Commentary

Summer Night Symphonies

Posted by Tony Reyes |
NWADG DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE/ANDY SHUPE
A cicada hangs from a grass flower Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Fayetteville. Cicadas can be heard as a loud humming as the 13-year cicada have begun to emerge in the area. Also called the 13-year locust, these periodic cicadas join the species of cicada that we see every year at this time. The call of the male, which is used to attract a mate, can become quite loud where there are large numbers of the insects.

Nature provides free concerts to those willing to hear AMANDA BANCROFT Making Ripples Summer concert season is well under way, and our area offers quite a lot of great, free entertainment like the Gulley Park Concert Series, Botanical Garden events and of course, the big-time ticketed tours at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion. But don’t…

Wasps Of Wonder — Making Ripples

Posted by Tony Reyes |
Photo courtesy Amanda Bancroft

The common name “velvet ant” actually refers to more than 3,000 species of wasps, whose wingless females resemble giant, furry ants — and are actually kind of cute.

‘Velvet ants’ beautiful to see, painful to meet Making Ripples Amanda Bancroft Photo courtesy Amanda Bancroft The common name “velvet ant” actually refers to more than 3,000 species of wasps, whose wingless females resemble giant, furry ants — and are actually kind of cute.   It’s a wonderful thing to discover something new and astounding…

What’s Good For The Goose

Posted by Tony Reyes |

Natural scents, plants repel unwanted visitors AMANDA BANCROFT Making Ripples If you’d like to keep your garden organic but free of pests, or if you’re simply looking for a way to discourage pets from getting into trouble, there are plenty of easy-to-find natural repellents. There is also the option of making inexpensive sprays from scratch,…

Wren Renters — Making Ripples

Posted by Tony Reyes |
Courtesy Photo

Wrens are creative, flexible nesters, just as happy in a potted plant as in a bird abode.

Nesting birds make great porch pals Wrens and porches just seem to go together. These birds create great entertainment with song, artful nests and home nature programming as they raise their young right before our eyes. In Northwest Arkansas, Carolina wrens are here year-round, but we also see the house wren because we’re in the…

Pushing Past Paper — Making Ripples

Posted by Tony Reyes |
Courtesy image

Amanda Bancroft did this drawing of Costa Rica’s fiery-throated hummingbird for PRIDE month. It was her first drawing using drafting film, colored pencil and chalk.

Alternative surfaces help artists save trees For the adventurous nature lover and artist, treeless substitutions for paper are a brave new world. If you love trees and want to use less paper, these synthetic surfaces will charm anyone with the results they can produce. Many of them last for centuries, recycle plastic from the waste…

Cutting Your Party Footprint

Posted by Tony Reyes |
Bancroft-Fairy-House

  Summer get-togethers can be sustainably satisfying Summer is a popular time for family reunions, church picnics, grilling outdoors, weddings and other events at parks or venues. Despite all the conventional ways they generate waste or pollution, summer parties don’t have to be unsustainable, and nobody has to be perfect to make a difference. Little…