seattle downtown
Attractions Things To See

Seattle’s top three, drive through Christmas light displays

Driving through Seattle neighborhood holiday light displays is one of the easiest, cheapest and most fun ways to “get in the spirit.” When my kids were at home, every year we went out looking at lights on Christmas Eve. We would listen to Christmas music on the radio and snack on popcorn and goodies in […]

turles in pond

Reptiles need urgent action to survive

Caption: Almost two-thirds of all turtle species known to science are either endangered or recently extinct. Credit: Roddy Scheer Dear EarthTalk: How are reptiles faring these days in the face of climate change and other environmental threats? — L.M. Smith, Boston, MA Reptiles, like other animals and plants, face growing threats as human influence on […]

Pansies in pot
Featured Northwest Lifestyles Outdoor Activities

Enjoy pansies this Northwest fall

Caption: Scoop out the inside of a pumpkin, add some drainage holes, and plant some pansies for a festive fall planter. Photo credit:  photo courtesy of by Melinda Myers Pansies have long been a fall and winter garden favorite. These cheery flowers are sure to brighten landscapes and containers and add a smile to […]

climate change effects
Environment Technology

Clean energy spurs economic benefits

Caption: While climate change might benefit the economy overall, we would rather not have to deal with it at all. Credit: Dear EarthTalk: Is climate change actually good for the economy, given all the clean-up/restoration jobs severe weather is creating and the employment surges in green energy?– P.B., New Haven, CT Strangely enough, climate […]

Pounding flowers
Featured Northwest Lifestyles Outdoor Activities

Create your flower work of art

Caption: Create art and preserve a bit of the garden with flower pounding. Photo credit: photo courtesy of by Melinda MyersPreserve a few memories of this summer’s garden or create gifts to share with family and friends. Pounding flowers onto fabric or paper is a fun and easy way to preserve the beauty of […]

butte trail
Attractions Oregon

Picturesque Skinner Butte Trail

Caption: Skinner Butte. This easy one mile (0.6 km) forested trail provides a picturesque view of the Willamette River, Spencer Butte (the surrounding valley’s highest peak) and downtown Eugene. There is also a large University of Oregon “O” that is used as a photo opportunity by students and visiting families. There is a parking lot […]

sea lions on Oregon coast
Attractions Oregon

Sea lions rule here

A cavernous sea cave adopted by a herd of Steller sea lions, some years numbering as many as 200. Take an elevator ride 200 feet (61 m) down into the cave as tall as a 12-story building and as wide as a football field. During the fall and winter barking sea lions lounge around inside […]

Dog chasing ball

Pet poop pollution upsets nature

Caption: Your pet’s poo and pee might be polluting the local environment more than what’s coming out of tailpipes and smokestacks. Credit: Alotrobo, Dear EarthTalk: Does all the pet waste American dogs and cats leave behind outside have an effect (positively or negatively) on the environment?— Mary C., Seattle, WA Dog and cat waste […]

Seeds on tree

Seed scarcity linked to climate change

Caption: Tree seed shortages compounded by decades of drought and recent extreme wildfire seasons mean the future of our forests could be in jeopardy. Credit: Yamanaka Tamaki, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that a tree seed shortage is jeopardizing reforestation efforts across the American West following so many bad wildfire seasons in a row? […]

bird nest in tree
Featured Northwest Lifestyles Outdoor Activities

Create a bird-friendly Northwest garden

Photo cutline:  Evergreens, like this yew, provide year-round appeal and shelter for birds. Photo credit: photo courtesy of by Melinda Myers Temperature extremes, drought and storms take a toll on our landscapes. Sometimes a bit of pruning, proper care and patience is all that is needed to help plants recover. Other times, plants need […]