A New Guide To Kansas Mushrooms

Mycology is mushrooming! So reads one of my favorite bumperstickers, and it certainly is, now more than ever. As if to prove it, even as I wrote this I discovered oyster mushrooms growing nearby, and cooked them for dinner. I've been exploring the wonderland of tiny interconnected subterranean tubes (this is not related to mushroom…
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Ant Pheromone Death Spiral

That got your attention, didn't it? It crawled out of a new book that's so great it derailed my previous plan, which was to review some books about plants and fungi. Maybe next time. Like you, fellow average human, I'm visually oriented, despite being nearsighted for most of my life. I am slowly getting better…
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The Hour of Land is Now

In his last essay, writer Barry Lopez asked, “How can we embrace fearlessly the burning world?” If anyone knows, it may well be Terry Tempest Williams. Terry will be in Lawrence on Wednesday, April 13, though virtually via the Hall Center for Humanities, and again on the 14th for virtual coffee. She'll be talking about one…
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Maps and Legends

Once upon a time, a couple of my friends followed some hawks all the way to Argentina, just to figure out what they do during our winter. Back then, no one even knew where migratory Swainson's hawks went(!). But a Forest Service guy named Brian had wrangled some first-generation transmitters that beamed location information -- once a…
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Partaking of the Miraculous

As mentioned previously in this space, several excellent books on whales and ocean life washed ashore among the flotsam of the first pandemic year, Floating Coast and Fathoms, to name two favorites. So I stopped in my tracks when I chanced upon a review of a new book called Albert and the Whale. The book…
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First Steps

It happened again. A patron led me down a long and twisty path, simply by requesting a DVD.  "Do you have Nomad?" I figured he meant the Oscar-winning film Nomadland, but a catalog search came up with a match, a film I'd never heard of -- and, it turns out, one that I was keenly interested…
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