Leafing Out

There are few places in the world, if any, that aren’t touched by human activity, including places with no humans. And one of our chief human activities over the past couple of centuries has been the transfer of carbon from reservoirs deep within the planet out into the atmosphere. We’ve been re-creating the environment during…

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A Few Beginnings and a Couple of Ends

The weather turned cold this week, grey skies and a chill wind after two weeks of balmy temperatures. Two steps forward, one step back. No excuse not to get some garden work done, though. Last week was all bumblebees and sunshine, this week I found this fellow, a little black cricket, taking shelter from the…

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Antarctic Shiver

Everyone knows the best scare stories are those in which the most obvious and visible danger turns out to less dire than an unsuspected peril revealed only later, the deadfall that sends a shiver down the listener’s spine. We’ve all heard about the Antarctic ice shelf melt-off that’s been taking place with increasing speed and…

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Of a Circular Nature

A flood control project in the Pikine suburb of Dakar, Senegal, has changed a community by redirecting flood waters into basins and creating urban gardens from the water. Previously, the flood waters that inundated the area were left to either recede on their own – during which time all stores remained flooded and the streets…

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Flavor Assumptions

I walked out of the house this bright morning and found a small blossom on the rosemary bush near our entrance, the first one of spring. We moved in almost twenty years ago, and the plant was massive and gnarled, even back then. According to the neighbors at the farm next door, the rosemary bush…

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The Urge to Affiliate

I was out on a run yesterday, my usual loop, when I found this piece of tree bark lying across the path. Here along the border between France and Switzerland, we’re in the midst of a bise blanche, a fierce wind that blows down through the Geneva basin from the north. A bise blanche weather…

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World Wildlife Day 2015

Today is World Wildlife Day 2015, which this year highlights the challenges of the illegal trade in wildlife. World Wildlife Day, on the 3rd of March, marks the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The global trade in wild animals and their…

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The Taste of Contrition

I have no excuse for myself. I normally shun flavored coffees and teas. You won’t find me ordering a tiramisu latte or chocolate banana black tea. Coffee MateĀ® creamer flavored like Girl Scout cookies? I’m not judging, but…thank you, no. I grew up in San Francisco, mostly, and back before the mad coffee house movement…

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