Kiss of the Assassin Bug

    I was bitten the other night. I would have taken a picture of the turgid, blood-filled bug that stuck its rostrum inside of me for a liberal helping of hemoglobin, but my girlfriend smashed it with a rock and spattered the thing while I cheered her on. It was hard to resist the killing. Normally, I try and treat other […]

Moby Peep: A Peeps Diorama

I have a bit of a thing about whales. The shelf above my desk at home is full of whale art, and a National Geographic whale poster hangs in a frame above that. Along with that, I have a thing about Moby Dick, which is a book about whales. So when it was time for […]

Dead Bugs Under My Desk, a Tribute

In honor of Helen Fields’s beloved series about the bugs she comes across in her daily life [see Fields, H. “Bugs on my Window,” LWON (June 24, 2015)], I’d like to present a semi-related post: Bugs (or Other Things) that my Dogs Probably Regurgitated As a writer and a “scientist” (I studied Conservation Biology, which […]

TGIPF: Alligator Awesome Redux

Today really feels like Thank God It’s Penis Friday, doesn’t it? This post originally appeared in February 2013. The alligator harvest at Louisiana’s Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge happened every September, so in the fall of 2007, Diane Kelly packed her bags. She wasn’t hunting, but she still had to put her scalpels and knife blades and […]

Where is here; here is where

Isaiah grins at me across the dining room table and more than 1,000 miles. In my nephew’s small, pale hand is an outsized Crayola marker, to match the pencil in my more gnarled fingers. We both lean over rectangles of paper—his in Colorado, mine in Oregon, now occupying the same virtual space, thanks to a […]

Concert Bug

Sunday afternoon I sang a concert of madrigals and other choral music of the last few centuries. It was in the pleasant modern chapel at a retirement home. Between sets, the music director introduced the next group of songs. A set of Elizabethan madrigals, with plenty of fa-la-las. (They don’t mean anything, but they’re joyful.) Some […]

Beetles, Time Travelers

In the summer of 2011, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History was in the process of doing some bug relocation. Specifically, they were moving some of their beetles from the museum building downtown out to a storage facility in the suburbs—specifically, the non-plant-eating scarabs. It was a lot of scarabs. The museum has a […]

Saccorhytus coronarius Is Your Weird Cousin, Too

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Mouth. Anus. Reproductive bit in between. Isn’t that all one really needs to get by? I’m oversimplifying, of course. Lungs are helpful if you live on land, for example. But check out our newly discovered really ancient fossilized ancestor. Saccorhytus coronarious, unearthed recently by paleontologists in sedimentary rock in […]