In Your Yard

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ELi on Earth: When EL Ginkos Lose Their Leaves

Monday, November 2, 2015

Editor's note: This article originally ran last fall in a slighly different form.

The day after East Lansing gets a killing frost, residents will likely be treated to a rain of leaves from all the local ginko trees. Most types of trees lose their leaves over the course of several weeks, but ginko trees usually lose their leaves in a day following a hard frost. Below we provide a video taken last year during East Lansing's ginko-leaf rain.

ELi on Earth: Why the Leaves Change Colors

Monday, October 26, 2015

It is impossible to look outside and not be mesmerized by the dazzling orange, blazing red, and glittering yellow leaves covering the trees and falling from the sky this time of year. It is a magical time to play outside, and the opportunity to enjoy it is not long lasting.

Ever wonder why leaves change color in the fall? It’s fairly simple, but first you must understand the basics of photosynthesis. Trees absorb water through their roots and carbon dioxide from the air. Simply put, plants use the energy from the sun to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose.

Council Capsule: October 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

East Lansing Info is currently fundraising and we need your help to keep this service going. Our Council Capsule reporter volunteers her services (and donates money to ELi) and she needs your help financially supporting the editing and technological structure that makes this publication possible. Do your part now!

City Changing Ordinance to Support Deer Hunt

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Image courtesy of USDA.

With plans in place to start killing deer in East Lansing starting late next month, City Council will be voting in November to change an ordinance to support the plan. Such a legal change may not really be necessary according to City Attorney Tom Yeadon. But Yeadon told City Council on Tuesday night that prudence suggests an amendment to the current ordinance involving restriction of firearms so that it will be straightforward in the future for the City or State to cull deer as necessary in the City of East Lansing.

Eli on Earth: Celestial Highlights for October and early November 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Illustrations from Sky Calendar are provided by Abrams Planetarium. Morning and evening twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller.

During October and early November, there are exceptionally beautiful gatherings of planets in the morning sky. A waning crescent Moon graces the lineup of planets on Oct. 8-11 and Nov. 6-7. Except as noted, these spectacular sights through Nov. 10 will be well seen about an hour before sunrise.

EL Deer Kills to Start Soon

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Image courtesy of USDA.

Deer culls—government-controlled killing by firearms—will likely begin in East Lansing in late November or early December according to Cathy DeShambo, Environmental Services Administrator for the City of East Lansing. DeShambo revealed this in speaking to the Council of Neighborhood Presidents meeting on Monday, September 27, at the Hannah Community Center.

Eli on Earth: It's Actually Pretty Easy Being Green

Monday, August 31, 2015

Living sustainably, or being “green” reduces your use of Earth’s natural resources, and means changing how you look at many parts of your life including transportation, energy consumption and diet.

Interested in beginning a sustainable lifestyle or amping up what you already do? Below is a list of simple things you can do around the home to become a bit more “green.”

Digging In: Tips and Tricks for the End-of-August Garden

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kermiet's garden

The month of August is almost over and with September on the horizon it is time for many avid gardeners to reassess their summertime activities and harvest. Don’t let the cooler weather and shorter days scare you - late summer is a great time to harvest warm season crops and to plant cool season vegetables.

ELI ON EARTH: Bird Breath

Monday, August 24, 2015

Image: A hawk (probably sharp-shinned) in MSU’s Beal Gardens earlier this year.

Simply put, East Lansing birds, like the one shown above, breathe differently from East Lansing reptiles and mammals, including this author.

DIGGING IN: Losing the Lawn

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Above: The authors’ front yard in summer.

I guess we missed the memo that front lawns need to be manicured grass. We never much liked watering the lawn and then having to mow it, and always shied away from using herbicides and turf fertilizers. So it made sense to us to lose the lawn when we moved into our home in East Lansing 30 years ago.

Council Capsule: August 18, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Image: Artist’s rendition of what the alley off Ann Street Plaza could look like with art.

Note: This article was updated on August 19th, 2015 to indicate that the location of proposed condo development near Chandler and State Roads is Falcon Pointe, not Hawk's Nest as we originally reported.

The August 18 meeting of City Council was a “work session,” which means it was not videotaped or broadcast. You can listen to an audio recording by clicking here.

DIGGING IN: Using Native Plants in Urban Landscapes

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Native plants offer aesthetic appeal while providing many more environmental and time saving benefits compared to traditionally grown nursery plants.

Native plants provide much needed food and shelter for insects and wildlife and because they have evolved to survive Michigan’s ever-changing weather conditions, they do not require additional fertilizers, pesticides, frequent cuttings or watering once established.

ELI ON EARTH: Beekeeping, a delicious hobby

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bees are high-profile creatures these days, and one (tasty) way to help them to thrive is to become a backyard beekeeper.

At times referred to as the “angels of agriculture,” honey bees pollinate millions of crops per year and an estimated one in three bites of food you eat. Unfortunately, their populations have declined dramatically in recent years due to habitat loss, deforestation, industrial agriculture, parasitic mites, and Colony Collapse Disorder.

ELi ON EARTH: Female Mosquitoes Bite East Lansing Residents

Monday, July 20, 2015

Above: The author being bitten by a local mosquito.

More than nine inches of rain in June and continued rain well into July have created mosquito development habitat in the standing water of yards, fields, and nearly any upright container in town. The mosquitoes that hatch in the summer can turn over a new generation every two weeks as long as there is standing water for their reproduction cycle, and that means we in East Lansing have at least a few more mosquito-filled weeks left in the season.

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