Archive for the ‘Nature’ category

The Monday Photo (kate the great’s greatest . . . )



It’s important, I think, to be completely amazed from time to time. Check out this image from the Hubble telescope: It’s a tiny patch of sky, and each point of light is another galaxy. There are 10,000 of them in this photo. You can read about the experiment that produced the photo here. Here’s a […]

Wild Kingdom

If you ever go kayaking in a mangrove swamp in Thailand, here’s what could happen to you: [youtube][/youtube] It turns out that the monkey who joined us was rather well-behaved, all things considered. After I posted that video on YouTube, we found a few others where the monkeys were a bit more aggressive: [youtube][/youtube] You’re […]

The Beautiful Glimpsed in Unexpected Places

People give me a strange look sometimes when I tell them that I used to be a computer games programmer.  The idea that a poet might have a technical background seems odd at first — in large measure because we’ve been brought up to believe that there is a great divide between the sciences and […]

Stella and the sheepdog trials

After the excitement of the fell race, Stella arrived at the sheepdog trials. Besides the competition, there were many other forms of entertainment, including spinning, a farmyard petting zoo, ice cream, beer, and the North West Stickmakers. But the main attraction was the sheepdog trials. The judges watched from a special van, while the contestants […]

Stella and the fell race

Stella was back in Blighty in August–a month for country shows and summer sports.  The tiny village of Langley hosted the Macclesfield & District Sheepdog Trials, which begins with a fell race.   A fell is a hill.  A fell race is a race up and down many hills.  Stella cannot foresee participating in a fell […]

In-body experience

The morning starts with a fluttery feeling in your midsection, somewhere between a stomachache and seeing the object of your junior-high crush in the hallway between classes—excited, but kind of nervous, too. Then the anxiety dissipates until it’s just a low electrical hum buzzing through your limbs, making you want to get up and spaz […]

Unexpected Cosmologies

I’m a believer.  I believe in numbers.  In textures and lines.  I believe in shadow and light.  How the grade of darkness is sometimes tied to the word value. I believe in beginnings.   In origins.  I believe in ruptures and faults.  In borders and intersections.  I believe in pattern and chaos.  Sitting in a restaurant […]


Full fathom five

Growing up on the coast of southern California, I had a close relationship with tide pools, tracking hermit crabs, sticking my fingers in every anenome, and arranging swirls of shells for classroom projects. Maybe that intimate view of these miniature seas warped my perspective on the ocean, somehow preventing me from looking out and appreciating […]