heat wave

Well, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it’s hot out there. I do want to share this little gem with you though. I was at a traffic light and happened to catch these two, plopped down under the shade of a cherry tree, enjoying a frozen treat, presumably from the fro-yo shop with the pink and green banner at the right edge of the photograph. What is most interesting about the situation though is that this is on a major, six lane suburban highway. It’s not the kind of place where you generally want to sit and hang out. But clearly these two did want to sit outside and eat in the shade, so they took what they could get. As a designer I’m always inclined to make spaces where people can enjoy a seat and some shade on a hot day, and it’s nice to see people out there who would put them to good use. And they rode their bikes- makes an environmentalist’s heart go pitter patter.

review: Urban Jungle

Chicory by Patterson Clark for Washington Post 06.12.12

Have you ever read the Urban Jungle¬†column in the Washington Post? I’m a huge fan. It appears weekly on page two of¬†Tuesday’s Health & Science section and covers all manner of urban nature. The column offers easily digested information on plants or animals that are doing something interesting (blooming, migrating, etc) at the specific time. More than once I’ve wondered, “What is that plant that is blooming all over the place?” only to have my question answered the following Tuesday in Urban Jungle. Oh, and the illustrations are beautiful- clearly done by a true naturalist. A big thanks to Patterson Clark and WaPo for giving me a little something to look forward to at breakfast on Tuesdays.

making the highway a little less ugly

Back in May, I was running errands one day and noticed that a set of the oft-wasted interstitial triangles of land, created by clover leaf highway entrances + exits, was full of bright red poppies! This particular installation is at the grade-separated intersection of Routes 50 and 28 in Chantilly, VA and, due to rain, this photograph was taken a few days after the peak bloom.

I will totally confess to getting onto the Route 28 overpass just so I could take this photograph. I will also admit that at that time I realized I could do even better, so I videoed my descent from Route 28 back on to Route 50. Yes, I was that excited. You can watch it here:

I just love the dynamic reveal of the carpet of red as you come around the bend.