Best of At the Edge of the Ordinary 2013

As the year draws to a close, I like to take a look back at what I have accomplished in the past year.  As part of that, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite posts from At the Edge of the Ordinary for 2013.  These posts are not necessarily the most popular posts or the ones that received the most comments, but they are the posts that I think express the best of my blog and what I’ve done this year.


  1. Arborvitae, the Western Redcedar – The western redcedar is one of my favourite native trees, and also a tree that was important to many of the native cultures in the Pacific Northwest.  It is an example of how a non-human species can influence and shape human culture.
  2. Nature Observation and the Power of Citizen Science – Citizen science is a great way observers can put their observational skills to the service of scientists, other observers, and the entire more-than-human world.  I’ve just started to get involved with it, but I hope that this will become an important part of my practice in the coming year.
  3. Stacking Stones: Creating Natural Art – Creating natural art by stacking stones is a simple and relatively unobtrusive way to invite passers-by to pause and notice their environment.  This is also something that I would love to do more of in the future!
  4. Butterflies Made Me a Better Observer – Butterflies are now one of my favourite groups of animals to observe, but once I knew hardly anything about them.  In this post, I tell the story of how they changed my life by making me a better observer (and I share some of my favourite butterfly photos).
  5. Cosmology – A cosmology is a story of the universe, how it came to be and what is our place in it.  It is also the name for the scientific study of the universe as a whole.  And understanding the basics of cosmology can help us to see ourselves as simply one part in the wider more-than-human world.
  6. Raking Leaves and the Joy of Everyday Tasks – Yes, I’m that crazy person who likes raking leaves.  But I also believe that finding some joy in everyday tasks (even those that don’t seem fun at all) can help us to find more contentment and happiness in our daily life.
  7. Sunflower Fields Blooming at the Height of Summer – This field of sunflowers growing near my home is one of my favourite memories of the year, and one that I will be holding on to especially during the cold dark months of winter.
  8. For the Love of Books – It’s no secret that I love books.  Here’s at least part of the reason why.
  9. Creative by Nature – Many of us wish that we were more creative, but nature itself is inherently creative, and when we spend time in nature, we may find ourselves opening to our own “human nature” and allowing that inherent creativity to express itself through us.
  10. Skunk Cabbage – These skunk cabbages that I saw early in the spring were one of my favourite “signs of the season” this year.  It was also the first time I saw the flowers close up.  Another favourite memory of the year.


And, if you like statistics, here are the most popular posts of 2013:

  1. For the Love of Books
  2. I’m Just Not That Social
  3. Arborvitae, the Western Redcedar
  4. Book Review: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  5. A to Z Book Survey
  6. Snowshoeing in the Snowy Woods
  7. The Story Of My Life So Far
  8. Wild Foods: Berries
  9. Stacking Stones: Creating Natural Art
  10. Changing Slowly, But Sprouting
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