National Dog Day

I have always loved dogs, but my parents had convinced themselves they were not dog people so it took years of begging before I finally got one. My first dog was the only puppy I have owned, a charming sheltie who lived to almost 20. She totally converted my dad, who grew to love her […]



Solar Eclipse

The news has been shouting all about the solar eclipse for weeks. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, eager to see the unusual optical show. Where I live in Tennessee the eclipse was at 97%, allowing a good view of the sun coming and going. When it first began there were quite a […]

Diminutive drama

It is the height of summer here, and my yard is like a miniature safari jungle. My houseplants are outside until the first frost and window boxes on my porch are filled with flowers, attracting an endless flutter and buzz of visiting pollinators. When I explore with a macro lens, easily overlooked denizens of my […]



I Love Splashy

This is a koi living in the Italian garden pools of the Biltmore Estate, still filtered with the technology originally developed for them in 1895. The koi have been there a long time, and at least one is around 50 years old. I posted this photo to show the elegant grace of these beautiful fish, […]

Mountain magic

Mountains create their own weather. I have seen this on many mountains around the world over the years, but never so dramatically as on a recent evening exploring Roan Mountain, a series of peaks stretching between North Carolina and Tennessee. When I arrived a recent storm was clearing, a rainbow stretching between several mountains near […]



Unbearably Cute

Many years ago in graduate school I got a grant to study golden monkeys in China, rare primates living in the same area as the iconic pandas. I chose instead to accept a Fulbright for research on West African monkeys, and never got to China. But I really love pandas, and on a recent trip […]

Eyes of the Forest

The Atlanta Botanical Garden currently has an exhibit inspiring visitors to see nature in new ways. The Curious Garden is a series of installations created by Adam Schwerner, director of horticulture for Disneyland Resorts. His work combines art and horticulture, drawing attention to nature in the garden. On display to the end of October, the […]



Rare Beauty

For a few weeks in early summer, Gray’s lily brightens mountains in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. They grow on grassy balds, open meadows without trees near tall summits in the southern Appalachians. There are many theories on their origins, with the current favorite that they originated in the most recent ice age, which limited […]

Ant Pharmacists

Leafcutter ants have one of the most complex and largest animal societies, living in groups of up to 10 million individuals. They may have been the earliest farmers on earth, creating elaborate underground gardens. The colonies can go down 26 feet below the ground, stretching out as much as 260 feet wide. A single nest […]



Costa Rican Alarm Clock

I’m just back from my fifth trip to Costa Rica, but my first visit in many years. I’m always struck by both the beauty and diversity of such a relatively small country. I had a chance to revisit a few places, and also saw many new places. I studied monkeys for years in college and […]