Hummingbirds!

In mid-January 2010, PBS’s Nature series had a remarkable program about my favorite animal, the hummingbird. The lives of these incredible birds is explored in several “chapters,” each one punctuated by outstanding footage and insightful commentary.  (Update, 1/10/17: In late 2016, Nature ran another incredible hummingbird program called Super Hummingbirds.) Among the many interesting parts […]

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Spiders Doing a Mating Dance in the Garden

(Updated, 1/15/17: fixed broken links) I wasn’t planning on writing another entry for “creepy-crawly week,” but on Saturday I saw something in the garden that could not be ignored. As I was walking across the yard, I noticed some motion in one of the cross spider (Araneus Diadematus) webs. It was another spider, one much […]

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Arachno-high-wire

These line drawings aren’t some kind of code or ancient writing, they represent spider webs that have been  in my backyard in recent days. The circle represents the web and the radiating lines represent the support structures.  At the center of the circle is a dot that represents the 1-cm diameter spider (probably a cross […]

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Lime tree drama: spider vs. bee

A few weeks ago I bought a makrut lime tree (Citrus hystrix) so I could use its leaves in Asian curry pastes (Thai and Balinese, in particular), my favorite cauliflower soup, and to make infused syrups for drinks. Right now, the tree is festooned with blossoms and pea-sized fruits (most of which will probably fall […]

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