Author Archives: David George Haskell


The city of Jericho is most famous for the unkind things that Joshua is reputed to have done to Jericho’s populace after God gave him the nod to move in. But Jericho’s history is far more complicated than the Biblical … Continue reading

Posted in Travels, Water | Tagged , | 10 Comments

All Saints’ Day

Rembering the Communion of all Saints: Australopithecus Tiktaalik Lepidodendron Cooksonia Wiwaxia and the nameless multitude of Pre-Cambrian microbes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Caterpillars taking their tithe of the carrot tops

Nightly frosts brush the garden, but botanical energy continues to surge. Carrots, lettuces, and chard are all thriving in the cool sunshine. Black swallowtail butterflies have tapped this energy, laying eggs on the carrot leaves. The caterpillars fall into an … Continue reading

Posted in Caterpillars, Garden | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Log walkers

I’ve had an infrared-triggered camera set up in Shakerag Hollow for the last few months. The camera takes photos of animals as they climb along or walk around the fallen ash tree. The camera takes color pictures during the day, … Continue reading

Posted in Mammals, Shakerag Hollow | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Sounds from the edge of Boreas’ kingdom

A raven flies to its roost at dusk, wingbeats audible between the calls. Just before this flight, the bird was amusing itself with half a dozen others of its kind by harassing a sluggard-winged eagle. The ravens wove and swooped; … Continue reading

Posted in Archosaurs, Bioacoustic revelry, Travels | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Move over Gutenberg: Carved movable type from China

In the Western world, Johannes Gutenberg is widely celebrated for his invention of the movable type printing press. Gutenberg’s work certainly produced a major leap in the mechanization of the printing process, but movable type itself was invented four hundred … Continue reading

Posted in Travels, Trees | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Largest, oldest creature on Earth?

I took a circuitous route to a conference in Salt Lake City. One of my stops was in south-central Utah at Fishlake National Forest, home to a trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) grove that we 20th Century humans call “Pando” (meaning … Continue reading

Posted in Travels, Trees | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

One tiny part of the rainforest song

Twilight is brief in the tropics. The sun drops with none of the lingering obliqueness of its behavior in temperate and polar areas. My visit to Ecuador placed me almost directly on the equator, so after I watched the sunset … Continue reading

Posted in Bioacoustic revelry, Travels | 12 Comments

Eastern Ecuador: Amazonian forest

Leaving the frontier town of Coca, our journey took us several hours by motorized canoe and truck, following roads built by the oil companies and rivers built by the prodigious rains. After a day’s travel, we arrived at Tiputini Biodiversity … Continue reading

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White pine wood for breakfast

You can hear them from twelve feet away. Rhythmic grating sounds from within a dead white pine tree in our neighbor’s yard. Sarah heard them first on her early morning walk. We returned later in the day, but the munchers … Continue reading

Posted in Beetles, Bioacoustic revelry, Trees | Tagged | 7 Comments