The Last Word


Christie kicked off the week by reduxing a post about the time she lost her phone, and found her brain: The impossibility of sharing with the rest of the world whatever moment I was experiencing here and now was a powerful reminder of how much more I take in when I’m not relying on technology to document what I’m seeing.

Guest Lauren Gravitz commiserates with a pair of woodpeckers at her feeders as they try to keep up with their fledgling’s demands for foodI don’t get to witness such clean, clear progress from the vantage point of my own parenting. The hours of begging are exhausting and, most days, result in little more than frustration. 

Emma chronicles plant behavior research–and finds we shouldn’t underestimate our more-rooted companions: Apart from making the oxygen you breathe and providing the basis for the food web upon which you depend, plants may also be basically as smart as you are—just less hasty.

Sarah studied birds this summer on one of the Pribilof Islands, and bears witness to their declineIt was an enviable gig, staring at the Bering Sea every day. The birds were as thick in the air as mosquitoes, or pasted to the cliffs in a great, chattering mass…But the beauty couldn’t mask another thing the three of us watched slowly unfold: Most of the birds were failing.

I reduxed a post about rainbow eucalyptus trees after finding a newly-beloved (but less colorful) tree had been axed: Later that night that night I was doing what those centuries-old Californians did—dreaming of planting my own neighborhood eucalyptus invasion. Rainbow trees, they could do anything! If people saw these trees, wars would stop, credit card companies would stop charging interest, and we’d all break out into song, right?

Have a good weekend!

Red kittiwake drawing by Sarah Gilman.


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Categorized in: Miscellaneous