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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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nesting behavior

Socially Distant

Lately, when I'm feeling especially stressed or anxious, I find it comforting to escape reality by watching a sitcom episode, or three, from "the before-times," a term now being use as shorthand for "everything prior to the first quarter of... Continue Reading →

Headfirst

Watching a white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) cascade along the steep slope of a tree brought to mind the playground at Oakville Elementary, and made me wonder if the species' iconic bottoms-up foraging style is the result of a dare. The... Continue Reading →

Dee-Lovely

How often do you come across a bird so dee-lightful, so dee-lectable that it captured the attention of characters as disparate as W.C. Fields and Cole Porter? Quite often, actually, because chickadees (Poecile spp) are far from rare in North... Continue Reading →

Dashiell Hears A Hoot

[In honor of (and with apologies to) Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.]  On February the fourth, 'neath skies colored gray, In the dimming light, at the end of the day, He was walking, the sights and smells thrilling, When Dashiell... Continue Reading →

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 →

The Jet Set

Everyone has their own personal markers of summer—the flash of a firefly, the pulsing hum of cicadas, the aroma of freshly cut grass... I'm sure you have a favorite.  To my mind, nothing says summer quite as definitively as the... Continue Reading →

Helicopter Parent

As the most literal of helicopter parents, a ruby-throated hummingbird mom (RTH, Archilochus colubris) takes hovering to a whole new competitive level. In the case of this feathered sprite (2.8 - 3.5" long, including bill, and just over 1/10 of... Continue Reading →

Fast Food

When humans talk about making a breakfast, lunch, or dinner run, it's understood that we're speaking metaphorically. Truth be told, we'll probably drive, not jog, to a local café, convenience store, or Kroger. The same cannot be said about the... Continue Reading →

Lonesome Doves

It's a fine world, though rich in hardships at times. ~ Larry McMurtry There's a sweetness in the lament of a mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) that makes the sorrow bearable, and believable. Theirs isn't an pop tune about a hookup... Continue Reading →

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