The Outside Story: Star-nosed mole has a nose that knows

Some people have life birds, species of birds they’ve waited their whole lives to see in the wild. I don’t have one of these, but I do have a life mole. I’ve been waiting to catch a glimpse of Condylura cristata, the star-nosed mole, ever since I learned about this animal during a small mammals course in graduate school. Can you imagine a palm-sized mole whose pink, star-shaped nose contains 22 fleshy tentacle-like appendages, living right here underfoot in New England?  I spent years searching for this mol … (read more)

The Outside Story: Fox talk goes from yips to shrieks

Sometimes it pays to be an insomniac. One frigid winter night, I climbed out of my restless bed and slipped outside to stand under a sky littered with stars and take in the complete silence of darkness. Suddenly, a ruckus broke out along the edge of the p … (read more)

The Outside Story: Always searching for the woolly mammoth

I fall in love easy. I’ve been mad about river otters and star-nosed moles, and of course the venomous short-tailed shrew. But my first love was a creature that is almost mythical, a shadow lingering on the edges of time. There wasn’t much of it, merely b … (read more)