Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Recycle your trees!

My source tells me that you can get rid of your Christmas trees in two ways. I don’t want to see any more of yours laying on the sidewalks for the garbage men!:

A) 2009 Christmas Tree Collection Program will run until Sat., January 17. Citizens who wish to drop off their tree for recycling may take it to the Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers located at 3033 South 63rd Street, Domino Lane and Umbria Street, and State Road and Ashburner Street during this week only. The sites are open from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday – Saturday.

The program is designed to provide citizens with an environmentally safe alternative for disposal of used trees. Commercial entities are not permitted to use Sanitation Convenience Centers to dispose of their trees. Christmas trees brought to the site should be in the following condition: Free of all decorations and ornaments, Untied, Free of plastic bags or wrappings. Christmas trees set out for collection will be picked up as rubbish. Citizens should set trees out on their regular rubbish collection day at their authorized collection site. Citizens who require additional information regarding the Christmas Tree Recycling Program may contact the Customer Affairs Unit at (215) 686-5560.

B) Christmas Tree Removal: For a limited time, the Pedal Cooperative is offering Christmas Tree removal. The tress will be used for wood chips and they will also be composted. Cost for pickup is $1 a foot. The Pedal Cooperative
(484) 222-1231

Photographers: Show your stuff, win prizes.

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) announces the 2008 Wissahickon Photography Contest. Deadline is: September 29, 2008 at 5 p.m. Photographers may submit work in five categories: people; wildlife; landscape; structures; and FOW activities. All winners will receive a Friends of the Wissahickon T-shirt.In the Adult Competition, prizes will be awarded as follows: Grand Prize (Best in Show), $100; First Prize in each category, $50; second prize in each category, a gift certificate.Aspiring young photographers are welcome to enter our Junior Competition. Submissions will be judged in two age categories: 12 years and under and 13 to 17 years. Best in each category will receive a prize of $25.Competitors may submit up to six photos in any category. There is no entrance fee. The Friends of the Wissahickon reserves the right to use photo submissions in FOW publications.An entry form with complete instructions can be obtained on FOW’s website at or at the FOW office, 8708 Germantown Avenue. For more information, contact Heather Davis Jones at or 215-247-0417.


Some people say they’ve got the blues. I’ve got the greens. No only have I realized that I look good in bright green lately, but I’ve also noticed that Philadelphia and this country is finally realizing, hopefully not too late, that we need to go “green.” This is a bandwagon I am happy to jump on. There are so many ways you can reduce your negative environmental impact. As I’m watching “Today,” which is showing me numerous ways you can go green, I get a message from a friend about LocalHarvest, an organization who is educating the masses on how you can learn about and buy locally grown food products. (The Ethicurean is also good!) I started with a lightbulb change (incandescent to compace flourescent). Now I try as hard as possible not to use plastic bags. I’m currently using a tote bag, a granny cart (I’ll be pimping this soon), and reusing bags I already have.

Selling my car was a big decision, but how often did I really need it? If you live and work in the city, why not join Philly CarShare? This May, they’ll be sponsoring a challenge for you Philadelphia drivers to find alternative ways to get around. You can win a bike! (Please don’t ride it on the sidewalk)!

I was out of town after the Philly Spring Clean-up, but have found the results of the largest United States cleaning day in history. This Nutter’s on to something! All major goals were surpassed. Look out for future clean-ups. Here’s a beautifying event, sponsored by Greater Philadelphia Cares.

One final note: Keep your eyes peeled for GreenFest Philly, held on South Street. I haven’t been able to find the date of the event yet, but check back for updates! (September-ish)

Total Lunar Eclipse

If you have x-ray vision, or the clouds suddenly clear, you will be able to see a total lunar eclipse tonight. On the East Coast, it is expected to start in just a few short hours, around 8:45 p.m. The moon will be fully covered by the Earth’s shadow at 10:01 p.m.

For your future viewing, and in case you can’t see tonight’s, there will be 4 lunar eclipses in 2009, but there won’t be another total one until December 21, 2010.

You can wear fancy glasses if you like, but it won’t burn your retinas to look at it bare-eyed!

Birds of Prey

Last week, I saw my second bird of prey in center city. The first time I saw one, it was over by the Society Hill Towers, I think in the late summer or early fall, devouring its victim with gusto. After consulting friends who know better than I, I was pretty sure it was a peregrin falcon. This was especially exciting, because I had just read On the Wing, by Alan Tennant. And, they are a threatened species.

Again, I spotted a bird finishing off his prey, last week near the corner of 3rd and Walnut. The telltale sign – bloody feathers on the sidewalk – told me to look up. Again, I spotted this bird while alone. I almost wonder if it was a sign. I’m not sure what type of bird it was this time. It was smaller, and it is also winter.

Has anyone seen birds like this in the city? It’s very exciting!

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