Monthly Archives: June 2016

Romancing the Condor

  At Machu Picchu’s Temple of the Condor, Incas placed their deceased leaders on a specially carved stone then attracted a condor to carry the leader’s spirit to the sky.  Nice imagery, I guess, but knowing that “condor” is another name for “vulture” takes a lot away.   Note to loved ones:  Please don’t invite a vulture to my funeral.

Patroling for Pals

Our Colorado to Newfoundland road trip chalked up more states for our 3 1/2 year-old lab than I had amassed at 40.  Raven now has BFFs–dog and human–in 13 states and 3 provinces.  She traded smooches with a biker babe in St. Andrews, comforted a man who’d spent the day searching for his wife’s purse in Acadia, and contaminated the hands of most of the diners and wait staff in a dockside café in Bar Harbor.  If only her leash were longer she’d be a serious contender for president.

Brilliant Gift for Traveling Dad

We spent last June on the road. Steve hoped that his stingy watering program would keep our lawn from going jungle, but that plan was called on account of rain.  Our ever-loving (and seriously overworked) son sent a message telling us how bad our place looked, then followed up with, “I mowed it for you.  Have a good Father’s Day.” He couldn’t have come up with a better gift. Now, here we are gallivanting through June again.  We hear it’s been hot at home, so maybe Plan A will come through this time.  In any case, we hope our overworked son lets the lawn go and enjoys a day […]

Who Doesn’t Want to Hold a Shark?

Photo provided by Patrick O’Donnell, Environmental Specialist in Fisheries The question came from Vanessa, a South Fort Myers High School girl who joined our Rookery Bay shark tagging trip with Pat O’Donnell.  Oddly enough, I seriously wanted to hold a shark.  Having read so much about them, I wanted to experience a living, gill-breathing, not too dangerous little shark in my hands for a heartbeat or two.  Sadly, all we met while fishing Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands were catfish, isopods, and several zillion mosquitoes.  Still, it was a thrilling experience, and I’m so glad that Pat is out there offering that opportunity to […]

Sharks as Science Bait

On a mission to meet sharks, I worked with students and teachers from schools on both Florida coasts.  The two instructors had gone above and beyond in prepping their classes.   We met four of Steven Wilkie’s freshly polished shark experts on our visit to the Ten Thousand Islands estuary with Environmental Specialist Pat O’Donnell.  Wilkie, of South Fort Meyers High, gives up uncounted evenings and a good deal of sleep to expose many such tiny groups to real-world research. He and O’Donnell also took pains to individualize their onboard lecture for Yazmin, a wannabe accounting major, by emphasizing the importance of statistics and data software in research.  […]