Archive for June, 2016


miley posing

Ancient man and ancient wolves hooked up. Dogs are the artifact of that relationship.

But the 21st century is testing that relationship. As traditional communities and belief systems have fallen to the wayside, dogs have become a kind ersatz religion. Every breed has its taboo topics: Brindle in salukis and basenjis. White in German shepherds. Ridgeless ridgebacks. The length of dachshund backs.

Talk of crossbreeding results in furious invective. Talk of training methods starts unending fights. Raw feeding is a war.

And for heaven’s sake, never talk about pit bulls!

This is not a community that is designed to attract people. Only the dogs themselves and what they have to offer really keeps it going.

If you are by nature a gadfly, be prepared for ostracism.

As someone on the political left living in a conservative state, I can say that I’ve lost more friends over dog-related issues than I ever dreamed of losing in discussing politics.

I’ve become convinced that there really isn’t a place for me in these communities. It’s taken me a long time to realize it.

This is not fun anymore.

I’m moving beyond this world. I will always admire good dogs.

But I don’t think I’m a “dog person” anymore.






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Every 17 years, the temperate forests of West Virginia become cicadaland.  We don’t have that much of a presence of cicadas. We usually get a few weeks of dog day cicadas in August into September, but they don’t last all summer.

But when we hit that particular year in the life cycle of the 17-year periodic these forests start buzzing as if they were somehow the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Never mind that just a few months ago, it was subzero (Fahrenheit).

This is now a jungle!

If you’ve never heard the sound these things make, here are few examples.

In the morning as they are getting fired up, and one up close in my fingers!

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She’s pretty well-hidden:


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wolf eats sea otter

Full story.

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Love my baby!

hao hao baby

This is Hao Hao, a giant panda on loan to the Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium, recently gave birth to a single male cub.

I am posting this photo to show how amazingly underdeveloped baby pandas are.Pandas engage in delayed implantation, in which the actual development of the fetus doesn’t happen until well after conception. Because of this factor, giant pandas have wildly variable gestation periods, which can be anywhere from 90 to 160 days.

The cubs are born looking nothing like their parents– more like white amorphous blobs with fuzz on them.



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