Do Trees Talk to Each Other?

Do Trees Talk to Each Other? I’m walking in the Eifel Mountains in western Germany, through cathedral-like groves of oak and beech, and there’s a strange unmoored feeling of entering a fairy tale. The trees have become vibrantly alive and charged with wonder. They’re communicating with one another, for starters. They’re involved in tremendous struggles…

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The Return of the Great American Jaguar

The Return of the Great American Jaguar. The jaguar known as El Jefe—The Boss—was almost certainly born in the Sierra Madre of northwest Mexico. Chris Bugbee, a wildlife biologist who knows El Jefe better than anyone, guesses that his birthplace was in the 70-square-mile Northern Jaguar Reserve in the state of Sonora. A team of…

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Exclusive interview: Brokeback Mountain writer, Annie Proulx

Green coffee beans roast in a revolving white machine on the kitchen counter. Annie Proulx, one of America’s greatest living writers, is upstairs in the shower. She looked startled when she opened the front door and found me there. She was wearing her dressing gown. An idea for a story had kept  her awake for…

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The True Story of the ‘Free State of Jones

With two rat terriers trotting at his heels, and a long wooden staff in his hand, J.R. Gavin leads me through the woods to one of the old swamp hide-outs. A tall white man with a deep Southern drawl, Gavin has a stern presence, gracious manners and intense brooding eyes. At first I mistook him…

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Italy’s fascinating Festival of the Snake-Catchers

The snake-catchers of Cocullo were drinking espresso in the village’s only cafe. Photographs on the walls showed famoussnakes and snake-catchers from the past, and a few live serpents lay coiled in pillowcases on the floor. It had been a difficult year, the men said. Spring came late to the mountains, and the snakes were slow…

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Good Dog: Born to Run

A loveable mutt with no patience for life at home She had been missing for three days. We had put a reward notice with a photograph and dollar signs in the window of the nearest store, seven miles away across open fields and swampy woods. The local farmers, tractor drivers, and crop-duster pilots had all…

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