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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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hidden nature

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 →

Hot and Cold

Temperatures across the southern half of the U.S. are soaring into triple digits, so I was trying to think of creative solutions to beat the heat when it hit me—why not become cold-blooded! Alas, my brain must have overheated. Once... Continue Reading →

Barnstormers

WITNESS astounding tricks of precision flying! THRILL to the sight of daring aerial capers! Come one, come ALL! The Flying Circus is winging its way to a backyard near YOU!!  Critics are raving about this summer’s must-see event. Word to 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 →

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 →

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 →

Border Battles

Last Sunday morning I unexpectedly found myself sitting ringside for a brief but furious brawl. Two male red-bellied woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) were having a boundary dispute that started with an argument over some shrubbery then escalated into a full-on aerial... Continue Reading →

Tangled Up in Blue

Happiness is a shy little bird. Hiding from sight in life’s nooks and crannies, impossible to find if you look but then it darts out and lands on your shoulder just when you least expect it. It sidles up beside... Continue Reading →

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