Floridian trio ~ Mama Anhinga and her tots


Veteran boaters call the Anhinga “snakebird” because it swims submerged with only its neck and head undulating above the waterline like a serpent. The lack of waterproof plumage enables it to travel effortlessly underwater in search of fish, but for every advantage there is also a hitch. When soaked to the skin, the Anhinga looses body heat and must find a nearby perch to warm itself after feeding. With spread wings and fan-shaped tail feathers drying in the sun, the Anhinga earns its other nickname, “water turkey.”

I’ve got a lot to learn about these birds, but I do know this. Anhinga Motherhood isn’t for sissies.

Toni 11/21/15



WP editor Ben Huberman says share something unabashedly ornate.

The most stunning sight in Siracusa, Sicily is the cathedral, the star of the Piazza del Duomo.  It was built in the first half of the eighteenth century on top of a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.  The Greek pillars are still there, blended into the walls and supporting the massive roof. Elaborately, and sumptuously, adorned.

Toni 11/8/15


Story wrangler CHERI LUCAS ROWLANDS asks: 

What’s mundane yet meaningful to you? What’s a beautiful everyday thing?



the transformative art of the sea


shapely, subtle, showing its cleverness



Beauty is composed of many things and never stands alone.  It is part of horizons, blue in the distance, great primeval silences, knowledge of all things of the earth.  It is so fragile it can be destroyed by a sound or a thought.  It may be infinitesimally small or encompass the universe itself.  It comes in a swift conception wherever nature has not been disturbed.

-Sigurd Olson

Toni 10/20/15


Happiness not in another place, but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.

-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass




I discovered Researcher Matt Killingsworth.  He designs studies that gather data on happiness. While doing his Ph.D. research at Harvard, Killingsworth invented the Track Your Happiness app.  Takeaway?  Stay in the moment.

Toni 9/16/15 


Michelle W. says take the humble grid out of the shadows and make it the star. 

Traitors’ Gate was a watergate beneath St Thomas’s Tower at the Tower of London.




The gate was built in the late 1270s to provide easy entry by barge. It earned its present name as the Tower evolved into a place of impris­onment – and sometimes torture – for those accused of treason during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.


Impris­onment and execution at the Tower continued until the German spy Josef Jakobs was shot by firing squad in 1941.

The archway was ultimately bricked up because the embankment works caused the river to run deeper, making the gate of little practical use for visitors – traitorous or not – at most phases of the tide.

On through that gate misnamed, through which
Went Sidney, Russell, Raleigh, Cranmer, More,
On into twilight within walls of stone,
Then to the place of trial; and alone …


Toni 9/18/2015