warned against the deforestation he saw in Europe, Russia and South America, for fuel and ship building. He, one of our earliest ecologists, saw how deforestation changed both soils and rainfall. Climate change started long before our own era.  it wasn't and still isn't fundamentally about emissions, it's about Earth losing her forest cover and the cooling and the hydrologic cycle that goes with it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Should We Reward Green or Grey?

The reason we lose nature in the city, is that landscape destruction is rewarded and preservation penalized..
Person A has a large property, but taxes and upkeep are too expensive so the property is subdivided.
(Person A couldn't afford to preserve the green space -- maybe they are seniors who bought the lot when a modest income was enough to acquire housing, but now a pension isn't enough to maintain it.)
OR: Person B can afford to buy the original property and THEN subdivides and builds. Person B nets a profit tripling what the value of the whole property was ten years earlier.

Property assessments are based on what a homeowner could make if s/he were to subdivide and sell off chunks of land. They are based on people treating their houses as homes rather than real estate investments. They take no account of people wanting to preserve their gardens, people who don't view their home as a commodity. Until we have a municipal taxation system which gives a tax BREAK to those who preserve green space -- which after all benefits everyone in terms of aesthetics, air cleansing, habitat maintenance etc. -- we will promote the pave-over of the city. Victoria now rewards those who build "garden houses" to supply the rental market (even though these builders build for top rental dollar, not to help the "affordable housing crisis").

It is the job of government, not private householders, to provide affordable housing and to provide it in brown spaces that could be reclaimed and made attractive.  In a region undergoing rapid population growth, we can put the brakes on incoming arrivals by limiting accommodation, or we can revive Canada Housing & Mortgage Corporation or some such provider. We also need to adopt policies that increase public green space and reward those who protect private green space. Do we want green or grey? That is the question.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

BC Orca Month June:

BC Orca Month June:


Saturday January 21st


Turkey Head Walkway, Oak Bay Marina

Remembering Granny, Nigel, DoubleStuf,  Tilikum,  Lolita,  Corky, with candles and flowers

News and information on Orca Month June 2017

Join us - learn what's next, bring your ideas


Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter tree at dusk

Good proportion! Tall tree and cosy cottage, Oaklands area.