Ask Me Anything
Online gatherings for Chasing Nature’s paying subscribers on June 18 and 19
ANYONE CLOSE to the wild, to its cycles of life and growth and death, knows that the notion of four seasons does a disservice to nature.
Sure, we can divide the Earth’s journey around the sun into quarters. But each is a blunt measure of life here on the surface — like saying that the only direction for taking a walk would be north, south, east or west.
Here in Vermont, for example, we’ve got at least a dozen seasons (but who’s counting). Mud Season and Maple Sugaring Season — over. Salamander Orgy Season and Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Season — done. Warbler Rainbow Migration Season — completed.
But fear not. Across much of the north, we’re moving into what I call the Season of Maximum Charismatic Flying Things, marked by an abundance and high diversity of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and other glittering insects. It’s a fine time for us to gather online — an expression of my gratitude for Chasing Nature’s paying subscribers. I cannot write here without you. I’ve reserved for us two, one-hour sessions on Google Meet:
Sunday, June 18, from 4-5PM Eastern Daylight Time (=UTC-4)
Monday, June 19, from 7-8PM Eastern Daylight Time (=UTC-4)
Links to each Meet are below. I’ll send a reminder email to paying subscribers next week. Let’s focus your questions on three topics:
General Nature Writing Strategies
Charismatic Flying Things
My latest essay on finding the Bog Elfin
If you plan to attend a session, please leave your question in comments below (click to like a question you already see there as well) no later than Friday, June 16. At the start of each session, I’ll list our topics so that you can decide whether to stick around. I’ll record each session and offer a link to paying subscribers who couldn’t attend live. We might try some discussion, but I’m not sure how well that will work. I’m game if you are.
FINALLY, another rare butterfly for you above. And, yep, both shots are of the same species, a gossamer prize called Early Hairstreak (Erora laeta). If the little brown Bog Elfin is one of the most elusive butterflies on the continent, Early Hairstreak is one of the most elusive and coveted.
About the size of your fingernail, Early Hairstreak spends most of its life in the canopy of American Beech, dropping to earth now and then for nectar or to lap salts and minerals from dirt roads or trails (or to transform the lives of human beings).
It’s almost as if there are two kinds of people in the world: those who have seen Early Hairstreak and those who have not. And for those of us who’ve seen it, Early Hairstreak has indeed changed our lives forever. (It’s a little like those of us who have seen “The Wire” and those who have not.)
And then there are those very few of us who have seen Bog Elfin and Early Hairstreak in the same week — the “butterfly effect” writ large (or actually writ small on us humans, as the case may be). Maybe we’ll talk about that when we meet. I hope to see you there!
Here are those Meet links and your space for questions: