Shameless PR for My New Book: A Brief LWON Q&A

  Ann:  Jenny has a new book out. It’s part of a series — best-selling, mind you — about unlikely relationships between animals and surprising animal heroics. (This one is called Unlikely Friendships: Dogs. It has a lot of dogs in it.) So far, I’ve read only the Amazon Read-Inside story about the dog and […]

On Being Alone

Something about the way a river trip starts. Gear gets thrown in, arranged, tied down, and when the current picks up and carries you downstream, your sense of time and distance immediately changes. Connection to the other 7 billion or so people on the planet loosens, and connection to something bigger, and in ways smaller, […]

Redux: Guns on the Brain

This post first ran on May 21, 2013. I wish it would stop being relevant to the news.  I recently witnessed one of the kindest, gentlest people I know fly into a momentary rage over a parking space. Such transformations used to baffle me, but after writing a Discover story about embodied cognition, I’m starting […]

Mystery on 39th Street

Maybe we were delirious. It was after two in the morning and I had my kids out on the street in Manhattan. With how hot August was, we tried to stay out late, taking advantage of cooler nighttime temperatures. This was our eighth night knocking around the city, urban exploration I called it, an extracurricular crash course […]

Toward a Unified Theory of Poohsticks

By the time it arrived at the edge of our campsite, the stream had grown up so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. It was still clear and shallow, but […]

A Brush with the Bear

In the part of your mind that is still animal, still wild, you remember fight or flight; the possibility of paws holding you down, and the hinge of jaws upon you. The thought no longer goes through our minds the way it must have long ago. Sometimes, though, the memory returns. I was considering such a scenario years […]

The Brooklyn Squirrel War of 2016

There is currently a war raging in my yard. For the past week a handful of squirrels (I can’t honestly say how many since I can’t tell them apart) have been fighting. And not just the regular squibble squabble squirrel fight. A full on, screaming, bloody, vicious battle.

A Shooting, a Storyteller

I was with a group kayaking and camping on the coast of south-central Alaska — seven adults, five kids from four years old to twelve. One of the adults was a muscular late-20s man named Everett, a friend who came along to get out of the city for an adventure. A street cop from Aurora, Colorado, Everett quickly […]