Kieran Lindsey

Kieran Lindsey

Kieran Lindsey loves looking for wild things in all the wrong places… so she became an urban biologist. Her quest to entice others to share this passion led to flirtations with (gasp!) the media—as a columnist for the Houston Chronicle; as host of KUNM-FM’s Wild Things; as producer of an Emmy® winning wildlife documentary; and at her Next-Door Nature blog. Kieran has way too much fun as official Animal-Vehicle Biologist for NPR’s Car Talk, and she isn’t ashamed to admit it.

Jul 302015
 
Flight School

The 2015 class of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) naval aviators started flight school this week! I’ve been watching these youngsters on daily dog-walks in the park since early May. When they first showed up I noticed the their resemblance, in size and coloration, to the yellow puffball flowers of the American sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) towering […]

Jul 222015
 
Summer Soundtrack

One of my favorite things about summer is the free outdoor concerts. I’m not talking about local bands that occasionally perform from the park gazebo even though they can be a pleasant accompaniment to my evening dog walk. No, nothing says summer like the insect-amphibian jam sessions that take place almost every evening. I’ve moved […]

Jul 072015
 
Comeback

Heat and Humidity have resumed their annual one-upmanship contest here in Arch City. Being outdoors mid-day can be unpleasant, so my canine companion and I have been trying to beat them to the starting blocks by heading out for our daily constitutional as early as possible.     Westroll two blocks, past grand Italianate manors […]

Jul 102013
 
Free-tailed funnel cloud (reprint from June 2011)

When Doppler radar first arrived in the area known affectionately to Texans as the Hill Country, the local television station meteorologists were understandably eager to show off the weather forecasting capabilities of their newest toy. Unfortunately, they got off to a less than impressive start. Night after night that summer, evening thunderstorms were forecast but […]

Jun 132013
 
Meow mix-up

Because the semester was winding down, I wasn’t all that surprised to hear a soft, kittenish mewing coming from the small wedge of remnant wooded habitat between my apartment parking lot and the highway. I used to live in a complex near the Virginia Tech campus and, sadly, it’s common for a new crop of […]

May 102013
 
Sunspots

There’s been a marked decline in the number of sunspots over the past decade or so. That’s what NASA scientists say, and I have no reason to doubt their research findings. Luckily, I haven’t observed any reduction in the terrestrial version of this phenomenon. Hardly a day has passed lately when I’ve not been blinded […]

Mar 262013
 
Goodness knows

Kindergarteners swarmed around the khaki-clad naturalist, squealing with excitement, shouting out questions and jockeying for a better view.The adult volunteers on this field trip were a tougher audience. “I’m glad they’re having fun but I don’t see why anyone should care about some bug,” one 30-something mom confided to another, adding, “What good is it, […]

Feb 232013
 
Headbanger

Rushing out the door, I went over the list in my head. Workout pants and layered tees—check. Running shoes—check. Coat, hat, gloves—check. Keys and sunglasses—check. MP3 player—check. Everything was in order as I pulled out of the driveway. Or so I thought. Fifteen minutes later I pulled into a parking space at thePower Valley Conservation […]

Jan 282013
 
Oasis

American robins and other wild creatures have to get creative if they want to quench a winter thirst (Photo: Ingrid Taylar, Creative Commons license). Which season comes to mind when you read these words? parched; desiccated; shriveled; arid; sere; If you’re a wild thing, the answer may well be winter. Sure, the heat of summer […]

Jan 152013
 
Long winter’s nap

Grab forty winks. Saw logs. For a species that’s habitually short on shut-eye, we humans sure have come up with myriad ways to talk about it. We also spend a lot of time and money studying sleep, or the lack thereof. Yet, in spite of decades of inquiry, researchers still don’t have a good fix […]

Nov 272012
 
Runner-up

I don’t know what American grade school kids are being taught these days – I left Oakville Elementary a couple of decades ago (Okay, fine—several decades ago) and since I haven’t had kids of my own I don’t have access to 21st century homework assignments. But I’ll go out on a limb here and bet […]

Nov 042012
 
Brewhaha

During late October, Shakespeare’s recipe for chaos and conflict comes to mind with the sudden appearance on our very doorsteps of all manner of terrifying witches, ghosts and goblins… and political advertising. The former can be bought off easily enough with bite-sized Butterfingers (a sticky booby trap that guarantees revenge for the extortion in the […]