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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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amphibians

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 →

Bull Session

I say potato, you like potahtos. You wear pajamas, I wear PJs. And a rose by any other name, we're told, would smell equally sweet. So does it really matter that we all agree on what to call an American... Continue Reading →

Vert-de-Gris

It isn't easy being green. Kermit the Frog said it, so you know it has to be true. He's always seemed a reluctant celebrity, so my guess is that being the most famous Muppet-amphibian on the planet isn't always a... Continue Reading →

Summer Soundtrack

One of my favorite things about summer is the free outdoor concerts. I’m not talking about local bands that occasionally perform from the park gazebo even though they can be a pleasant accompaniment to my evening dog walk. No, nothing says summer... Continue Reading →

Brewhaha

Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble, Fillet of a fenny snake,  In the caldron boil and bake,  Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,  Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,... Continue Reading →

Hops-itality

Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson asked the world to consider a simple question: imagine springtime without birdsong. Silent Spring addressed an unlikely subject for what was to become a best-selling book—the effect of DDT and other pesticides that persist in... Continue Reading →

Froggy Goes A-Courtin’

My mole Tboy (that’s spy, not insectivore) tells me Valentine’s Day has had its intended effect on the wood frog population in southwestern Virginia. On February 18th the first early-bird male appeared at a nearby pond, floating patiently and quietly.... Continue Reading →

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