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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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backyard wildlife

Blue Period

Picasso was feeling low. Following the suicide of his friend and occasional roommate, the painter Carles Casagemas, Pablo plunged into a rock-bottom depression that lasted more than 3 years. During this time (1901 to 1904), the vividly extroverted artist faded... Continue Reading →

Pieris Pipette

As Dash, my canine coach, and I were walking earlier this week, I noticed small, pale butterflies along the sunnier sections of our path. I decided to come back on my own while Dash was having his post-walk breakfast at... Continue Reading →

Exceptional

"He sure does have a chip on his shoulder!" That statement is a metaphor... ... except when it isn't. Taken literally, this idiom for describing someone looking for a fight may also refer to the ornamental insignia on a military... Continue Reading →

Bird is the Word

Hey all you Blueberry Hill Jacks and Jills! Check out this crazy crooner and his backup chicks with their keyboard-themed threads and choreographed grooves!  Good Golly, Miss Molly, this nifty summer act is a blast!  Give the Black-and-White Warblers (Mniotilta... Continue Reading →

Sorority Girls Gone Mild

The facade isn’t impressive. You won't see Greek letters out front or any other obvious signs but I’m here to tell ya, an anthill is a sorority. One of the first, in fact. The scene is totally social, but if... Continue Reading →

Malleable

Like water off a duck's back — That tried and true adaptability adage is an apt observation for just about any species of waterfowl, thanks to their liquid-resistant outer contour feathers, but in the case of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) it's... Continue Reading →

Basket Case

We can argue until the chickens come home to roost about which 19th century influencer said it first, industrialist Andrew Carnegie or author and humorist Mark Twain, but there's little dispute that most birds wholeheartedly agree with the statement, "Put... Continue Reading →

Cloak and Dagger

Shhhhh!  Don't make a sound or you'll blow his cover. Just sit quietly and watch. Butorides virescens, aka the Green Heron, is a master of stealth and stillness. He* doesn't work for the CIA or MI6; he's a freelancer but... Continue Reading →

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