In Defense of Flying with an Emotional Support Animal

two beagles and an adorable child get ready to board a plane. playing in device to see if they fit in carry-on space.

Getting your dog certified as an emotional support animal seems to be the way of the future. Eventually someone will come up with a way to let airlines just charge us for a regular seat for our dogs. But for now this is the uneasy truce between dog people and the airlines. Over Christmas I flew roundtrip from New York to Chicago in a way that goes against everything airlines stand for today: I paid no extra fees and had no unnecessary paperwork despite the fact that my daughter and I flew with two beagles at our feet as Emotional Support Animals. The planes didn’t crash. The beagles didn’t unpredictably go wild. They didn’t even steal any cookies.

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Bats get cold and fall onto ground in Autumn; they need a warm-up treat

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If you find a still bat on the ground, don’t pick it up with your hands. It may still be alive, just in torpor from the cold weather. It may need to be warmed up, fed and placed on a tree.

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Praying Mantis Clumsily Eats Bees in Brooklyn

This praying mantis lady is eating a bee.

Praying mantises aren’t rare or graceful, but a treat to see. How do bees not notice this lobster-like monster sitting on a flower? This mantis in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park lurked on a flower, then lunged on two bees and tore them to pieces.

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Puffins near Portland

Puffin swims by tour boat

Puffins, one of the oddest, most charming and hardest to see birds to see in the United States, but it’s getting easier because their numbers on Eastern Egg Rock, a southern Maine island hit a record 148 pairs in 2014. Warming water temperature threatened the efforts of Project Puffin to bring the cartoonish seabird back to its lost colonies.

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Cardinals finally let me see them raise babies in Brooklyn

Cardinal Nest

Cardinals feed babies fresh bugs in nest you could see if you knew where to look in Prospect Park.

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5-0 on the Long Meadow: Cops bust French bulldog meetup in Prospect Park

Cops give ticket to least threatening person in the park: a young mom pushing a stroller and attending a French bulldog meetup.

The City of New York executed a daring undercover raid on a menacing group of French bulldog owners meeting in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow on a recent Saturday morning. Their crime: having their miniature dogs off leash past the 9 a.m. curfew in a park obsessed with the enforcement of dog rules.

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Peter Capaldi's Leonardo da Vinci loves animals, mocks humans

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With Peter Capaldi–a proven choice for the smartest man in the universe–you come away impressed with Leonardo’s love of animals and maybe a little creeped out by his anger at humans.

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Did a Hunter Leave a Dead Bear in Central Park to Teach New Yorkers a Lesson?

bearcub

Releasing predators in Central Park play a huge role in the fantasies and rhetoric of hunters. Could one have planted a dead black bear cub scare New Yorkers? Seems like somebody with access to dead wildlife was trying to make a point.

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Parks Service Wants to Hunt Fire Island Deer Again

deer eating corn

Watch out Fire Island deer! The Parks Service wants you out of the way of their holly plants. And tourists, if you like seeing deer, too bad. The parks service wants to cut down on “negative human-deer interactions,” which it seems to define as anything that isn’t hunting.

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Guide to Troubled Birds: showing birds as the jerks they sometimes are

Guide to Troubled Birds

Guide to Troubled Birds is the rare funny bird book that illustrates what any birder secretly knows: a lot of birds are jerks.

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