Three Ways to Keep the Peace of the Season

(This post was originally published in December, 2012.) Every year we see articles on “staying sane during the holidays”–advice for dealing with unruly inlaws while maximizing cookie production and shopping efficiency.  I follow some of this advice.  But here’s a confession:  I love the inner dimension of this season.  I …

Saint Hildegard’s Cookies of Joy

Spring is the perfect season to celebrate Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval Rhineland mystic, naturalist, seer, writer, gardener, composer, and physician. The world is leaping to life in every color of green, a celebration of Hildegard’s central concept of viriditas–the “greening finger” of the divine in all of life. I’ve …

Welcome Spring

Thank you Marigold, Ophelia, and Ethel for the beautiful eggs. And happy spring to everyone! I heard the neighborhood flickers drumming in earnest on my early morning walk today. Let the wild rumpus begin!   You may also like:Our Urban Chicken Coop Plan Buff Orpington: Our Favorite Backyard Chicken Breed …

On Planners, Productivity, and Idle Pleasures

Happy New Year, everyone!  Here is my first confession of 2013:  I’m a planner geek-nerd-obsessive.  I love the tactile and aesthetic delights of a paper planner, as well as the practical benefits. Opening a new planner on January 1 is something I start looking forward to weeks before the calendar …

Happy Solstice (and End of the World)

Happy Solstice, dear readers!  Assuming the world doesn’t end today (or even if it does) I wish you all a peaceful, joyful season. On the Summer Solstice (also our wedding anniversary) a couple of years ago, Tom, Claire, and I set out to climb the highest temple in the Mayan …

Homemade Ornaments: Pinecone Gnomes

I love making ornaments from found, natural materials. Cat-sitting for my crafty neighbor Jane last week, I spotted these little gnome ornaments she had made from the pinecones that fall on our neighborhood sidewalks, and asked if I could share them on The Tangled Nest. Jane’s gnomes were inspired by …

A Cool Coop: Caring for Chickens in the Heat

It’s actually hot in Seattle!  Yes, I know that you folks in other parts of the country have had many 90+ days, but for us Pacific Northwesterners, it’s rare–our bodies aren’t used to it, and neither are our chickens!  I’ve noticed the girls are panting a little, and seeking shade.  …

Baby Crows In Our Midst

This archive post first ran on June 21, 2011 One of the Crow Questions I hear most often is, “Why do I never see baby crows?”  In truth, it is likely that we have all seen plenty of baby crows–but we are misled by the human tendency to conflate “baby-ness” …

Chickens Versus Snowpocalypse

Hi, Tom here… Lyanda’s away on a writing retreat so I am hijacking her blog for a few days. In Seattle it’s a snow day–we are having our annual “snowpocalypse,” when a few inches of snow completely shuts down the city and sends cars skidding into the curbs and children …

The Urban Winter Wild

Winter is considered a time of quiet and hibernation, and often we wait until spring to think about viewing birds and other creatures. But the cold of winter increases the energetic need of wild animals, sending them out to seek food at all hours of the day.  It’s one of …