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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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insects

Rideshare

My wire fox terrier and I were walking along a favorite path on a cool autumn morning. Stopping to investigate a patch of tall plants clinging to the steep sides of a ridge that used to carry Virginia Anthracite Coal... Continue Reading →

Spineless Samurai

When the annual cicadas emerge each summer their tymbals vibrate at arboreal drumming circles all over town.  The beats bounce and reverberate against hard city surfaces; during a crescendo, I swear I can feel the buildings and sidewalks pulsing like... Continue Reading →

Oddly Normal

I don't live far from the eclipse's Path of Totality, but I decided to stay put just the same. I didn't even order eclipse glasses. I know there will be plenty of great video to watch throughout the day, and... Continue Reading →

Hammers and Hydrangeas

Productivity.  A word that has long enjoyed favored status in U.S. culture. Americans are always trying to do more work in less time so we can… do even more work. We purchase time-saving apps and appliances and then fill the... Continue Reading →

Goodness Knows

Kindergarteners swarmed around the khaki-clad naturalist, squealing with excitement, shouting out questions and jockeying for a better view. The adult volunteers on this field trip were a tougher audience. “I’m glad they’re having fun but I don’t see why anyone should... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

Thanks for Noticing

“Oh look—you’ve got a visitor!” Standing outside my front door, Bryan, pet-sitter extraordinaire, was in a better position to spot that wisp of green. But coming or going, I doubt I’d have noticed on my own. A habitual multitasker, I'm... Continue Reading →

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