Nadia’s backyard is actually our backyard. We both made it the way it is and share it, but I name this yard for her because she is most responsible for taking it out of the realm of the ordinary. This was not always a peaceful process, but we have survived and our backyard is thriving.
I wouldn’t call it a “typical” backyard—-and neither would our neighbors, I’d wager—-but it is not so out of the ordinary that it would raise too many eyebrows in most places. We are not followers of the “golf course” school of yard maintenance. Instead, we are nudging our yard a little ways back toward a state of wildness, at least to the point possible while complying with “good taste”, local laws and maintaining good relationships with our very nice (really!) neighbors. So far, we have more than 140 species of native plants in our little lot, including native grasses, to replace the commercial grass that was here when we came. It is an ongoing experiment in what works (or not). Complex interactions between flora and fauna and us play out in patches of sun and shade and ever-changing seasons.
Hanging out in our backyard with a camera and binoculars and letting my mind wander is a favorite pastime. There is more to see than is possible to record, but this site aims to present some of that activity and follow it where it might lead. It might lead to musings about nature and existence, simple observations about the various visitors that come here, and hopefully helpful information about growing native plants, photography, gardening, cooking, and——well, we’ll see.
I have always believed that all truth is connected. So let us start here, with one true thing: Nadia and I live in a house with a backyard.
And in this backyard is—–everything.
Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, a native of El Salvador, is an Associate Professor in Cooperative Extension at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO, and is in charge of the University’s Native Plants Program. She is also pretty much in charge of our backyard in Columbia, MO and runs it for the native plants and associated wildlife: birds, arthropods of all stripes, squirrels, deer, frogs, and toads. No wolves, grizzlies, or elk. Yet.
Randy Tindall has a checkered past involving growing up on an Iowa farm, degrees in biology and anthropology, factory work and farm labor, newspaper reporting and photography, Peace Corps in Malawi, and nearly 25 years in the esoteric field of electron microscopy. Many years ago he spent time backpacking and busing through Mexico, Central America, and Ecuador. This included a brief stop in El Salvador. One thing (eventually) led to another.
Randy can be reached at email@example.com.