zebra spider carrying off a robber fly

Zebra Spider takes down Robber Fly

In the summer of 2012 i grew cucumbers in a pot on my second-floor deck, with the vines being trained along a brick wall (the black landscaping fabric rolled up at the bottom of the image is for shading the vines on hot days, since the west facing wall can heat up too much for…

this is indian land

“Cultural Landscape” — is the term not redundant?

note: this was originally written for culturallandscapes.ca as a full pdf version with images. It’s too bad the term “cultural landscape” needs to be defined and defended. As an anthropologist (if the parenthetical style that follows is not enough to identify my disciplinal origins), i take it for granted that all land(scape)s, with the possible…

path cutting corner of greenwood park, toronto

Pathways as Expressions of Cultural Landscape

note: this was originally written for culturallandscapes.ca as a full pdf version with images. Pathways, the linear lines that mark the passage of beings across the landscape, have always fascinated me. The late Charlie Dunsford, an elder of Pikangikum First Nation, once said to me that when people portage between small lakes, they follow the…

night shot of oil refinery

Where Does a Cultural Landscape End?

The first thing that strikes anyone looking at the Alberta oilsands developments in Northern Alberta is the scale: everything is big. The equipment is big, the social and environmental impacts ares big, the profits are big. The sustained impact on Aboriginal people struggling through the madness is most troubling. As the earth itself, or in…

Walking Paths as a Means to Improved Health

This is a follow-up to an earlier post on paths (“Pathways as Expressions of Cultural Landscape“). A recent Associated Press “news” item on how “walking keeps the Swiss fit” suggested it is easier for the Swiss to keep fit because “every single Swiss village, city and mountain is crisscrossed with paths” (May 10, 2008). The…