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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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Ecology

Treehuggers

I've been called a treehugger more than once in my life, and while I know the comments weren't intended as such, I always take them as compliments. As a sobriquet it's both true and false: true, because I do spontaneously... Continue Reading →

Wingsuit

Is there any non-human skill people covet more passionately than the ability to fly? Understandably, early aviation experiments centered around mimicry of birds, complete with flapping arms that were usually covered in feathers. The Greek legend of Daedalus and Icarus... Continue Reading →

Long-Stemmed

Daddy longlegs are the jazz cats of the arachnid world! This realization came to me as I watched a single backlit note poised on a broken music staff bebop across the asphalt path in front of me. A soundtrack of... Continue Reading →

Vert-de-Gris

It isn't easy being green. Kermit the Frog said it, so you know it has to be true. He's always seemed a reluctant celebrity, so my guess is that being the most famous Muppet-amphibian on the planet isn't always a... Continue Reading →

Hungry

Terrier-boy transformed into a velociraptor before my very eyes! We were walking along, minding our own business, when a momentary ruffling of leaves on the side of the pavement captured Dash's attention and instinct took over... head periscopes right... ears... Continue Reading →

Slender in the Grass

But never met this Fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter Breathing, and Zero at the Bone. Unlike Emily Dickinson, ophiophobia isn't an issue for me. I like snakes and know them to be upstanding ecosystem citizens... umm, ok, upstanding... 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 →

Near and Distant

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) aren't usually considered an urban wildlife species but I'd come a long way and wanted to see them while I was in South Africa. The built environment just doesn't have the amenities Earth's largest living terrestrial... Continue Reading →

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