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Next-Door Nature

tales from the wild metropolis

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backyard wildlife

Mighty Mite

Big things come in small packages, we're told... and if you'd like some evidence to support that theory, boy-howdy, have I got a potent little parcel for you! Measuring 3-4" (8-11 cm) from beak to tail-tip, and tipping the scale... Continue Reading →

A Flurry of Snowbirds

If, as you gaze through a frosted window at a pewter sky, watching the neighborhood being tucked beneath a frosty white blanket, you wonder where all the snowbirds have gone… look no further than your own backyard. I'm talking about... Continue Reading →

Slurpy

You know how there's always that last bit of liquid in the glass, just a few drops, that's resistant to lift-off no matter how many times you re-position the straw or how much suction force you apply?  Well, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers... Continue Reading →

Homebodies

Anywhere you hang your hat is home, or so the saying goes, but the same holds true even if your cap is actually a cluster of rose-colored feathers, or even a cloche of streaky tan and taupe.  Perhaps we rarely... Continue Reading →

Strangers in the Night

Crickets don't really sing. The females are silent, and when males want to croon they don't clear their throats... they rub their wings together, kind of like snapping fingers. Very hip. So maybe it would be more accurate to say their wear their hearts on their sleeves. Except they don't have sleeves. Or arms. Or hearts.

Webmasters

Enter the term "engineering marvels" into your favorite search engine and you'll see there's some debate over the Top 10 but several projects always seem to hit the mark, such as Dubai's Palm Islands, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva,... Continue Reading →

Endemic Immigrants

Descendants of German immigrants are living in the city park a couple of blocks from my loft. Nobody in this historic St. Louis neighborhood seems to mind, least of all me. In fact, this family has had an encampment there... Continue Reading →

Small, Dark & Handsome

As you might imagine, I was caught completely off-guard when, strolling through the shire one evening, a dashing young prince in the guise of a Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris blanchardi) bounced out of the shadows and onto the path before me, demanding a kiss.

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