Some leaves just can’t take a hint about when it’s time to make a like a tree and leave.

Happy International Pants Day!

Today is the day when millions of people around the world come together in the spirit of pants. In thousands of cities around the world, people celebrated by wearing pants big and small. Whether lounging at home in pajama pants, stretching theyr legs in yoga pants, or striding out into the world of work wearing more professional pants, pants-wearers world wide wore their pants proudly. “It really warms my heart to see so many people wearing pants,” a woman said tearfully on a New York street corner. Indeed, wearing pants has been warming the hearts (not to mention the legs) of millions of people every day. “My grandpa always said he was proud to wear the pants in our family. I know he’d be just as proud to see all his great grandchildren wearing pants as well,” said a father of several rambunctious pants-clad girls at a pants rally in Kansas City. As Mark Twain once said, or maybe it was the Dalai Lama, “Wearing clothes with legs divided, will ever keep our hearts united!”

It may not surprise you that none of the above paragraph was true. At least to the best of my knowledge. What I know to be true is that today is a special day for me and my pants. Today marks the 9th anniversary of this blog. I hope that you, too, wore pants today to celebrate with me.

autumnal odds and ends

These are a few photos I took one afternoon last week while the kids played in the woods by our house. The riotous color of October foliage have given way to the muted browns and grays, with occasional splashes of bright leaves.

Unidentified yellow leaf on a thorny green stem.

Stump with lichen and leaves.

Young maple, stubborn leaves.

(It won’t be long before even these scraps of color will give way to white on white.)

water lilies

Water lilies in Barcelona, Spain. September, 2009.

Water lilies in Hangzhou, China. May, 2012.

Water lily in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. September, 2015.

(Apparently I take a photo of water lilies roughly every 3 years.)


There are times when I feel like I will never get caught up with my massive backlog of projects. Thousands of photos to sort through. Stories to tell. News to share. Here I’ve been back blogging for almost 2 weeks, and I haven’t really said much yet. Ah, well. It’s at least a start.

And since I felt like I should have a photo of a log, here are some photos of a rather massive log out back behind the house.

take your tiger to work day

As part of my Mother’s Day present, Theo gave me temporary custody of his much-loved new tiger, Tigs. First it was going to be just for the day, but then he decided I should get to have Tigs for a week. Later that week, I had a lab meeting in Boston, and I decided that I would appreciate the company of a tiger for my day.

First, Tigs helped me to feed the parking meter. Because it really bites to get a parking ticket. (And tigers know all about bites.)

Next, we walked down to the building where I had my meeting.

We made sure to stop to admire the spring flowers along the way.


After a bit, we headed back out to pick up some provisions. Again, we admired the scenery along the way.

For lunch, we opted for Thai food.

Then, we shared some coffee.

Back at the meeting, Tigs offered some editing advice on an abstract.

Then he did some light reading to keep himself amused while the humans discussed research.

When it was time to go, Tigs couldn’t resist a slide down the banister on our way out.

And then we buckled back in for the long drive home.

Overall, Tigs made a delightful workday companion. And from the happy expression on his face, I’m quite sure he enjoyed his big day in the big city.

tiger’s eye views

A view of a tiger’s eye (and other eye, and nose and whiskers) at the zoo.

A toy tiger’s eye.

A piece of tiger’s eye.

I don’t know about you, but I totally have Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” running through my head now. And if you don’t have it going through your head having read that, I can only assume that you don’t know the song. Or that you are somehow not susceptible to catching earworms.