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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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Biology

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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