We’re a group of engaged and curious thinkers who understand that ideas matter. The Center for Humans and Nature partners with some of the brightest minds in ethical thinking...Learn more.
The spin on this year’s cicada emergence has already started and it mostly misses the wonder of it all. Cicadas are commonplace in many parts of the world wherever there are trees, but they are mostly annual and exist in modest numbers: a familiar almost comforting buzz here and there in the treetops on a ... Read More »
A few weeks ago, after spending one too many days in the lethargy and heaviness of a blue mood, something inside me sent me a message, “Hey! Get yourself to the ocean.” So, I did. I tossed my tent in the car, drove a couple of hours from where I live in Washington, DC, and ... Read More »
The sky was bright gray that afternoon in Oakland, California, as I walked my aging dog up our steep and leafy street. I was in my late twenties and in a hurry to get back to my desk. My dog was sniffing slowly, as she always did, but today, instead of growing impatient, I ... Read More »
A few years ago, I awoke to a dead possum on our patio. Our house, in a solidly middle-class Chicago suburb, backs up to woods, so wildlife sightings aren’t unusual. But this posed a problem.
Was it really dead? Or playing possum? I watched for a while; my young daughter did too. No sign of life. After an hour, ... Read More »
Within a year or so of starting my training as a zoologist in Dublin in 1980, an American entomologist working in the canopy of tropical trees in Panama had revolutionized a central aspect of the discipline. Terry Erwin, a curator at the Smithsonian and a beetle expert, revised the accepted answer to a longstanding question ... Read More »
The encounter hasn’t happened yet. It may still not happen, though I doubt that. Now that I know the signs, the chances are improving. Perhaps the previously unthought of, unthinkable encounter, now imagined and hoped for, has emerged from the land of no-chance and hesitates at some marshy, undefined border between the kingdom ... Read More »
My quest in search of the mythological wildlife of the Chicago region began as a search for healing. I was a city girl, immersed in a culture disconnected from nature, and dealing with a protracted illness. I noticed that I felt better whenever I was in my tiny backyard among the plants and critters. That ... Read More »
Skyscrapers and canyon cliffs are not usually associated with one another. We are more trained to think of wild, river-carved landscapes as sites where traces of humans remain only as faint boot prints or the scattered ashes of a campfire. But habitat is habitat and for that reason peregrine falcons have begun to nest ... Read More »
I’m sitting at the edge of Tomales Bay in Inverness, California, one of the communities of the Point Reyes region, on the last day of a wonderfully inspiring conference named the Geography of Hope that was hosted by Point Reyes Books. Wow, what a geography it is here, just an ... Read More »