🌻 The woods are blooming

And we bought a gazillion plants.

Hiii!

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Now, on to business.

I’m pleased to report that spring ephemerals FINALLY ARRIVED! As of a few weeks ago, Andy and I had been walking in our local woods fairly regularly, and I was very, very sad that there didn’t seem to be any ephemerals. (These are short-lived, early spring wildflowers that live their whole short life cycle before the tree canopy gets its leaves.) I thought there just weren’t any because the woods were too weedy (read: too full of invasive honeysuckle) and kind of gave up looking. BUT I WAS WRONG! I WAS JUST TOO EARLY!

BEHOLD!

Other updates:

  • The crows nesting across the street are no longer amused about the continued presence of Ruby and Grapefruit (our friendly neighborhood Red-shouldered Hawk couple). They’ve been fighting in flight, high in the air. It’s a pretty epic sight.

  • Removing rocks-as-mulch from flowerbeds is slow and tedious and grumble grumble grumble.

  • All I wanted for my birthday was Lucky Charms and some prairie plants, and boy did Andy (and Patti at Happy Apple’s Farm native plant nursery) deliver.


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Next up we’ll be planting all these plants we just bought, after the dang hard freeze we’re getting this week (boooo).

Funkyard species count: 57 (47 logged).

I’m reading this beautiful interview with Ed Yong about being a science writer. Death to America’s Manicured Lawns. Still (slowly) working through The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay, 1989), Wild at Heart (Alice Outwater, 2019), and two books I’m reviewing for articles (which you’ll hear all about in due time).

We’re watching Predator (1987). I spent the entire movie waiting to see if Arnold was going to say “GET TO THE CHOPPA.” (Spoiler: He totally did.) The Da Vinci Code (2006). I wanted to like this so badly, and, meh. I remember loving the book as a teenager, I wonder if I still would. National Treasure (2004), because we hadn’t had enough Knights Templar. The Muppets (2011) is an absolute delight, definitely worth the watch (or revisit if it’s been a while).

We’re playing Dungeons & Dragons as always. We’re in a great all-remote group right now playing 5th edition, in which I’m a halfing (think: hobbit) sorceress named Peggy, and Andy’s a green-skinned half-orc paladin named Kair’mot. (Think about those names a second.) Andy wants me to play Star Wars: The Old Republic with him on the PC, but we haven’t found the time to play together, yet.

I’m listening to Firework by Katy Perry, which hits different after you’ve seen this clip from her documentary. Also this website of constant lo-fi beats is great for background music while working.

We’re eating this bougie gut-health-boosting smoothie every afternoon: 6 oz goat milk kefir (don’t knock it till you try it), 2 Tbs rolled oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 scoop collagen powder, 1 tsp potato starch, ½ banana, ½ cup frozen fruit. Soak the first three ingredients at least 30 minutes or overnight. Blend. 300 calories and full of probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) and prebiotics (stuff that healthy gut bacteria eat). I am very convinced this helps my previously-very-unhappy gut!

Buy Me a Coffee

This week I wrote about how close we are to a cure for HIV. I casually asked Twitter what their all-time favorite science and nature books (fiction or non-fiction) were, and got a gazillion responses; check out the mega-list of The All-Time Best Science and Nature Books (According to Twitter). For my fellow science writers, I’m resurrecting the writer’s blog after a short hiatus: Here are the pros and cons of staff versus freelance jobs. And last but certainly not least, a Discover Q&A I wrote for-ev-er ago with Lawn to Wildflowers co-creator Barb Sharanowski: Pollinators Are In Trouble. Here's How Transforming Your Lawn Into A Native Wildflower Habitat Can Help.

Question of the week: What’s your all-time favorite science or nature book? I’m talking best of the best, not just random ones you’ve liked. Ones you would re-read again and again. Leave me a comment or reply to this email and let me know so I can add it to the list.


OK team, that’s all for today. Have a great week!
Take care please,
XOXO,
A

P.S.

✌ 💖🌻


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