Ice is the Worst

I am on the record as loving snow and cheerfully tolerating cold. So you’d think I would love winter. And I do, mostly. But as of this week, I am very much ready for winter to pack up its bags and leave the D.C. area. The reason: ice. Ice is the worst. Ok, it’s good […]

A Snow Day

The first snow of the year, and the first noticeable snow of this winter, fell here in D.C. on Tuesday. Yes, we know that our reaction to snow makes no sense. No, we don’t have enough snowplows. No, we don’t know how to drive in snow. You’re very clever for noticing, People Who Live In […]

Walking With Open Eyes

My commute is the best part of my day. I know this is not normal. I live in the Northeast megalopolis. Commuting means drivers who are great at texting but unfamiliar with turn signals. Commuting means listening to people paid to be “funny” on drive-time radio. Commuting means waiting on a crowded platform for a […]

Sounds of Summer

After my voice lesson Sunday afternoon, I heard bells. Eight bells, ringing on and on. My voice lessons are in the bowels of Washington National Cathedral – a real live Gothic cathedral, hand-carved over the last 107 years by bearded Englishmen, or at least the group included one bearded Englishman who lives in my neighborhood. […]

Waiting for Peak Bloom

It was a long winter in North America.  The kind of winter where you think, well, that must have been the last snow storm, and then it snows three more times. It seemed like this might be the year when, Narnia-style, winter never ends. Here in Washington, we gauge spring by the cherry trees. The […]

Strange Times in Washington

The first I knew of it was about 11:00 Monday night. The Capital Weather Gang, a brilliant blog that was snapped up by the Washington Post a few years ago, posted on Facebook: “Have seen some reports of a fireball (large meteor) in DC area around 8:25 pm. Anyone see it?” Comments came in. A […]

Down the chimney

Tomorrow, I’m driving to Oregon for a friend’s wedding. While I’m there, I may get a chance to witness what has been described as an “avian tornado”: thousands of Vaux’s swifts dive-bombing a chimney at a Portland elementary school. A Vaux’s swift is a petite, grayish bird with sharp swooping wings and a stubby tail. […]

How to conjure a forest out of thin air

This summer, I became slightly obsessed with the Ring. Not the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, not the Japanese horror movie (which I have vowed never to see), but the epic four-opera series by Richard Wagner. Der Ring des Nibelungen spans about 17 hours and features a cast of gods, dwarves, giants, mermaids, and a dragon, all […]