Watermelon and Dead Monkeys

A farmer plucked a watermelon from the vine and cut it into chunks with a machete. We sat in the garden surrounded by forest, munching on the fruit as the juice trickled down and dripped off our elbows into the dirt. I chatted with farmers in between greedy bites of the snack that was grown in […]

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Should You Skip the Straw?

Single-use plastic straws carry a lot more than a sip of iced tea from the glass to your waiting lips these days. Are straws really harmful to marine life? Does refusing a straw really make a contribution toward reducing ocean pollution? You can Google these questions ’til the sea cows come home. For me, the […]

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Florida Storms

I heard the first distant rumblings of thunder and put down my glue stick. I looked around to gauge the reaction of the other students. Did they hear the thunder? Were they as nervous as I was? They kept cutting and gluing, either oblivious to or apathetic about the approaching storm. It was the middle […]

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The Dead Mole

It wasn’t a mole. But it was dead. I didn’t know what kind of rodent it was (maybe a mouse?), so I didn’t correct anyone. I could just as easily have titled this post ‘The Dead Mouse’ but that’s not what the kids were calling it. The species wasn’t important. Its death was. I was […]

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Bird Show Karma

I can’t remember how my obsession with birds began. I was probably in second grade, because by third I was telling everyone I was going to be an ornithologist when I grew up. I remember my grandparents giving me an old field guide to the Birds of North America, a hand-me-down from a retired birder […]

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