Lessons Not Learned

The dog emerged from the aspen grove with straw on her face. At least, that’s what my husband Dave first thought when he saw Molly reappear on the trail he was running with a couple of friends. But it turned out that those weren’t threads of straw. They were porcupine quills, protruding from her lips […]

SHE?

My first interviews for this current astronomy story were with the astronomers I’ve known and known of for decades — whose research I’ve followed, whose talks I’ve attended, whom I’ve interviewed, as I said, for decades.  The astronomers were what they have been likely to be:  men. Astronomer:  Werk looked at other metal lines.  She […]

Only I

Smokey Bear Celebrates 70th Birthday and Reminds Americans … “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires”                                 –  Ad Council press release, August 7, 2014 Why me? Why am I the only one who can prevent wildfires? Forest fires were burden enough. I’ve […]

Days Are Numbered

Around here, we do some things by the numbers. On odd days, the older boy sits on the prime outside seat of the kitchen island and has bedtime stories from his dad; on even days, his younger brother gets these things. On even days, no one has to wash his hair. But then we run […]

Guest Post: How Our Pets Domesticated Us

One of the most fascinating tidbits I came across while researching my new book, Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs, concerns the 10,000-year-old village of Shillourokambos. Located on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the site was once home to an early farming community whose inhabitants stored grain in stone silos and corralled […]

Extinction Debt

There’s been a lot of road kill on my drive to work and back in Western Colorado, mostly prairie dogs and rabbits, and young magpies trying to learn how fast they have to fly to get out of the way. I find myself slowing and dodging for the live ones who continue shooting across my […]

The Secret Lives of Animals

A bear broke into my wife’s old teardrop trailer in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in southern Colorado. It must have been yearling by the bite marks in bean cans, and the smallness of its hips where it busted out the door-window and dragged itself inside. The bear didn’t find much, leaving […]

The Ghosts in the Machines

Early one evening a couple of weeks ago I was sitting on a bed in a hotel room in Aspen, laptop in lap, when I started hearing voices. I raised my head, listening closely. At first I assumed the voices were coming from the street, but then I saw that the windows were closed. I got up and […]