Colstfoot, bright and brave

We are already a good two or three weeks into spring here in southern New England, and like most springs, the weather has swung widely back and forth between frost and snow and warm weather, so warm, in fact, that on one 75 degree day my younger son went swimming in the lake with hisContinue reading “Colstfoot, bright and brave”

Signs of change (red osier)

Looking back over the last month or so, I realize I saw the first fragile signs of the coronavirus pandemic receding in, of all places, the grocery store. For the last year, grocery trips have been pretty stark: one person per family, and as few trips as possible.  If we see a friend or acquaintance,Continue reading “Signs of change (red osier)”


News stories are appearing everywhere about new coronavirus variants appearing globally (in 31 countries as of Dec 31, 2020) and in the U.S. (California, Florida, Colorado).  While print and online sources generally treat this news with caution, talk of mutant viruses is front and center in the television and radio news cycle.  On my shortContinue reading “Variants”

Questions please!

I’m trying something new with my Coronavirus posts, which is to ask readers of this blog for their questions about the biology of this infection.   I’ve been inspired by reading Heather Cox Richardson’s wonderfully informative posts and podcasts on Facebook where she puts current political news in a broader historical context (she also is onContinue reading “Questions please!”

Unexpected winter critters

Our walks through the woods takes us across a small bridge over a stream, down a wooden walkway built over a wet area, and then on a flat, gently winding path that ends in a view of the lake.  Because this path is just at end of our road, we walk it often, even moreContinue reading “Unexpected winter critters”

Mixed blessings (goldenrods and ragweed)

Today I am enjoying our summer-like weather in early fall, lying on my hammock under a brilliant blue sky, listening to the wind blow through the trees. Yes, that same wind does periodically drop leaves from the honey locust in our backyard right into my coffee cup, and yes, the leaves on the maple treeContinue reading “Mixed blessings (goldenrods and ragweed)”

Perspective, Part 3: Age and health risk factors

In Part #2 of this post I discussed community risk as if all members of the community had the same risk of severe illness and death if infected with SARS-CoV-2, which we all know isn’t true.  While a small number of people may have a genetic quirk that makes them uniquely susceptible to this infectionContinue reading “Perspective, Part 3: Age and health risk factors”

Perspective, Part 2: Infection vs disease

When I think about the coronavirus pandemic, I try to think of it from two different viewpoints at once: what is the risk to myself and my family, and what is the risk to my broader community?   The first viewpoint allows me to get the right ‘anxiety setting’ on my personal stress dial.  We generallyContinue reading “Perspective, Part 2: Infection vs disease”