Habitat restoration

California is withering in a historic drought, parts of the southern Plains are experiencing catastrophic flooding, and here in southern Colorado, we’re unusually soggy from four weeks of successive snow and rain storms.

It's spring, and I've been on the road giving talks and workshops about gardening as a way to restore the earth and our connection to this glorious blue planet.

For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Sphinx moth pollinating native penstemon flowers in a park reclaimed from an abandoned industrial site. Sphinx moth pollinating native penstemon flowers in a park reclaimed from an abandoned industrial site.
American Bushtits feeding on seedheads in a native rubber rabbitbush shrub. American Bushtits feeding on seed heads in a native rubber rabbitbush shrub. (Look closely and you'll see four of them--two of the tiny birds are inside the bush, two are on top.

One of my New Year resolutions is to "live generously." Which to me means not just being generous with other humans, but doing my best to live in a way that is generous to "all my relations," as my Indian friends say, the multitudes of other beings with whom we share this glorious blue planet.

My front and side yard "wildscapes," mountain prairie restoration projects-in-progress. My front and side yard "wildscapes," mountain prairie restoration projects-in-progress.

I exhausted myself this weekend engaging in plant therapy. That's a good thing.

Calliope hummingbird perched in my own "hometown habitat." Calliope hummingbird perched in my own "hometown habitat."
'Poncha Pass Red' sulfur-flower buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum 'Poncha Pass Red') 'Poncha Pass Red' sulfur-flower buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum 'Poncha Pass Red')
The wide-open San Luis Valley with the Sangre de Cristo Range on the left, on the road to Durango. The wide-open San Luis Valley with the Sangre de Cristo Range on the left.

I've been on the road teaching and speaking so much this spring that I sometimes forget what is next.

Sand cherry, our earliest-blooming native shrub, along the creek that borders my formerly industrial lot. Sand cherry, our earliest-blooming native shrub, along the creek that borders my formerly industrial lot.
Golden currant (Ribes auereum), a native shrub that blooms early, produces berries birds love, and turns orange to crimson and fall. Golden currant (Ribes aureum), an early blooming native shrub that produces berries birds love, and turns orange to crimson in fall.
The High Plains west of Pueblo with Pikes Peak under storm clouds in the background (that's true shortgrass prairie, buffalograss with a cholla "overstory"). The High Plains west of Pueblo with Pikes Peak under storm clouds in the background (that's true shortgrass prairie, buffalograss with a spars
Highway 285 across South Park in blowing snow. Highway 285 across South Park in blowing snow.
Creek House from the south (the side facing the creek) in the evening sun. Creek House from the south (the side facing the creek) in the evening sun. (The street is to the right.)