BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Is there any non-human skill people covet more passionately than the ability to fly? Understandably, early aviation experiments centered around mimicry of birds, complete with flapping arms that were usually covered in feathers. The Greek legend of Daedalus and Icarus is a familiar example, but plumage continued to be part of the […]
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Ever notice how many of the colloquialisms we use for comparisons aren’t all that apropos, or even true? Like… – graceful as a swan (have you ever seen one on land?) – dull as ditchwater (believe me, that liquid is lively at the microbial level) – happy as a […]
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD On your mark…. Get set… HOP! This morning, just in time for Easter, I saw my first Eastern Cottontail of the year. An article I read while eating breakfast had me thinking about track meets, and I’m sure that’s why I noticed, for the first time, how runners imitate the posture […]
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD “But never met this Fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter Breathing, and Zero at the Bone.” Unlike Emily Dickinson, ophiophobia (fear of snakes) isn’t an issue for me. I like snakes and know them to be upstanding ecosystem citizens… um, ok, “upstanding” probably isn’t the best descriptor for creatures without legs […]
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we’re twenty years into the Information Age so I’m pretty sure everyone in this courtroom knows that, to quote a famous New Yorker cartoon, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The anonymity baked into the interwebs means we’re all free to be whatever, or […]
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD The snow we’ve been getting lately provides visible clues to who’s been out and about in the park. Bird feet don’t usually offer much insight into genus and species, fox and coyote paws are hard to distinguish from those of domesticated canines, but the Virginia Opossum lays down a track that’s easy […]
Next time the Weather Channel predicts a cold front, with or without a “wintery mix,” ask yourself if the people peeking out from fleece hoodies, swaths of scarves, turned up coat collars, and balaclavas as they hunch toward the warmth of home look more like bears… or turtles.
The heat of summer can make any body feel dry as dust. But wild animals, especially those species who can tolerate living near people, usually have an easier time finding some moisture when the mercury rises than when it falls.
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD The natural world outside my Midwestern door is preparing for a long winter nap. Cozy quilts made of homespun leaves keep tree feet from getting too cold. Seeds and insect eggs, the harvest of the previous growing season, have slipped into snug sweaters of soil or been tucked into bark bunk beds, […]
BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Whenever I see a Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) at this time of year I’m reminded of my days as Executive Director of the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, back in the late 1990s. For a few weeks every winter, the Waxwings would appear by the cardboard box-full and the clinic would turn into… […]