Category: animals

Putting our hands on it.

Today in Internet horror: rare Argentine dolphin dies after being passed around by a selfie-taking crowd. Sticky and sandy and dry and eager, eager, seeking hands, all over that moist skin, sucking its moisture away in curiosity or excitement or wonder or unexamined narcissistic need, suspending it out of the sea until it heats and […]

Read more

If that don’t beet all…

Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”  Put another way, knowledge can be expensive, but a little pain can make it stick.   Put a third way, I will never again — even in the fall, no matter how busy this busy time always is — […]

Read more

Essentializing the animal: owls, war horses, and poetry.

Coming out of my office late this afternoon, I spotted a barred owl up in a tree outside the building, hunched against the trunk, squinching his eyes against the light and stoically standing off a pair of crows who were hassling him. I got concerned, especially when he was still there at dark a couple […]

Read more

Creature tracks.

What is it about a swimming animal that is just so endlessly delightful? Don’t know. But biking past the sloughs down near the river yesterday — yes, I did spend the first real sunny afternoon of spring up in the office, grading — I spotted the twin arrows of paddling-muskrat-wakes, heading away.  They spotted me […]

Read more

Pigs among the windfalls.

September, with the smell of fall caught and blowing around in the trees as Keats inevitably rustles inside my head: season of mists and mellow fruitfulness….  One afternoon I take a break from my massive sabbatical writing project — which features among other things Keats (of course), John Cage, Marina Abramovic, yoga, gardening, pottery, snails, […]

Read more

Touching through the glass: animals, people, reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fbahS7VSFs&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3] Young parents laugh nervously as they film their child, whom they have placed up against the glass of a lioness’s cage in a zoo.  Behind the glass, the lioness is deadly serious:  she scratches and bites the barrier separating her from one good bite of food.  Incredibly, the father giggles, “Say hi, kitty, kitty.”  […]

Read more