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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

Grassroots

Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence, especially if your yard-care ethic is benign neglect, and your neighbor is a wannabe greenskeeper. Generally speaking, though, the sentiment behind that familiar grassy idiom is sound—we... Continue Reading →

Identity Thief

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we're twenty years into the Information Age so I’m pretty sure everyone in this courtroom knows that, to quote a famous New Yorker cartoon, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The anonymity... Continue Reading →

Rideshare

My wire fox terrier and I were walking along a favorite path on a cool autumn morning. Stopping to investigate a patch of tall plants clinging to the steep sides of a ridge that used to carry Virginia Anthracite Coal... Continue Reading →

Night Shift

Does living in the city make it easier to be nocturnal? Natural-born early birds may never learn to love the nightlife, and owls might not ever welcome dawn's early light but bobcats (Lynx rufus) have shown themselves to be as... Continue Reading →

Broken Record

Arrrggghhh!  I can NOT get that song out of my head!!  I don't know where I heard it, maybe the grocery store's Music to Inspire Endcap Impulse Purchases station. It's familiar but definitely not a favorite. I have eclectic musical... Continue Reading →

The Hawk Who Mistook Her Mate for a Meal

Seriously, it could happen to anyone. Well, any working mom operating on instinct and snap-judgements who needs to snag some groceries before she flies back home to those perpetually ravenous kiddos. Okay... maybe it couldn't happen to anyone. But every... Continue Reading →

The Jet Set

Everyone has their own personal markers of summer—the flash of a firefly, the pulsing hum of cicadas, the aroma of freshly cut grass... I'm sure you have a favorite.  To my mind, nothing says summer quite as definitively as the... Continue Reading →

Helicopter Parent

As the most literal of helicopter parents, a ruby-throated hummingbird mom (RTH, Archilochus colubris) takes hovering to a whole new competitive level. In the case of this feathered sprite (2.8 - 3.5" long, including bill, and just over 1/10 of... Continue Reading →

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