Miles of sediment—rocks pummeled and weathered into glassy sands and dense clays—are piled fat on top of the bedrock in places like the Mississippi Delta or Bengal Basin. In other areas, only a thin skin of dirt covers the hard bedrock. Occasionally, atop mountains or astride a jutted outcrop or incised road cut, we have the pleasure of directly viewing Earth’s skeletal structure.!--/end tags-->
Acadia National Park. (From the National Park Service)
It's always been a requirement of mine: finding a moment of quiet solitude where I can commune, uninterrupted, with nature. Since moving to New York City, however, the quest isn't easy. So, when my Florida-based family invited me to join them for a week's getaway in Maine, they didn't have to ask twice.!--/end tags-->
They say if you can make it here (NYC) you can make it anywhere. Well, this goes for insects as well--those amazingly adaptive buggers. Each week I’ll be featuring an urban park or locale and whatever wee denizens my macro can focus on. The critter that initiates this blog series is Charlotte (no, not the upper east side brunette and best friend of Carrie Bradshaw, of "Sex in the City" fame), but a tiny spider that claimed a corner of my East Village bathroom. An apartment renovation led to a lack of holes, which led to lack of prey, which led to me providing weekly feedings. Recently, when I was carrying home a fly from dinner (talk about a tiny doggy bag), I paused to wonder if I was doing Charlotte--a predator, albeit minute--a disservice by indulging her rather than letting her exercise skills evolved over millions of years. Give a spider a fly and it will feed for a week. Or, leave it alone and it will feed for life?
It's a blog, about bugs--it's a BLUG!
There's an historic inn called the White Hart in a close-by village with a crackled oil painting of an magnificent albino antlered animal in the lobby. Still, I wonder how many guests, diners or imbibers in its cozy tap room with pine-plank tables grasp the meaning of the venerable establishment's name. The word "hart" is a centuries-old and largely disused British term for a male red deer, in particular one that is mature enough to carry an impressive rack of horns.!--/end tags-->
Flip-flop, tick-tock--the longer oil prices remain above $4 per gallon, the more pressure to drill our way to salvation. Last week, Sen. Obama backed off his complete opposition to offshore drilling, telling the Palm Beach Post that he'd consider including some offshore drilling as part of a more comprehensive energy policy.!--/end tags-->
It's early August and the starring role among field and roadside wildflowers in the Northeast belongs to Queen Anne's lace, yet another colonist from the Old World. The wild ancestor of our garden carrot, Daucus carota (as botanists know the plant) also has a more or less edible root, but unless you're a wild foods enthusiast or hopelessly lost and starving in some old pasture and have a shovel handy, I would recommend a trip to the supermarket for a bag of the domesticated and much sweeter orange variety.!--/end tags-->
Turns out I wasn’t the only one disgusted by EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson’s refusal to regulate emissons. Though Johnson’s supposed missteps were overshadowed by the allegations of corruption brought against longtime Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (and isn’t the Stephen-Stevens connection a nice touch?), I feel vindicated in knowing that at least three of our Senators are as disgusted with the EPA as I often feel.!--/end tags-->
Dumb jokes, maudlin poems, top ten lists and chain letters are among the emails I let die a lonely death when they land in my inbox by way of some misguided friend or family member. Even when I actually find articles or links interesting, I don't usually feel compelled to pass them along.!--/end tags-->