Adventures of an Occasional Goatherd

Baby, it’s cold outside! So I’m posting a little look-back at some warmer-weather fun on the farm. ————– I love goats. In many ways they’re a lot like dogs, and I love dogs. So, it follows. How are they like dogs? At least the ones I’ve met love attention. They want to be petted and […]

A Winter’s Tale

Last night I went out with my kids to see the new Star Wars movie, followed by an hour and a half drive home along rivers and over a Colorado pass late at night. A car or two came by every twenty minutes or so. As my two boys slept in their pillows of jackets, […]

Like You’re Not Even There

  Last Sunday I saw a mountain lion, a full body profile, spotted from a dirt road. Healthy size and age, tail like a rope. By the time we backed up the truck, it was gone, disappeared into a brambly ponderosa forest. I don’t know why, to find tracks, or a scent, I jumped out […]

Redux: A Wolf Dies

Recently, a bounty was announced for the poacher of wolf designated as OR-33 that was shot in Klamath County, Oregon. Rob Klavins, a staffer at the non-profit Oregon Wild, wrote a eulogy for the animal, in which he lamented that “[O]f all the wolves I’ve been privileged to have some deeper understanding of, not a single […]

There’s Shrinkage

I love it when research into other animals is totally applicable to humans. A recent report on the common shrew (Sorex araneus), by Max Planck Institute researcher Javier Lazaro et al., reveals that the animal’s head shrinks drastically in winter. That includes its brain mass. Running this discovery up the food chain, I think I […]

Redux: Science Meets Bird, Bird Meets Science

This week, news of the rediscovery of the Jackson’s climbing salamander in Guatemala has me thinking about all the species that lie just out of sight. Here’s one I first wrote about in 2013. Late last year, during a reporting trip in Cambodia, I shared a car for a couple of days with Simon Mahood, […]

I, Also

  The other day I was at a natural history museum sitting with a paleontologist, a dear friend of many years. We were talking about the situation between women and men. I had recently written about her research on dire wolves. We’d gone back and forth on the page, her asking me to take out […]

Redux: A Visit to the Museum of Osteology

This post originally ran March 31, 2015. I knew what I expected from the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City: amusement. I go to a lot of museums, and in my experience, privately-run museums based on one person’s obsession are always quirky and often pretty fun. This museum was founded by a guy and his […]