The Death of Anwar al Awlaki


American-born jihadist Anwar al Awlaki was assassinated in Yemen today. So far as WC knows, it is the first assassination of an American by the United States in American history. It’s a troubling precedent to any thoughtful citizen. WC is deeply ambivalent about the Obama administration’s ongoing war on terror. But WC cannot quarrel with…

Birds: The Same, But Different


One of the challenges of birding is the regional differences in bird species. The species are the same, but regional variability in coloration and markings sometimes make the birds appear quite different. WC was wandering around in central Idaho recently, and found three species that show enough variation from the familiar Alaska varieties that they…

WC’s on Break


After about 90 consecutive days of new posts, WC is going to take a few days off from the blog and see if there are any birds left to photograph. Feel free to discuss among yourselves… WC’ll be back in a while. (By the way, in response to comments and questions, yes, that’s an un-retouched…

Photogenic Rats


WC was in Idaho’s Salmon River Mountains recently. On top of the stump of a Ponderosa Pine was this little fellow: At first there was some confusion about what we had found. It sort of resembled a Pika, but the ears were wrong. And a Pika, sometimes called a Rock Rabbit, would be unlikely on…

Playing with Harpers’ Index


For those who haven’t yet discovered it and share WC’s somewhat magpie sensibility, Harper’s Index is one of the treasure troves of miscellaneous sourced facts on the Web. Type your subject in the box, press return and a list of points appears; hover over them and you have the source. The items are in chronological…

What Americans Say They Want


Teabaggers, of course, and specifically their U.S. House drones, are adamantly opposed to any “tax increases.” Poor Rep. John Fleming (R. La) told MSNBC that after feeding his family, he only had “about $400,000 a year” left as income. Which may tell you everything you need to know about where the Congressional teabaggers are coming…