Next-Door Nature

tales from the wild metropolis


blue jay


I found a blue jay feather this morning while I was out walking my dog, Dash. That isn't remarkable — jays are a common species here, and because the color blue is relatively scarce in the natural environment (except for... Continue Reading →

Baby Blues

Identifying songbirds by their calls is not my forte. Sure, I can distinguish most common backyard residents with distinctive voices, including mourning doves (Coo.... coo, coo), Carolina chickadees (Fee-bee-fee-bay or chickadee-dee-dee), American robins (Cheerily, cheer-up, cheer-up! Cheerily, cheer-up!!), red-winged blackbirds... Continue Reading →


Which season comes to mind when you read these words? parched desiccated shriveled arid sere If you’re a wild thing, the answer may well be winter. Sure, the heat of summer can make any body feel dry as dust. But... Continue Reading →

Sentry Duty

JAY!  JAY!  JAY! Uh oh. I’ve been spotted, and the guards have ratted on me. “Halt! Who goes there? Thought you could just slip past, did you? Not on my watch. Hey everybody—look! Look! Over there!” Every non-human ear in... Continue Reading →

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