bats

Are You Willing to Lose Trees to Gain Views?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | August 16th, 2011 | 6 Comments
topic: Eco Travel | tags: Ansel Adams, bats, birds, British Columbia, conservation, cutting trees, Eco Travel, ecology, El Capitan, environment, giant sequoias, Half Dome, John Muir, nature, protection, scenic views, Scenic Vista Management Plan, tourists, travel, trees, Tunnel View, visitors, waterfalls, wildlife, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

“These darn trees are in the way of my view of nature,” joked one of my guides on a trip to British Columbia a few years back. We had stopped during a hike on a forested esker and were trying to look through the woods to a lake far below. We couldn’t see it through the dense foliage. Of course, his comment made us all laugh. Little did we know then that such an absurd idea would years later — this fall, in fact — become a reality in Yosemite National Park.

Starting later this year, thousands of trees will be cut down in Yosemite to provide better views of the famous granite faces, such as El Capitán and Half Dome, and the breathtaking waterfalls, such as Bridalveil or Yosemite Falls, that ring the valley. But the sounds of lumberjacks and the sights of downed trees — felled only for the purpose of providing better photo ops — are somehow discomfiting in a national park, prompting some to ask, “Why must so many succumb to the saw?”

Night Lighting: Would You Choose Safety or the Stars?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | July 20th, 2011 | 11 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: artificial light, bats, bird migration, birds, crime statistics, dark sky, darkenss, environment, green, health, light at night, light pollution, migrating birds, migratory birds, national parks, nature, neighborhoods, night lights, night sky, night-light, nighttime, nocturnal animals, outdoor lighting, outdoors, safety, stars, street lamps, wildlife

Canada geese

The street you live on, your neighbor’s garage or even your own back porch probably has one: a light that goes on when it gets dark. Most likely, it was installed with the hope that it would make your neighborhood a safer place to live.

The conventional wisdom is that better outdoor lighting deters criminals — those who would do their dastardly deeds in the cover of darkness. But whether or not the facts bear that out, we do know that lighting up the night eradicates something else: the ability to see the stars in the night sky.

Is Going Green Just a Feel-Good Choice?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | November 18th, 2010 | 5 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: automobiles, bats, bird deaths, birds, Canada geese, canoe, carbon emissions, cars, chemicals, climate change, CO2, eco-friendly, energy, environment, environmental toxins, environmentalist, fossil fuels, green, green building, greenwashing, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, kayak, kayaking, landfills, LEED, LEED buildings, LEED certification, nature enthusiasts, nature photography, nature photos, photography, plastic, power grid, recreation, recycler, recycling, sandhill cranes, save the environment, skyscrapers, songbirds, toxins, transportation, travel, turbines, water sports, weather, wildlife, wind farms, wind power

Sandhill cranes

Buying a kayak qualifies as a “big purchase” for my family, and my husband and I recently took that huge step. Although we’ve had a canoe for a long time, this is our first acquisition of this type of silent-sports, aquatic craft.