A “House Centipede” was in the house this morning. He was trapped in my kitchen sink—my uncharacteristically clean sink—which proved so slick even 15 pairs of centipede legs could not scrabble a foothold.
Centipedes aren’t new to me, but a clean sink is, as is an organized kitchen. My threshold for dirt and chaos has always been high. But looming pandemics change people. I changed when I realized my family would be hunkered down for an undetermined length of time, and that we’d need to feed ourselves,
and that I was the only one who knew where the food was.
I specialize in sidewalk nature—because it’s the nature most of us have—so woodland spring ephemerals do not usually qualify. But this trout lily does. It was blooming next to the road, one short leap over the drainage gully.
And not just one trout lily, but a whole school of them, dappled and nodding alongside a steep stream that empties into a parking lot.Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Trout Lily”→
Happy First Day of Spring!
It’s raining elm seeds right now. This one fell in my tea, so I ate it, then ate a few more.
They are delicious.
They taste like the First Day of Spring. Continue reading “First Day of Spring”→
I walked out into the usual construction noise, but threading through Next Door’s pneumatic nailers and skilsaws came a new sound: softer, sorta familiar, and somehow very, very important. A rolling, repetitive, ratcheting trill . . . a cross between a toad and a fanbelt? Continue reading “City of [Sandhill] Cranes”→
I saw the puzzle at a used book sale. My kids are old, I am old, I don’t work at a school anymore, but I really, really wanted that preschool puzzle.
First, I showed it to my Middle Schooler. “Please tell me not to buy this gorgeous puzzle from 1975.”
“Put it back,” he said, putting it back.
Then, I texted a photo to my friend Taunia, and added the same (disingenuous) demand: “Please tell me not to buy this gorgeous puzzle from 1975.” And Taunia answered, “How could you NOT!?”Continue reading “Native Puzzler”→
On the very day I learn about an aphid’s “twin tailpipes (cornicles) at the rear of the insect,” an aphid appears in my kitchen and shows me twin tailpipes. See here on my arm? 6 legs, 2 antennae, and then the 2 dealies poking out the back? Cornicles. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Aphid Alarms”→