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Next-Door Nature

tales from the wild metropolis

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Biology

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 →

Long Winter’s Nap

Sleep is gaining new respect among human health researchers. They've observed correlations between 6-7 hours of quality shut-eye and longevity, improved mood and memory, as well as restoration of immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. But getting enough sleep is... 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 →

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 →

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.

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 →

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