Author Archives: David Gorsline

Mason Neck

Jim McGlone and Rita Urbanski led walks on Mason Neck for Fairfax Master Naturalists. Rita focused on wetland adaptations, while Jim workshopped basic tree ID with the class. He mentioned the economic value of Quercus alba in cooperage, particularly with … Continue reading

Posted in In the Field | Tagged | Comments Off on Mason Neck

A mystery: 15

Tovi Lehmann led a fungus walk centered on the nature center in Rock Creek Park on a very windy Sunday morning. We found some interesting stuff: Mycena sheltered in a well-decayed log and stump. Lentinellus ursinis, with its serrate gills. … Continue reading

Posted in In the Field | Tagged | Comments Off on A mystery: 15

A mystery: 14

Rudyard Kipling, it would seem, believes that “rub-a-dub” refers to a way of ringing a bell. Dan and Harvey are trawling in a small dory, when heavy weather blows up unexpectedly: “Take a-holt here, an’ keep ringin’ steady,” said Dan, … Continue reading

Posted in Words Words Words | Comments Off on A mystery: 14

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park botany and ichthyology

Charles Smith led the botany basics workshop at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park for Fairfax Master Naturalists. (I studied the eastern section of this park for a class in 2014.) We met a lot of old friends from the plant world. … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, In the Field, Natural Sciences | Tagged | Comments Off on Ellanor C. Lawrence Park botany and ichthyology

Some links: 84

All theater-themed links today! Mike Nussbaum, “reportedly the oldest working stage actor in America,” talks to Scott Simon. Mark Liberman speculates about the origins of the signature phrase from Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood, “I’m here to be told.” David Kortava watches … Continue reading

Posted in Theater | Comments Off on Some links: 84

Huntley Meadows herps and birds

I got a leg up on understanding the mystery yellow flower that I’ve seen blooming in the marsh. According to the trip co-leader, Alonso Abugattas, it’s an aggressive non-native water-primrose. I would like to come back and check it more … Continue reading

Posted in In the Field | Tagged | Comments Off on Huntley Meadows herps and birds

St. Louis art & tech crawl: add one

One more building caught my eye: boarded up, carrying signs with a defunct URL, and graffitoed, the Hotel Jefferson patiently awaits restoration and a return to service.

Posted in Art and Architecture | Tagged | Comments Off on St. Louis art & tech crawl: add one

Saint Louis art & tech crawl

I attended the Strange Loop conference in St. Louis this past week. I got a little time to have a look at the city, which I haven’t seen since I visited my departed friend Jim Wilson in University City many … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Architecture, Tools and Technology | Tagged , | Comments Off on Saint Louis art & tech crawl

Red lithium grease

Debugging the set for the Met’s Ring production. When the giant planks spun into new positions — moving swiftly, say, to transform from the forest where the young hero Siegmund is being hunted to the fateful house where he seeks … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Theater | Comments Off on Red lithium grease


Now, the linden, it turns out, is a radical tree, as different from an oak as a woman is from a man. It’s the bee tree, the tree of peace, whose tonics and teas can cure every kind of tension … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Quotable | Comments Off on Tilia

The sizing on the canvas

Twenty Thousand Hertz goes into the booth with a loop group.

Posted in Film, Theater | Comments Off on The sizing on the canvas

Small Mouth Sounds

Bess Wohl’s rewarding, at times challenging play drops six seekers (four strangers and one couple) of varying degrees of attainment into a five-day meditation retreat somewhere in the mountains of the East Coast. What not all of them were aware … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Theater | Comments Off on Small Mouth Sounds


Gravity is the weakest of all known forces (think of how easily a tiny fridge magnet overcomes the downward pull of a planet-sized mass).

Posted in Physical Sciences | Comments Off on Perspective

New to me

Justin Kaplan explains what additional skills a Doctor of Osteopathy brings to the examining room: Put simply, “we as DOs were holistic before holistic became cool,” says William Mayo, president of the American Osteopathic Association. DOs are trained to look … Continue reading

Posted in Health and Medicine | Comments Off on New to me

Wolf Trap mushrooms

William Needham led a walk focused on fungi. He delivered our destination species, the diminutive fall-fruiting Red Chanterelle (Cantharellus cinnabarinus) in a corner of the park that most concertgoers never visit. On the way back to the cars, another participant … Continue reading

Posted in In the Field | Tagged | Comments Off on Wolf Trap mushrooms