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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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human-wildlife conflict

Zipped

On frosty mornings, Mercury is uncharacteristically slow to leave that snug thermometer bulb... and I can't say I blame him. I've been in no hurry to leave my own cozy bed since Winter hit town back in early November.  However,... Continue Reading →

Grassroots

Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence, especially if your yard-care ethic is benign neglect, and your neighbor is a wannabe greenskeeper. Generally speaking, though, the sentiment behind that familiar grassy idiom is sound—we... Continue Reading →

Watchdogs

I heard sharp calls piercing the air, even before I noticed the compound of earthen dwellings, and knew that sentinels had spotted me and my canine companion. Last autumn, I spent some time in New Mexico. I lived there, between... Continue Reading →

Town Crier

My flight into Cape Town landed early last night, just before 9p. That was fine by me since, by that point, I'd been on the plane about 11.5 hours, and in transit from Blacksburg, Virginia for about 31 hours.  For... Continue Reading →

British Invasion

It seems to happen once each century. In 1775 the Redcoats showed up in Boston, the Beatles made a big splash about 200 years later in 1964, and in the sweet-spot in-between the House Sparrows (Passer domestics) arrived. . It’s difficult... Continue Reading →

Bright-Eyed and Brushy-Tailed

Consider, if you will, the sartorial importance of tail attire.  To bare, or not to bare… that is the question.  The answer might seem to be of little consequence, but for marsupials living in cities and suburbs some strategically placed... Continue Reading →

Hitchhikers

Add another accomplishment to my resume as official wildlife guru and animal-vehicle biologist for NPR's Car Talk—the 14th most popular radio show on the U.S. airwaves and the 6th most popular if you exclude shows that feature a some kind... Continue Reading →

Leftovers

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans throw out 34 million tons of food each year—an average of 93 thousand tons per day, and some experts estimate the amount triples on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Food for thought, while... Continue Reading →

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