Birds of a Feather

birds of a feather

Treble clef

Treble clef


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Egret with Mustache

egret with mustache


Banana Trees by Becky Jaffe

Bananas and humans have roughly 50% of our DNA in common, despite the fact that bananas are triploid (having three sets of genes) and humans are diploid (having two sets of genes). On the molecular level, on the level of DNA, we are intertwined.

The structure on the left is the banana flower, often called the “heart” of the banana.


bald eagle pair

In the Bicentennial celebration of 1976, I attended the Boston parade dressed as a bald eagle, a very patriotic toddler indeed. I was told at the time that the bald eagle I was impersonating had gone extinct. I didn’t bother to update this knowledge until several decades later, when I was gobsmacked to stumble across one that was very much alive. It was like seeing a dodo or a woolly mammoth perched in the branches. In my eyes the bald eagle is still the picture of resilience, a creature capable of defying extinction itself, a phoenix among beasts.

Mohawk Bird (Pterodactyl punkrockius)


Up and Down

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Here’s looking at you

scarlet macaw pair

Oh! Canada

Heron pair

Backside of a Peacock

peacock backside

Even the backside of a peacock is a work of art. The biosphere is a continuing marvel. Happy Earth Day!

L’chaim! To life!


Rainbow grasshopper

Rainbow grasshopper

The far-fetched, the improbable, and the whimsical are at play in the leaf litter.

Palm Tree

Palm Tree by Becky Jaffe


Intertwined too


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sentinel lo res

I spotted this Jesus Christ Lizard (so named because she walks on water) sunning herself in a shaft of light in the forest’s dark understory. I couldn’t help but wonder: What Would the Jesus Lizard Do?


only bloom

when night falls

The beauty of the world stubbornly persists. Some flowers only bloom in the dead of night.

The Beast with Two Backs

meeting of the minds


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I was supposed to be hard at work doing serious things, but then I noticed the linen hanging tape curled up in a tangle, and the interplay of light and shadow on the curved forms and you know how it is … the afternoon was derailed by beauty once again.

what the papaya means

toucan in the papaya tree

This is the toucan that services the papaya tree. Enticed by the allure of sugar and survival, the toucan perches on the branch and dips down to dig a hole in the fruit, visible in this photo. This is the papaya tree that has lured not only the toucan but dozens of other species (including we human animals) into carrying its seeds and spreading its genes throughout the region. The seeds of the tree must be scattered far and wide, or they will fester in the shade of the parent plant. Each seed must find its own patch of sunlight, just as each toucan must seek its own sweetness. There is a perfection to this arrangement, the self-interest of each individual organism resulting in the unwitting cooperation of the entire interconnected ecosystem. What lessons lurk in each leaf?



This is the leaf that transforms sunlight and air into a voluptuous papaya. Like solar energy, awe is a renewable resource.



Is it just me, or is there a certain detectable exuberance to photosynthesis?



Poison-dart frog


Several of nature’s people

I know, and they know me;

I feel for them a transport

Of cordiality

– Emily Dickinson