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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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hidden wilderness

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Enter the term "engineering marvels" into your favorite search engine and you'll see there's some debate over the Top 10 but several projects always seem to hit the mark, such as Dubai's Palm Islands, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva,... Continue Reading →

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 →

Exceptional

"He sure does have a chip on his shoulder!" That statement is a metaphor... ... except when it isn't. Taken literally, this idiom for describing someone looking for a fight may also refer to the ornamental insignia on a military... 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 →

Malleable

Like water off a duck's back — That tried and true adaptability adage is an apt observation for just about any species of waterfowl, thanks to their liquid-resistant outer contour feathers, but in the case of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) it's... Continue Reading →

Basket Case

We can argue until the chickens come home to roost about which 19th century influencer said it first, industrialist Andrew Carnegie or author and humorist Mark Twain, but there's little dispute that most birds wholeheartedly agree with the statement, "Put... 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 →

Silent Flight

The natural world outside my Midwestern door is preparing for a long winter nap. Cozy quilts made of homespun leaves keep tree feet from getting too cold. Seeds and insect eggs, the harvest of the previous growing season, have slipped... Continue Reading →

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