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Next-Door Nature

tales from the wild metropolis

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wildlife

Fishing for the Right Tool

Strolling through Lafayette Park early one evening, I took note of the usual suspects distributed along the edge of the centerpiece man-made lake as they waited patiently for red-and-white bobbers to disappear below the surface. The fisher-folk are a common... Continue Reading →

Long Winter’s Nap

Sleep is gaining new respect among human health researchers. They've observed correlations between 6-7 hours of quality shut-eye and longevity, improved mood and memory, as well as restoration of immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. But getting enough sleep is... Continue Reading →

Slurpy

You know how there's always that last bit of liquid in the glass, just a few drops, that's resistant to lift-off no matter how many times you re-position the straw or how much suction force you apply?  Well, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers... Continue Reading →

Homebodies

Anywhere you hang your hat is home, or so the saying goes, but the same holds true even if your cap is actually a cluster of rose-colored feathers, or even a cloche of streaky tan and taupe.  Perhaps we rarely... Continue Reading →

Strangers in the Night

Crickets don't really sing. The females are silent, and when males want to croon they don't clear their throats... they rub their wings together, kind of like snapping fingers. Very hip. So maybe it would be more accurate to say their wear their hearts on their sleeves. Except they don't have sleeves. Or arms. Or hearts.

Endemic Immigrants

Descendants of German immigrants are living in the city park a couple of blocks from my loft. Nobody in this historic St. Louis neighborhood seems to mind, least of all me. In fact, this family has had an encampment there... 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 →

All the Feels

"You're so sensitive!" That statement is rarely intended as a compliment. I don't get too worked up when it's flung in my direction, though. For one thing, by responding with nonchalance I'm contradicting the unsolicited appraisal. Secondly, I know the... Continue Reading →

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