Author Archives: David George Haskell

Light, sound, hummingbird wings

From the dawn-light series (see also silk and moth wings)… There is a moment in the early morning when the sun catpaws through the forest’s tangled blankets, illuminating my hummingbird feeder. The touch is gentle. The claws of midday are … Continue reading

Posted in Archosaurs, Bioacoustic revelry | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

On the beauty of rattlesnakes

This is the year of the timber rattlesnake on the Southern Cumberland Plateau. I’ve seen and heard of more in the last five months than I have in the last twenty years combined. They’re sleeping in gardens, gliding across porches, … Continue reading

Posted in Serpentes | Tagged | 11 Comments

“Nature” writing class

A big day in Sewanee: fall classes started at the University of the South. Being back with the students feels great. Their energy and insight is inspiring. It’s a great honor to spend time with them as we travel the … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Tagged , , , , , | 43 Comments

Tolling bell at Children’s Peace Memorial, Hiroshima

(email subscribers, click on post title to link to sound)

Posted in Butterflies | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Moon moth

Morning light flows through another arthropod: the luna moth, showing the spring-leaf green of her wings. The brown leading edge is a great match for the viburnum twig on which she rests. This species belongs to a larger grouping, the … Continue reading

Posted in Moths | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Silhouette: a short hawk quiz

A fuss of blue jays and robins. Look up: Some clues: unhappy songbirds a tail that extends beyond the wing tips, but not too far stout chest Red-shouldered hawk. Not a Cooper’s Hawk? The tail is too short and the … Continue reading

Posted in Archosaurs | 8 Comments

Arachnid prism: Morning light refracted through a spider’s silk

From Keats’ Lamia: …and, for the sage, Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage War on his temples. Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: We know … Continue reading

Posted in Arachnida | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

“The fox also shall dwell with the armadillo…”

A few weeks ago, I saw a fox saunter through the woods, then slip into a hole that, judging from the earth piled at its entrance is at least several feet deep. I set up a camera to see what … Continue reading

Posted in Mammals | 15 Comments

Ghosts rise from forest duff

Ghost plant, Monotropa uniflora, is now flowering in shaded woodlands. The species is also known as Indian pipe or corpse plant. Each stem is about finger-high and has a nodding flower at its tip. The plant’s pallor tells the story … Continue reading

Posted in Fruits, Fungi, Plants | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

“Let us now praise famous…” cats

Some feline stories caught my eye this week. They illustrate the important role that domesticated humans have played in the civilizations that cats have built over the past few thousand years. The first tale (a tale not bottle-brushed) comes from … Continue reading

Posted in Cat | 3 Comments