The Blog

For several years I hemmed and hawed about blogging. First, it was the cool new thing to do. Then everyone started doing it. Now that everyone is doing it, it’s no longer cool. That’s how things go in the middle-school world of the internet.

But then I read this post and realized that I didn’t need to blog for anyone but myself – I could, in fact, see my blog as nothing more than a place that I could collect things (ideas, images, words) that interest me. I could find stuff and re-post it; I didn’t need to have an expectation of my blog as a place of total originality.

So here it is: stuff I find interesting, stuff I’m listening to or reading, even some stuff I create myself. I hope you like it, but if not, that’s OK too. I’m not doing it for you.

The Red Crossbill

The Red Crossbill, Loxia curvirostra, is a finch of the conifer forests of the Northern Hemisphere. They are highly variable and fairly shy, so it’s a treat to have these fellows about. I usually find them by their tinny calls, as they move quickly in the high canopy, foraging for cones.

I am especially attracted to these birds, not only because they are charming, but because they are such a stunning example of the powers of natural selection. To me, they represent the adaptability, and might I even say genius, of the natural world – yet these birds, marvelously attuned as they are to their environment, are also dependent on that environment to a great degree. They are specialists, and as such vulnerable to calamitous environmental change.

Are they products of a Supreme Being? the Divine Watchmaker? Or random natural selection? I care not. They are a marvel.


Male Red Crossbills
Image by Elaine R. Wilson, Nature’s Pics

Female Red Crossbill
Photo by Nature’s Pics

Loxia curvirostra from Naumann, ‘Natural history of the birds of central Europe’