Dogwoods in the Anthropocene Forest

Until recently, we had a number of dogwoods (Cornus florida) on our wooded North Carolina property. Every April, we’d enjoy their beautiful, saucer-like white blossoms peeking through the other foliage, virtually the only reminder of their existence through the thick undergrowth. In September, their berries were enjoyed by a riot of birds. Mockingbirds, bluebirds, thrushes, … More Dogwoods in the Anthropocene Forest

Wild Love: A Valentine’s Day Natural History

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. But we’ve had warning – the decorations started going up in stores the day after Christmas. I’m guessing you’re the romantic type – you’re probably going to do something lovely for your sweetheart next week. Maybe opting for traditional gifts, you’ll start with a card and roses, finish up … More Wild Love: A Valentine’s Day Natural History

Jackson Wild, CITES & UNDP – Raising the Profile of Wildlife in Peril

A mother lion-tailed macaque cradles her baby against her, undisturbed by the camera crew in close proximity. Polar bears trudge across sludgy ice floes to find ringed seals in winter. A herd of pronghorn antelope bounds across the screen and condors fly high over herds of guanaco. These are just a few of the many … More Jackson Wild, CITES & UNDP – Raising the Profile of Wildlife in Peril

Inside the Animal Mind: A Conversation with Richard Louv

I recently had the chance fulfill a long-time ambition, to have a chat with the Richard Louv best-selling author of many books, including “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle.” Richard is a leader in thinking about nature deficit and our need to connect to the natural world, especially at a young age. … More Inside the Animal Mind: A Conversation with Richard Louv

A Christmas Herbarium: The Nature and Culture of our Favorite Holiday Plants

The Festive season is upon us. Many of us are busy hanging wreathes, decorating trees, and putting up mistletoe in doorways for that holiday smooch. If it’s Christmas you celebrate, most of our traditions go far further back than inflatable characters out of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the front lawn. And one thing that … More A Christmas Herbarium: The Nature and Culture of our Favorite Holiday Plants

The Painting

The other day, on a whim, we went to a thrift shop and something happened that you fantasize about but never expect. We found a masterpiece. The painting was sitting in a corner behind a lot of faded prints from the 1980s, with “$12.99”. scrawled on the back. We thought it was probably a clever … More The Painting

The Chicken that Plays Puccini: A Question of Animal Awareness

The other day, while looking for something to watch on YouTube, I was offered up in the side-bar a series of videos of a chicken playing the piano. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and was treated to two minutes and one second of a chicken at an electric piano playing “O mio babbino caro” … More The Chicken that Plays Puccini: A Question of Animal Awareness

Newly Launched – “Love Nature: The Biophilia Podcast”

Last Wednesday, I teamed up with my colleague Dr. Dan Dombrowski, Chief Veterinarian at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to launch Love Nature: The Biophilia Podcast. The launch itself was part of of BugFest, the Museum’s largest event of the year, attracting 30,000 people or more every September. This time, it was wholly virtual, … More Newly Launched – “Love Nature: The Biophilia Podcast”