Category Nature

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…

Yuccas Every Year

They threatened to take over parts of our bit of flat land here in the cleft of the east escarpment that drains Floyd County to the west and north into the Roanoke River. Ann loathes yuccas for their tenaciousness on…

Snakeless in Seattle

Or “Sixteen Feet of Elbow Room” We have not lost another egg to a snake (that we know of) for a week, and have now transplanted three black rat snakes,  noosed in or around the garden shed/henhouse to an abandoned…

Sounds Like Summer

This morning, an audio visit to Goose Creek. The occasion: robin and tanager calling alternately–until I fetched the mic. So here’s a clip of American Robin, Scarlet Tanager, and Wren (Carolina I think) mixing it up,  with the burble of…

Right to a Nature-Rich Childhood

I happened across this piece I’d written some years back–for Blog Action Day maybe–and thought it might have a place in what used to be the book I was writing and compiling from odd bits here and there that might…

Forest Is…

Forest: a bunch of trees. A product. A profit source for shareholders. A place where something useful might be built. Forest: a living community of interconnected lifeforms, above and below ground, that breathes oxygen, captures and stores CO2, communicates across…

The Contented Zoologist: Mid Feb 2017

My MS degree from Auburn (just after the last Ice Age) was in Vertebrate Zoology. I would have been just as happy–if not happier–if it had been in Invertebrate Zoology since there are a gazillion times more animals without than…

A Pill Bug By Any Other Name

pill bug sow bug roly-poly

So what do you call them? And if you say you’ve never seen them before or held one (or a couple of dozen) in your hands as a child, well–the pity. We called them roly-polies. You might have called them…

Nature Deficit Disaster: Vanishing Species

There was a time when we could pretend to not know it was short-sighted to let tongueless buffalo carcasses rot by the millions. Or shoot passenger pigeons for sport. Or wipe out all top predators because we had the notion the world…

The Honesty of Insects

They are never duplicitous or deceitful. They are not envious of more powerful or attractive members of their group nor do they seek more creature comforts than is their hardwired destiny. They may stink or sting, buzz and bump their…

Final Flowers

This Pearl Crescent (my best guess at ID–click image to enlarge) makes a final stop for nectar before–what? Has this butterly already laid eggs to overwinter while the adults will succumb to the first hard freeze? If the latter, this…

What Writing Spiders Write

Whatever it is (if anything more than the zigzag of z’s below center stage) they’d better write it quickly and close up shop. The cool damp makes sluggish morning spiders easy enough victims of bird breakfasts that I’d expect to…