links: intimate flowers, bird poop, and why vulnerability is a good thing

EXPLODING Eremurus, why vulnerability is good for us, and the answer to why bird poop is white—all, and more, in the latest collections of links I’ve loved lately while staring into my computer screen (which I alternately do between long gazes out the window). Five links worth exploring:

exploding eremurus, and other floral magic

AS USUAL, it was Maria Popova of the amazing Brain Pickings website that alerted us to something spectacular we’d have missed otherwise, this time to photographer Andrew Zuckerman’s intimate portraits—still, and video—of flowers.  NPR’s Robert Krulwich followed up with a piece of his own—or just go to Vimeo and watch Zuckerman’s collection of videos up close and personal.

2 minutes weekly with the birds

EVER WONDER why bird poop is white (and why they really love to dispense it onto red cars)? Such madcap topics, and some more sober ones, are the subject of the charming daily 2-minute public-radio podcast called BirdNote. Be sure to browse the archives, or (if you use podcasts) sign on for this one. Audible fun, in a small package—you know, like a bird.

birds blown off course by sandy

HAVE YOU FOUND it as compelling (though sometimes sad) to read about what Superstorm Sandy did to move birds off course? Pelicans who afterward needed a ride back to Florida; northern lapwings en route to Africa from Europe who got tossed to Massachusetts, and more? “It is as if the entire Northeast were a giant snow globe, which has been lifted up and shaken, with a variety of species being found far from where they were before Sandy’s arrival,” said eBird.org, which has a comprehensive set of links to the many unexpected sightings.

trees and drought: stroke victims?

WHAT DOES DROUGHT do to trees? Well, apparently its effects are like an embolism is to the human circulatory system: not good. NPR talked recently to a scientist in Australia who studies the effects of drought on our forests, and how close to a fatal stroke they just might be.

vulnerability is a good thing

MY SUNDAY starts early, with wifi streaming of some favorite public-radio shows. One of those is “On Being With Krista Tippett,” and this week’s program was especially welcome. The topic was vulnerability, and I have been feeling a lot of it in anticipation of my upcoming book. The guest was Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston graduate school of social work—someone whose work I have long admired. Have a listen.


Categoriesbird sh-t Nature
  1. Margaret, thanks for the note about our interview with Dr. Brown. She’s fabulous and we’ve received an incredible response to the show. Best of luck with your book!
    ~Trent, sr. editor of On Being

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Trent. I love the show, and have followed Dr. Brown for a couple of years so it was a great matchup of two women whose points of view interest me so much. Thanks to you for great work.

  2. Catherine says:

    Margaret, the minute I saw that your book can be ordered I snatched one up on Amazon.com. And thank you so much for the link to the Dr. Brown interview. I just loved it, as I am sure I will love your new book.

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