Wednesday, July 11, 2012


One of the coolest things we've been watching lately is our neighborhood Goldfinches helping themselves to the nesting material that we hung out for them earlier in the spring.  It's basically just a ball of cotton-like material that we purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited on the west side of Madison.  Wanting to provide a well-rounded habitat for our backyard birds, we first thought about throwing our dryer lint out there for the birds to use, but we soon learned that that material is not safe for the birds. The nesting material has been very popular in our yard this year, and the birds are still flocking to it even though it's the middle of summer now.  Surprisingly, we also found a Chickadee nest in one of our birdhouses that was clearly lined with some of our dogs' hair that must have been blowing around the yard after we brushed them one day.  Now that's recycling!

Meet Our Pets...

Conan, Wendy, & Juneau

Hunter & Ryan


Because our pets are very important members of our family, we thought we'd introduce them early on in our blog.  All four of them are "rescues", meaning we didn't purchase them from a breeder, pet shop, etc.  Ryan adopted Hunter and Sugaree (who has since passed away) from the Dane County Humane Society when he was living as a bachelor in a one bedroom apartment.  Piper came along when Hunter decided he wanted to take a "vacation" in the woods on the east side of Madison for about a month.  Some concerned citizens found Piper, mistaken him for Hunter, and contacted Ryan.  Thinking that Hunter was lost forever, Ryan took Piper in and saved him from going to the Humane Society.  Soon after, Hunter returned. Imagine my surprise when I came over to Ryan's apartment for the first time and learned that he was living with three cats!

A while after Sugaree died, I took Ryan to the Humane Society again to show him a cat that I had seen there.  Needless to say, we walked right past the cats and straight towards the dogs, one of which appeared to be a large, whiny puddle of sweetness known then as Sarge.  Because both of us had grown up with black Labs, we couldn't keep our eyes off him, and soon were taking him for a walk behind the building.  He was so gentle...and walked so well on the leash. When Ryan suggested that we foster him, I knew that we'd soon be adding a dog to our furry family.  Conan has gone on some great adventures with us (riding in his own bike trailer, canoeing, camping, etc.) and also volunteers with me as a therapy dog.

Juneau is our most recently adopted fur-child.  We rescued her from an owner who no longer had time or the means to care for her.  We had wanted to give Conan a companion to keep him company during the day, and had met a few other potential pets that just didn't work out. Juneau definitely has more energy than Conan, but she keeps him young and he sets a good behavioral example for her.  We were very careful about introducing the two of them, and now they get along great.  Juneau has made a lot of progress since we adopted her about six months ago, and has gained a significant amount of self-confidence and self-control.    

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In the beginning...

As a couple comprised of a budding biologist/ecologist and public school educator, we always seem to be doing something to help others and our planet. We decided to start this blog as a way to record all of the ways we (and you, too!) can do something For Our Earth.  We want to spread the word about simple, every day things you can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle.  We also hope to document our progress through various (perhaps more time-consuming) projects we've taken on in making our home more environmentally-friendly.  Thank you for joining us on our journey!