Diminutive drama

It is the height of summer here, and my yard is like a miniature safari jungle. My houseplants are outside until the first frost and window boxes on my porch are filled with flowers, attracting an endless flutter and buzz of visiting pollinators. When I explore with a macro lens, easily overlooked denizens of my […]

W10Aug2017

W02Aug2017

I Love Splashy

This is a koi living in the Italian garden pools of the Biltmore Estate, still filtered with the technology originally developed for them in 1895. The koi have been there a long time, and at least one is around 50 years old. I posted this photo to show the elegant grace of these beautiful fish, […]


Mountain magic

Mountains create their own weather. I have seen this on many mountains around the world over the years, but never so dramatically as on a recent evening exploring Roan Mountain, a series of peaks stretching between North Carolina and Tennessee. When I arrived a recent storm was clearing, a rainbow stretching between several mountains near […]

W26Jul2017

W19Jul2017

Unbearably Cute

Many years ago in graduate school I got a grant to study golden monkeys in China, rare primates living in the same area as the iconic pandas. I chose instead to accept a Fulbright for research on West African monkeys, and never got to China. But I really love pandas, and on a recent trip […]


Eyes of the Forest

The Atlanta Botanical Garden currently has an exhibit inspiring visitors to see nature in new ways. The Curious Garden is a series of installations created by Adam Schwerner, director of horticulture for Disneyland Resorts. His work combines art and horticulture, drawing attention to nature in the garden. On display to the end of October, the […]

W12Jul2017

W06Jul2017

Rare Beauty

For a few weeks in early summer, Gray’s lily brightens mountains in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. They grow on grassy balds, open meadows without trees near tall summits in the southern Appalachians. There are many theories on their origins, with the current favorite that they originated in the most recent ice age, which limited […]


Ant Pharmacists

Leafcutter ants have one of the most complex and largest animal societies, living in groups of up to 10 million individuals. They may have been the earliest farmers on earth, creating elaborate underground gardens. The colonies can go down 26 feet below the ground, stretching out as much as 260 feet wide. A single nest […]

W17Jun2017

w06Jun2017

Costa Rican Alarm Clock

I’m just back from my fifth trip to Costa Rica, but my first visit in many years. I’m always struck by both the beauty and diversity of such a relatively small country. I had a chance to revisit a few places, and also saw many new places. I studied monkeys for years in college and […]


Greenhouse Jungle

In addition to the magnificent grounds and gardens of Biltmore in Asheville, there is always something to see in the amazing conservatory. Built over a century ago, it has 7000 square feet of plants. Currently there is an extensive display of orchids, with hundreds blooming in lush variety. These are rotated in and out as […]

W02May2017

W20Apr2017

Quiet Roar

I live around 40 minutes from Tennessee’s newest state park. Rocky Fork is just over 2000 acres, surrounded by an additional 7600 acres of national forest. When the land became available, buying and protecting it was the number one purchase priority in in the nation by the US Forest Service. It was described as the […]