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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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habitat

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 →

Runner-Up

I don’t know what American grade school kids are being taught these days—I left Oakville Elementary a couple of decades ago (okay, fine—several decades ago) and since I haven’t had kids of my own I don’t have access to 21st... Continue Reading →

Size Matters

A scientists’ work is never done. That’s because there’s always another layer to peel away, another stone to turn, another angle from which to view the situation.  Case in point—nearly 200 years ago, Charles Darwin made the connection between the... Continue Reading →

Prodigal Sons (and Daughters)

Midwesterners are welcoming the return of some long-absent natives. On second thought, “welcoming” is probably an overstatement… because just as in the famous biblical parable, not everyone is thrilled about this reunion. A rigorous statistical study to be published in... Continue Reading →

Roadside Attraction

Ever dreamed of going on a safari? Then fasten your seat belt, start the engine, and hit the road. Any road. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts—take the time to look and you’ll spy enough wildlife to satisfy, Bwana. Sure,... Continue Reading →

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