Column, The Outside Story

Blue jays — likeable villains

Plenty of backyard birdwatchers consider blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) the villains of the avian world. Mark Twain best summarized anti-blue jay sentiment when he compared the bird’s principles to that of an ex-congressman. In Native American lore, blue jays are […]

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Column, The Outside Story

Brainwashed by worms

By Declan McCabe Some of my favorite children’s books describe life cycles as heroic tales of persistence and redemption. From “The Ugly Duckling” to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to “A Seed is Sleeping,” these stories have brought the miracles of […]

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Column, The Outside Story

Amphibians Aglow

By Brett Amy Thelen The living light of bioluminescent organisms like fireflies, anglerfish, and marine plankton is legendary. The dazzling light shows put on by synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are so popular that park managers have […]

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