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 […]

W19Jul2017

W12Jul2017

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 […]


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 […]

W06Jul2017

W17Jun2017

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 […]


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 […]

w06Jun2017

W02May2017

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 […]


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 […]

W20Apr2017

W13Apr2017

Time Travels

I live in east Tennessee and my mom lives in Asheville in neighboring North Carolina. Driving directly it isn’t much over an hour, but it usually takes me way longer. I pull over for what I intend to be a short photo stop at a scenic overlook and hours later sunset has turned into night. […]


The Persistence of Beauty

My dad was 50 when I was born, and though he could have been my grandfather he never seemed old. My childhood memories are filled with our shared experiences in the woods, and to me he always seemed an enthused and energetic friend. As a college professor he could shape his schedule, working well into […]

W04April2017

W21Mar2017

The Enigma of the Rocks

On my last day visiting the Zapata Peninsula I went with a wildlife guide to explore a trail known as Sendero Enigma de las Rocas. This part of Cuba has many rocks, forming caves both above and underground, and reaching into the sea. We started the expedition in a horse drawn cart but what began […]