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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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nesting behavior

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 →

Mystery Chef

"Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" With Thanksgiving less than 2 weeks away, that's the question on everyone's lips. Even those who don't have lips, like the barred owl (Strix varia)—a species that seems to be innately, and... Continue Reading →

Into Thin Air

What has webbed feet, waterproof feathers, a broad bill… and nests in a tree? Don’t let that last clue fool you. While it’s true most ducks build their nests on the ground, the wood duck (Aix sponsa) aims a little... Continue Reading →

When the Wind Blows

Early Thursday morning, a sound came blasting through dreams and memory to my sleeping brain.  It’s been years—decades even—since I lived in Tornado Alley, where April brings showers, The Wizard of Oz on television, and being hustled into the basement... Continue Reading →

Hide & Seek

Winter weekend mornings are perfect for catching a little extra shut-eye, but my fur-covered drill sergeant thinks it’s important to rise and shine on schedule, seven days a week. I can’t seem to dissuade him from this mindset. There’s a... Continue Reading →

When a Mess is a Nest

High winds and rain here in Virginia earlier this week have left once-vivid foliage tossed and trampled on the ground like Election Night confetti. The red-orange-yellow pallet of October is shifting to browns, taupes, and grays. With the hyperbole of... Continue Reading →

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