A Hairy Situation

The problem with trying to identify hairy caterpillars is that you kind of get the heebie-jeebies after a while, staring at all those images of large, thick, furry crawlers in every imaginable pose, looking as though they’re ready to creep up your arm any moment. Nonetheless, my valiant efforts- bravely over lunch, in fact- don’t…

Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)

It’s rare to see a lizard basking in its full glory here. Most are quite shy- I’ve seen more tails flickering frantically into the bushes than a lizard in its glorious entirety, on the electrical box beside the bus stop. I’m frankly more than a little jealous that it was just sitting there enjoying the…

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Canada geese (Branta canadensis) loved the lawns at Princeton, New Jersey, immaculately manicured and a nice fresh green. They’d be lolling around in the morning, sometimes sleeping and sometimes nibbling on the grass. You could tell they’d been going vegetarian because their droppings, in an apparent group effort to mimic Jackson Pollock on the sidewalk,…

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Probably the most iconic butterfly, the monarch (Danaus plexippus), in all its orange glory, has blazed its way onto the International Space Station (no kidding). Together with the painted lady (Vanessa cardui), it’s being studied to determine how and whether it can complete its life cycle in space. I don’t know what the astronauts were…

Squirrels and Chipmunks

You know it’s a really cold and windy winter’s day when even the squirrels get grumpy. So grumpy, in fact, that this one sat huddled in the fork of the tree, displaying what I believe was universal body language for ‘It’s too cold, (insert expletive)’. I miss the squirrels in New Haven, scampering around, much…

Yellowstone National Park

No attention was paid to the throng of hushed tourists, necks craned, peering through long telescopic camera lenses that lent them a somewhat comical air. We must have looked utterly ridiculous to the elk (Cervus canadensis), with our bright jackets clearly defying the basic principles of camouflage. Also called wapiti, elk roam forests and forest…

Hort Park I

The weather forecast promised some clouds, so off I bounded to Hort Park despite it already nearing noontime. Armed with my camera and a reliably terrible sense of direction, I was soon on the treetop walk heading away from the park. It was nice too, though. Perhaps that’ll be an adventure for next time. I…