Portrait of Living Wind

A century ago this month, the world’s last passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) died in the Cincinnati Zoo, long after the last passenger pigeon had been seen in the wild. The passenger pigeon, once populous beyond imagining, took only a century to disappear. It seems that more than one factor was responsible for the population decline and how…

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Stopwatch Pause

Yesterday I promised myself, while out running, that I would not dally to take pictures. And before that thought had even come to an end in my inner monologue, I came around a corner and saw an oak tree ablaze in the first autumn sunset of the year. So I switched off my stopwatch, climbed…

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Science and Peace: CERN at 60

Last week I had the privilege of attending a series of lectures, 60 Years of Science for Peace, held in the CERN Globe as a part of the celebration to mark CERN’s 60th anniversary. Considering we live just down the road from the Globe, I didn’t have far to travel, but it’s a nice journey…

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Come On Over

“Peaches, ripe for the picking,” my neighbour tells me from atop his tractor as he passes by. “We can’t eat them all.” No need to ask me twice. This morning I headed over with an empty picking sack. I’ll be honest, in all the years I’ve lived next door to this farm, I thought they…

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What We Talk About When We Talk About War (VII)

According to the website Wars in the World, as of 11 September 2014, there are currently ongoing conflicts classified as ‘wars’ in 64 countries; there are conflicts involving of 567 militias, guerrilla and separatist groups. The conflicts are based on everything from ideological and religious issues to narcotics to territorial disputes. There are a few…

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Newness, Past and Present

I noticed two items this week regarding species previously unknown to us. They’ve both been labelled ‘new’, although they are anything but new. The first is a long-extinct sauropod, the largest yet discovered, which has been given the truly magnificent name Dreadnoughtus schrani, ‘that which fears nothing’. As a quadruped the size of a Boeing…

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Blackberry Meander

On an evening walk last night, I took a picture of these blackberries to remind myself to go and pick some of them and make jam to mark the beginning of September. And then I liked the picture, so I took a few more of flowers as they disappeared in the twilight. The air was…

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