Tales from the Underground

Tales from the Underground

A rainbow of roots from around the world

(September 21, 2017) The soil at my new place is marginal but well drained and it hasn't been gardened in a few years, so the weeds are pretty intense. A season's worth of...

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Runes in the Ruin

(September 21, 2017) When diggers (calling them archaeologists would be too kind) broke into a 5,000-year-old Maeshowe passage grave in Orkney, Scotland, in 1851, they soon realized they weren't the first intruders....

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HumBug: Autumn is Here

(September 17, 2017) Late in the year,  sources of nectar are scarce and those species that depend on it concentrate around the dwindling resource. Wild anise, a few thistles and other small...

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The Name of the Blob

What to say in front of the children

(September 14, 2017) On a beach somewhere, a colorful blob is washing up and ignorant parents are calling it "a jellyfish" in front of the children, who respond, "That's not a fish, it's...

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Unwrapping the Past

(September 7, 2017) If you happen to be a time-traveler, do avoid Italy's Bay of Naples on Aug. 24, 79 AD. That's when Mount Vesuvius, dormant for 800 years, blew its top, completely...

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HumBug: Why No Cricket Choruses?

(September 3, 2017) I recently got a question from a reader as to why he didn't hear the grand evening choruses of crickets he had gotten used to in other places. Like...

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HumBug: Oregon Bugs

(August 27, 2017) Although my primary reasons for going to Oregon were visiting family and eclipse watching, I did manage to get in a little bug hunting as well. One of the...

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A Love Letter to Arcata High's Class of '87

(August 24, 2017) I am in a state of panic, deep-cleaning the refrigerator. I have also vacuumed the garage and deadheaded every petunia on the property. In a text this morning, I told...

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Science. It Works, etc.

(August 24, 2017) No stranger to controversy, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene) invited it in spades during an appearance at Oxford University in February of 2013. Asked for evidence that scientific...

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Bright Lights, Small Town

The annual allure of the county fair

(August 24, 2017) Growing up in Humboldt County, there was nothing more exciting than the day my parents would announce that we were going to the Fair. They would bundle us kids...

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HumBug: Easy Pickings

(August 20, 2017) My light trap isn't very sophisticated — just a white bed sheet stretched tentlike over a rope with three black light CFLs and an LED white light. It's powered...

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in our blogs...

TL;DR Drunk in Public

(September 17, 2017) Didn’t have time to read this week’s cover story? We get it. Summer just disappeared in a blink and now it's time to get ready for one of those famous...

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House Says No to Sessions' Asset Forfeiture Plans

(September 13, 2017) The House of Representatives has just said no to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempts to lessen restrictions on taking money and property from people suspected but sometimes never...

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McKinleyvile Marksman

(September 9, 2017) Turns out skeet shooting isn't necessarily a young person's game, at least according to Dan Jones. He ought to know — the 45-year-old McKinleyville native has just climbed to...

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