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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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breeding behavior

Spotted!

Supermarket tabloids love just-like-us features so they pay paparazzi top dollar to catch somebodies acting like nobodies. Today I'm focused on the Towhees. They like to keep a low profile but I'm a pro and I know how to find... Continue Reading →

Summer Soundtrack

One of my favorite things about summer is the free outdoor concerts. I’m not talking about local bands that occasionally perform from the park gazebo even though they can be a pleasant accompaniment to my evening dog walk. No, nothing says summer... Continue Reading →

Damsels and Dragons… But No Prince

Once upon a time there was a damsel(fly). [Imagine, if you will, a bucolic Disneyesque soundtrack of flutes and piccolos in the background.] She (Or maybe he. This is a modern fairly tale.) explored the lovely little pond from which... Continue Reading →

Social Network

Mark Zuckerberg would not be one of 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world without the help of wasps. I mean the six-legged kind (whether or not two-legged WASPs should get any of the credit is something for... Continue Reading →

Village Voice

How can one small voice cut through the cacophony of modern metropolitan life? A recently published study, combined with some earlier work, suggests that contrary to what you might assume, the secret to city communication isn’t shouting. Urban background noise... Continue Reading →

Sparks

Walking through a nearby park at dusk the other night, I saw a single spark. Then another. Soon there were too many to count, hovering in the airspace between my chin and my ankles, lighting my way past the pond,... Continue Reading →

Long time No See

When I was in Austin about a month ago, I ran into an old acquaintance… kinda-sorta. I was having a glass of wine at the Hyatt Regency’s outdoor bar when, out of the corner of my eye, I recognized someone... Continue Reading →

Nocturne

The melody seeped into my REM cycle, making me just lucid enough to believe someone was singing a cappella outside my window. But my sleep-clouded brain couldn’t make out the words and I didn’t recognize the voice either. Besides, who... Continue Reading →

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