Category Arts And Science

Mountain Lake(less)

Mountain Lake (on Salt Pond Mountain) in Giles County, Virginia, was familiar territory once upon a time. I took five-week-long studies at the UVa Biological Station there in the summers of 1977 and 1978. I have been back a few…

The Fading Faint Colors of Fall

It has not been a spectacular year for fall colors in our part of the Southern Appalachians. The prolonged late-summer drought seems likely to have contributed to the subdued palette, but the alchemy of autumn is a many-splendored mystery with…

When The Bottom Falls Out of the Food Web

Most people might think it’s a good thing–that there are demonstrably and significantly fewer insects than there were three decades ago. But consider that these morels are critical links between the primary producers (grasses and other greenery that turns sun…

Saturday Shorts

â–ºI often thought, when looking up at a crop of walnuts, that it would hurt mightily to be hit by one of those things. I was right. A glancing blow and no permanent damage done, but this time of year,…

Snake in the Grass

In eighteen summers on Goose Creek, this is the first rat snake (of scores) that was not black. Most have no hint of a pattern on the dorsal surface; this one does. We’ve transported four snakes to other parts after…

Two to Tango

They have their moments, even though mostly on our round-abouts we’re either keeping Dingo at some distance from Gandy or, when they are at a distance, watching Gandy dominate the confrontations by soundly boxing his ears or sending him tumbling.…

Doglemma

We don’t know what we want. We don’t know what’s best. We don’t know what’s possible. Other than that, our future of dog ownership is perfectly clear. We have been fated to cross paths with a fully worthy young stray…

When the Rains Come

I suppose technically we are not in a drought. Parts of the county have gotten more from recent storms than we have gotten on Goose Creek. So I’m glad the creek still flows, even if just barely enough to keep…

Pattern and Purpose

Somehow, the silent working of this spider, relentlessly, tirelessly doing the next thing, spinning the threads of another day of waiting, not knowing… Somehow, the regular, expert lines of concentric effort with a plan, not so much in mind as…

Population Limits: Galloping Male Infertility

Surely, amidst all the rumors of war and profane word-garbage from once-high places of power, you’ve seen the recent evidence that should scream an urgent message to those who control the future of science research, chemical misuse and pollution, and…

Parkway Whites

Our cars carry us along the Blue Ridge Parkway rather often,  that 400-mile-long national park being the eastern-southern border of Floyd County. But our cars also require us, from time to time, to visit the parkway because that is where…

Boys and Behemoth Bubbles

We usually don’t drive the whole way to Columbia MO in one day anymore, so make a regular stop in Ferdinand, Indiana. This year, at our favorite pub in “downtown” Ferdinand, we saw signs announcing HeimaFest that day, in a…

Friday Nature UNK

So outdoor observers: what fruit on yonder tree? Admittedly, this is a crappy picture, taken through the window of my car, stopped briefly on a county road and having not gone unnoticed by a nearby barking porch dog. I think…