Author Archives: David George Haskell

Nectar in sugar maple flowers?

Sugar maple is in bloom, shaking its anthers in the breeze. This species is supposedly wind-pollinated, but looking closely at the male flowers I saw thousands of bees, wasps, beetles, and even a butterfly working at the blooms. I estimated … Continue reading

Posted in Butterflies, Trees | Tagged , | 20 Comments

In memory: Cassia

Four births, one death. Cassia delivered healthy quadruplets, an astonishing feat for a goat doe, but one that claimed her life. Cassia had the sweetest personality, was a doting mother to her many kids, and was a strong elder, respected … Continue reading

Posted in Goats | Tagged , | 27 Comments

Goat graphemes

Part III of the Snow Grapheme series (I and II here). For the Year of the Goat, cloven hooves on granular snow, with accents by chicken. I believe the Cudzoo Goat Girls may be drawing poems about the eight 八 … Continue reading

Posted in Goats | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Peepers: freeze protection strategies

When the temperature dropped below forty degrees, the frogs shut up. A few hours later, we hit the twenties, the pond was ice and the rocks from which the frogs had called were snow-covered. The only sound was the creak … Continue reading

Posted in Bioacoustic revelry, Frogs | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Heck yeah: Peepers, peepers.

Rain + warmth = Pseudacris crucifer. The spring peeper. Spring? Seriously? Appearing for one night only at a backyard pond in Tennessee. Tomorrow: the freeze returns. They are calling at an ear-ringing 85+ decibels. These frogs are so loud that … Continue reading

Posted in Bioacoustic revelry, Frogs | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Dead wood and the woodpecker’s g-force

About fifteen years ago, the local electrical company hired a crew of subcontractors to cut and trim any trees that were deemed a threat to powerlines. The crew gave the sugar maple in our front garden a lop-sided haircut, slicing … Continue reading

Posted in Archosaurs, Bioacoustic revelry | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Crash, hop. Inscriptions on flakes.

  The motions of a landing, wing-folding, strutting, tip-toeing, recorded on an icy pond. Most likely a sparrow. Snow scribing. Here are the plants at work, from last year.

Posted in Archosaurs, Water | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Hospital bacteria: in my blood, in my IV.

I recently had a run-in with some bacterial cousins, courtesy of a small post-surgical wound. The bacteria were winning, so I spent a few days in the hospital where attentive medical staff mainlined antibiotics into my arm. The treatment worked, … Continue reading

Posted in Microbes, Travels | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

What is a “seahawk” anyway?

A sports team of ambiguous nomenclature and symbolism takes the field today. The seahawk logo matches the appearance of no Seattle bird that I know of. The logo design itself appears not to be a hawk, but an eagle, a … Continue reading

Posted in Archosaurs | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Sandhill Cranes at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, TN

Tens of thousands of cranes gather at Hiwassee. Gruuu gruuu: sound resonates within the trachea coiled within their sternum. Horn section of the avian band. An ancient sound; Sandhill Cranes have flown across North America for at least ten million … Continue reading

Posted in Archosaurs, Bioacoustic revelry | Tagged , | 21 Comments