The illogic of Rudolph: Revisited

Back by popular demand (ok, mine), here’s my seasonal rant against Rudolph, first posted in 2011. No, this isn’t an environmental screed.  Rudolph and Santa actually seem to live a pretty low impact life in the North Pole, in that small self-contained community powered mostly by reindeer and elves.  And I accept the bad biology inherent in Christmas fantasies:  talking flying reindeer with electric noses … Continue reading The illogic of Rudolph: Revisited

Up on the roof

I took a bath the other day.  That’s not remarkable, but baths for me usually mean one thing:  I need to escape.  Retreat.  Hide from the world.  Nothing terrible had happened.  Giving in to the lure of the bathtub simply means I’ve been overexposed – too many people for too long with too little downtime.   In the tub, the outside world still exists, my obligations … Continue reading Up on the roof

Acknowledging the amazing

Speaking of bird brains, how’s this for train of thought:  last week’s story in the New York Times about bird migration made me think of a quote from a local pastor, which made me think of comedian Lewis C.K.  Trust me, it makes sense.  Really. The Times story reported how researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have identified specific neurons in pigeons’ brains that fire … Continue reading Acknowledging the amazing

Digging deep

With the early arrival of spring this year I’m reprising my seasonal post from last year’s blog a bit early as well.   The timing has changed, as plants are sprouting sooner than they usually do, but the rest remains the same, at least for now.  Time will tell if our increasingly early springs bring new problems to West Virginia’s forests, or to other eastern wildlands.  … Continue reading Digging deep

Our wildest dreams

Some things are just a given – until they’re not.  And thanks to author Emma Marris, many of us will never look at the world in quite the same way again.  In her recent book, Rambunctious Garden:  Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, Marris upends some of the most cherished assumptions in ecology and conservation.   In doing so, she skillfully maneuvers through the immediate resistance … Continue reading Our wildest dreams

Old stuff, new thinking

I spent New Year’s Eve in a straw house.  No wolves arrived to blow it down (although our hosts’ two  bear-sized malamute-mix dogs could have stood in if they were so inclined). And other than the so-called truth window, you’d never know that the insulation behind the plaster walls was bales of straw and not sheets of fiberglass.   The truth window next to the front … Continue reading Old stuff, new thinking

The illogic of Rudolph

No, this isn’t an environmental screed.  Rudolph and Santa actually seem to live a pretty low impact life in the North Pole, in that small self-contained community powered mostly by reindeer and elves.  And I accept the bad biology inherent in Christmas fantasies:  talking flying reindeer with electric noses and, in this case, a large carnivorous primate-like mammal known as the Abominable Snow Monster (hey, … Continue reading The illogic of Rudolph