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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

Category

invertebrates

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 →

A Moveable Feast

They say necessity is the mother of invention — I guess that's why spiders found a clever way to order in, long before Kroger and Amazon began to lug customer's grub. Not even a Costco cart is big enough to... Continue Reading →

Spineless Samurai

When the annual cicadas emerge each summer their tymbals vibrate at arboreal drumming circles all over town.  The beats bounce and reverberate against hard city surfaces; during a crescendo, I swear I can feel the buildings and sidewalks pulsing like... Continue Reading →

Long-Stemmed

Daddy longlegs are the jazz cats of the arachnid world! This realization came to me as I watched a single backlit note poised on a broken music staff bebop across the asphalt path in front of me. A soundtrack of... Continue Reading →

Hammers and Hydrangeas

Productivity.  A word that has long enjoyed favored status in U.S. culture. Americans are always trying to do more work in less time so we can… do even more work. We purchase time-saving apps and appliances and then fill the... Continue Reading →

Goodness Knows

Kindergarteners swarmed around the khaki-clad naturalist, squealing with excitement, shouting out questions and jockeying for a better view. The adult volunteers on this field trip were a tougher audience. “I’m glad they’re having fun but I don’t see why anyone should... Continue Reading →

Damsels and Dragons… But No Prince

Once upon a time there was a damsel(fly). [Imagine, if you will, a bucolic Disneyesque soundtrack of flutes and piccolos in the background.] She (Or maybe he. This is a modern fairly tale.) explored the lovely little pond from which... Continue Reading →

Social Network

Mark Zuckerberg would not be one of 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world without the help of wasps. I mean the six-legged kind (whether or not two-legged WASPs should get any of the credit is something for... Continue Reading →

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