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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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Environment

Small, Dark & Handsome

Once upon a time, when I was a girl, I was far more interested in frogs than in fairy tales. I wasn't all that enchanted by the Disney princesses of my 1960s childhood, either — Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty. Maybe... Continue Reading →

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 →

Sorority Girls Gone Mild

The facade isn’t impressive. You won't see Greek letters out front or any other obvious signs but I’m here to tell ya, an anthill is a sorority. One of the first, in fact. The scene is totally social, but if... Continue Reading →

The Big Lift

Atlas has six legs. I know that’s not how the ancient Greeks or your grade school teacher depicted him. The storytellers of Athens liked their allegories in human form and, yes, I’m sure the tale of a Titan condemned to... Continue Reading →

The Great Pumpkinseed

Setting out for a walk, I paused just past my building's threshold to savor morning air crisp as a fresh Granny Smith apple, perfumed with a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves that have been whisked, infused, and frappéd... Continue Reading →

Slings and Arrows

I wonder if Henry knew that not everything shot into the air falls back to Earth. I'm not denying the sovereignty of gravity but if the arrow is a male common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) hoping to impress a potential mate... Continue Reading →

Red-headed Stranger

If the stranger hoped to slip into Lafayette Square unnoticed he went about it all wrong. Sure, choosing a plain white top beneath an unadorned black waistcoat might sound like a reasonable way to avoid detection, especially when one is... Continue Reading →

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