Archive for June, 2013

A friend of mine uploaded this photo he took of a luna moth to Facebook and gave me permission to use it, along with his original caption, which read

“Dear Mr. Moth: your fantastic leaf-like camouflage works much better if you actually sit on a tree.”

Actias luna

Image credit: Paul Erickson.


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Have you seen this criminal?  Wanted for assault in the District of Columbia

Have you seen this criminal? Wanted for assault in the District of Columbia

The other day, when I was sitting at my desk working and my cats were out in the garden sunning themselves, I saw a bird swoop by right before the cats ran back into the house, terrified.  I laughed at their fear of birds—they didn’t grow up outdoor cats and it showed, or so I thought.

I’m not laughing anymore, because this week the same bird terrified me.

The day before the bad storms hit the East Coast, my mother and I were in the garden, pulling weeds and trimming branches.  My mother took the pruning shears to the holly tree, and soon there was a bird shrieking and screaming at her.  We figured she had gotten close to a nest, so she backed off.  The day after the storm, I went back outside to check to see if the nest had survived.  I was looking at the bundle of twigs on the holly branch when I felt a THUMP on the back of my head.  (more…)

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A rear-view glimpse of a white-tailed deer

A rear-view glimpse of a white-tailed deer

Coming home tonight at the end of an evening with friends, I turned off Massachusetts Avenue onto Calvert Street.  This intersection sits, more or less, in the front yard of Naval Observatory, which is where the Vice President lives.  The grounds of the Observatory are always thick with deer; I often see them in the evening grazing.  Tonight, turning left, I saw a deer run across Calvert Street and into a neighboring yard.  I pulled my car over to catch a glimpse of it. (more…)

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Red Greens

Onions 2

Roasted red scallions

So last Thursday, the first CSA was ready and my mom and I were stunned.  There were half a dozen large bunches of greens—red romaine, red kale, leaf lettuce, frisee, bok choy, and collards—plus a bag of radishes and a bunch of red scallions.  (Why is everything red, I wonder?)  Neither my mother nor I wanted to try the collards—HUSH all you people who like collards, get your own CSA—so I went back and swapped them for something that we never figured out what it was and it wilted soon after we got it.  I was alarmed at the very idea that there was something that we couldn’t figure out what it was—in fact, my mother had to identify more than half of the things we got for me.  This made me feel awful, but lots of friends told me that their CSAs were also adventures in unfamiliar vegetables, so that was good. (more…)

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