Tag Archives: nature

When the ergot hits the rye

At some point in my adolescence, I was brought along to some kind of poetry group and someone read a poem with on the theme of ergot poisoning from grain. I have no other memories of the group at all, but I was reminded of it by this photo:

So, there it is. That’s what it looks like.

That, and, maybe, the Salem witch trials.

Suicidal Seagull

Dear Diary:

On a balmy fall night, my wife and I saw a seagull strutting up Fifth Avenue.

Suddenly, the bird darted across the street into the rush-hour traffic. I cringed as it avoided the first car, then got clobbered by the second one. Like a punch-drunk fighter, the gull got up and limped toward the fine shops on Madison Avenue.

Unable to watch a drama that was destined to end badly, I raced toward the kamikaze bird. Shaken, it tried to fly away, but a broken wing kept it earthbound. As I picked it up, it stared defiantly and bit me.

Read the rest at the New York Times feature, “Metropolitan Diary”


Claire Morgan makes astonishing assemblies of taxidermied animals and other materials, meticulously placed with nylon strands. She uses many kinds of animals and insects, as well as fruit and leaves. I don’t have any idea what to make of any of it. I can’t decide whether I love it or would never want it in any space I occupy, even briefly (I or the work). Lots more photos of many installations over the last seven years at her website.

Scenic Stones

Bill Atkinson was a member of the original Macintosh team at Apple Computer, where he designed much of the initial Macintosh user interface and wrote the original QuickDraw, MacPaint, and HyperCard software. From childhood, though, he’d been interested in nature photography, and eventually he moved out of software and into photography as a major focus. His nature photography is beautiful across the board, but the willingness of the mind to recognize patterns makes his photography of polished stones particularly compelling.

photograph of stone 3
photograph of stone 3
photograph of stone 3

See more, and order prints, at Bill Atkinson’s site. You can also order his book, Within the Stone, at his site.