The year in review, 2023

I keep finding stuff to write about.

The first sentence (more or less) of the first post for the last twelve months:

  • 8 January: I am mortified that no one else stepped in to do this job, but gratified that Devon Henry was there to do it.
  • 1 February: In my newly copious unscheduled time, I’ve been working with Margaret Chatham on invasives removal at Fraser Preserve, at the tippy-top north end of the county.
  • 9 March: ēar-finger is definitely due for a comeback.
  • 3 April: Signature Theatre smooths out some of the less accessible elements of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures…
  • 3 May: A nice fiction/non-fiction balance.
  • 9 June: Nelson DeBarros led a walk to a small acidic seepage swamp tucked into a Franconia neighborhood.
  • 13 July: Expurgation considered harmful: What’s Lost When Censors Tamper With Classic Films, by Niela Orr.
  • 1 August: Documenting and celebrating Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn.
  • 8 September: Nelson DeBarros led a walk for the Potowmack Grass Bunch and FCPA staff to a power line easement along South Run.
  • 10 October: By chance, this year’s Master Naturalist conference was held in Southwest Virginia, so the Doctor and I hauled down I-81 once again to Abingdon.
  • 4 November: Sarah Ruhl’s reduction of Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s gender-fluid time-travel novel of 1928, picks out key episodes and characters from the life of the titular 300-year-old would-be writer.
  • 6 December: Public Obscenities makes use of some familiar tropes…

The year in review:

A milestone: 8

Seventeen years of A Honey of an Anklet, including 142 posts from Huntley Meadows Park:

  • 2006: We drove out to the Eastern Shore yesterday to say goodbye to Marlie…
  • 2007: Katherine Ellison looks at today’s carbon offset market.
  • 2008: Henry Phillips received a patent for his screwdriver and screws on this day in 1936…
  • 2009: The last play in August Wilson’s cycle of Pittsburgh plays, Radio Golf, is set in 1997…
  • 2010: Just a quick snap to mark my completion of the Fairfax Cross County Trail.
  • 2011: Five years of A Honey of an Anklet…
  • 2012: Hey, Leta, you’re on the TV!
  • 2013: Sand Box John keeps us up to date…
  • 2014: My 2014-2015 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (Duck Stamps) arrived in the mail today.
  • 2015: Dave Taft offers a splendid 24-hours sampler of the wildlife to be found within New York City, be it animal, vegetable, or fungal; native or alien invasive.
  • 2016: 10 years, 2100+ posts.
  • 2017: O Gray Catbird, who have been tapping at your reflection in my window glass, maybe if I post your picture on the internet you’ll be embarrassed and cut it out.
  • 2018: My final report for the ducks and mergs team this season…
  • 2019: From my final weekly report from Huntley Meadows Park…
  • 2020: 51 murals promoting our 51st state.
  • 2021: After my annual scuffling with the Google chart API, I can post the summary graph of nesting activity for 2021.
  • 2022: As usual, that’s me in the back, the last one to get on whatever we’re looking at.

The year in review, 2022

With the demise of the bird site, I will probably return to more quick linkblogging here.

The first sentence (more or less) of the first post for the last twelve months:

  • 15 January: What Will Art Look Like in the Metaverse?, by Dean Kissick.
  • 20 February: Noreen Malone captures the mood of the moment.
  • 4 March: Finally, after a dark and cold winter, some color in my Winogradsky column project.
  • 1 April: Hi, Mom!
  • 3 May: Sunday’s report: Many adventures today!
  • 4 June: Back in the field with the scrappy little Mason & Bailey Club, and their first visit to Huntley Meadows Park!
  • 4 July: As usual, that’s me in the back, the last one to get on whatever we’re looking at.
  • 6 August: [[User:Adam_Cuerden]] gives a quick backstage tour.
  • 6 September: “(Maybe that’s what you’re seeing whenever you see a little swirling updraft of debris in the city: someone’s panic taking shape, someone’s death setting out to find their body.)”
  • 1 October: Helen Shaw reviews David Greenspan’s realization of Four Saints in Three Acts, by Gertrude Stein.
  • 1 November: I have become mildly obsessed with Mantovani’s anodyne arrangement of “Charmaine,” perhaps the epitome of easy listening/elevator music.
  • 6 December: More publicity for the Habenaria repens that we documented in September.

The year in review:

The year in review, 2021

Some months are a little skimpy this year, for the expected reasons. The first sentence (more or less) of the first post for the last twelve months:

  • 2 January: Staying close to home, I walked over to Reston’s Walker Nature Center, past the high school and the mini-mall with the Domino’s and 7-Eleven.
  • 15 February: Waiting out the ice storm until Monday, I got some time to walk the Glade today, just before the rain came back.
  • 7 March: We have resumed nest box monitoring at Huntley Meadows Park (following precautions and adhering to protocol, of course).
  • 6 April: Sean Wyer unpacks a word that has always puzzled me: naff.
  • 1 May: Box #68 hatched out — Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus).
  • 3 June: I’m Washingtonian-famous, for the month at least, recommending Mucca Pazza’s Tiny Desk Concert.
  • 5 July: After my annual scuffling with the Google chart API, I can post the summary graph of nesting activity for 2021.
  • 1 August: この ちかくに コンビニが あります。
  • 6 September: Labor Day means a hike in Shenandoah National Park.
  • 5 October: Best use of inset text, Snark Division.
  • 6 November: Phase 2 has hit the “substantially complete” milestone.
  • 5 December: Oh, dear.

The year in review:

The year in review, 2020

The usual preoccupations. The first sentence (more or less) of the first post for the last twelve months:

  • 12 January: I’m going to try Musicology Duck’s Listen Wider Challenge 2020.
  • 3 February: I returned to Florida for the first time in far too many years for my first SCBWF.
  • 2 March: First week of nest box monitoring.
  • 5 April: Virginia state parks are still open for day use!
  • 3 May: A new non-native wasp has been spotted in the Pacific Northwest, Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia).
  • 6 June: At my desk away from my desk, 12 weeks since we started working remotely full-time.
  • 3 July: 51 murals promoting our 51st state.
  • 3 August: “To say that [the revival of evangelical Christianity in the 1820s] marked a turn away from the spirit of the nation’s founding is to wildly understate the case.”
  • 5 September: Look what popped up in a bare patch in my weedy back yard: two sprigs of Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata).
  • 12 October: Mikaela Lefrak of WAMU is releasing a six-part podcast on the fight for Washington, D.C. residents to be fully enfranchised and empowered to run their own government.
  • 1 November: “In my junior year I presented a skit at the Press Club Vod based on the idea of how closely allied jazz dancing was to the jungle.”
  • 8 December: “It was recently discovered, for example, that good tobacco crops depend, for some unknown reason, on the preconditioning of the soil by wild ragweed.”

The year in review:

The year in review, 2019

A couple of short months, but some nice travelogue. And I made the 100th post under At the park (even if I lose count sometimes). The first sentence (more or less) of the first post for the last twelve months:

  • 1 January: “Jackson [Pollock] had said, ‘I am nature.'”
  • 8 February: Earlier this week, test trains began running on the section of track from Innovation Center to west of the airport, as reported by Max Smith.
  • 2 March: Aziza Barnes’ play is high energy, often played at farce tempos.
  • 2 April: A turn of phrase that has stayed with me over the years, from James Thurber, “The Topaz Cufflinks Mystery,” (23 July 1932).
  • 2 May: From my most recent report: Two boxes hatched (including 13 ducklings from little box #5) and one new nest is started.
  • 2 June: From my report on last Sunday’s monitoring work: Our birds continue to surprise.
  • 2 July: From my final weekly report from Huntley Meadows Park: A somewhat perplexing end to the season.
  • 6 August: Barring new hitches, MWAA has set 16 July 2020 as the opening date for Phase II, according to reporting by Max Smith.
  • 2 September: It’s Labor Day, so it’s time for a walk in the park.
  • 4 October: feather is to plumage as hair is to pelage as scale is to…?
  • 3 November: The most powerful moments in this production come from the no song, no dance passage told by Paul (Jeff Gorti), a honest confession of a story not captured by cast recording albums.
  • 10 December: “This book is the final chapter of, and the summation of, a work conceived and begun in 1925.”

The year in review:

The year in review, 2018

So what happened to November? The lede for eleven first posts of the past months:

  • 4 January: O, I miss you sweetie.
  • 3 February: A lush, ostinato-less “Every Breath You Take,” in the lobby of Navy Federal Credit Union, Reston branch.
  • 4 March: Danai Gurira’s engaging drama takes a new angle on the ever-intriguing clash of cultures.
  • 7 April: Elizabeth G. Knight, writing in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 11:11/12 (November-December 1884), p. 134.
  • 14 May: The role of sound design in professional live theater, a podcast episode produced by James Introcaso.
  • 4 June: Between festivals, I stopped by Thuya Garden and Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor—two lovely spots.
  • 7 July: My final report for the ducks and mergs team this season.
  • 9 August: So this pavement milling machine has been hanging out near the building entrance.
  • 3 September: Is there another playwright who shows such skill at introducing characters as Sarah Ruhl?
  • 6 October: I got a leg up on understanding the mystery yellow flower that I’ve seen blooming in the marsh.
  • 2 December: 75 dancers, 300 solos of work by Merce Cunningham on his 100th birthday, livestreamed.

The year in review:

The year in review, 2017

Scanty posting for much of the year. Nevertheless, my annual slice through the first-of-the-month posts:

  • 5 January: WATCH assignments are ready!
  • 2 February: Augmented by a stack of books from Leta’s library.
  • 2 March: Woolly continues its admirable run of productions in which people of faith—specifically, Christian faith—are front and center, with their questions and fears driving the story.
  • 2 April: Richard Bolles has passed away.
  • 2 May: From my last report to the nest box team:
  • 3 June: A lovely “bloom” of one of our common yellow myxomycetes in the Ridge Heights meadow.
  • 2 July: O Gray Catbird, who have been tapping at your reflection in my window glass, maybe if I post your picture on the internet you’ll be embarrassed and cut it out.
  • 5 August: TIL that IAD was originally planned to be built in what is now Burke.
  • 1 September: In the course of researching the life of Laura Lyon White (Mrs. Lovell White), I came across an interesting turn of events concerning LLW’s estate.
  • 2 October: Kevin Dodge, Shirley Gay, and Steve Kite led a walk though Ice Mountain Preserve.
  • 5 November: Another piece by one of our journalists was cited in one of the textbooks that I’m recording for Learning Ally:
  • 3 December: Hilary Howard reports on the precarious state of independent acting conservatories in New York.

The year in review:

The year in review, 2016

The last couple months have been eventful, albeit not blogworthy. Nevertheless, here’s the first sentence (more or less) of the first post of each month from this blog:

  • 2 January: Let the driving begin!
  • 7 February: Stephanie Strom visits a big soybean/corn agricultural complex (spanning two states) and finds a old school farm practice that improves soil quality, reduces sediment runoff, and improves yields: cover crops.
  • 5 March: Emily Graslie talks to Robb Telfer about his work to conserve Illinois’s only endemic flowering plant, Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota), to Langham Island in the Kankakee River.
  • 3 April: A generous notice from Susan Brall for DCMetroTheaterArts.
  • 1 May: Oh, dear Fox, yes: “Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like.’”
  • 5 June: One more report from the nest box monitoring team for the season.
  • 1 July: An oldie but a goodie, saved from linkrot: Thomas the NJ Transit train.
  • 6 August: Another visit to our Boston office this past week.
  • 2 September: We bounced back from the dismal 2015.
  • 2 October: “Why Some Wars Get More Attention Than Others,” by Amanda Taub.
  • 5 November: Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss is an ambitious, but unsuccessful attempt to bring the horrors of violence in today’s Syria into the American living room.
  • 1 December: Pat Padua reports that Artomatic is coming back to Crystal City for 2017.

The year in review:

Happy decade

10 years, 2100+ posts. Here’s a random slice: I picked every 80th post from my dashboard.

  • 2 July 2006: We drove out to the Eastern Shore yesterday to say goodbye to Marlie…
  • 5 August 2006: If you’ve ever wondered why all the underground stations of Metro look so much alike, and why you can’t just glance out the window and find where you are from the color of the posts (as in Chicago, for instance), you have the Commission of Fine Arts to thank, in part.
  • 10 November 2006: Daniel Mosquin photographs Mammillaria compressa at the Botanical Gardens of The Huntington.
  • 15 March 2007: Another very complimentary review of the show: this one is from Michael Toscano.
  • 19 June 2007: Thomas the NJ Transit train.
  • 8 October 2007: My entry for Lifehacker’s Show Us What’s in Your Pockets gallery.
  • 21 February 2008: Your vegetable fun fact of the day: tasty Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) are cultivars of the same species that give us broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, kale, and cabbage.
  • 6 June 2008: The last time I was in a museum bookstore, I noticed a DVD series called Art:21.
  • 28 September 2008: As we parked at the Kensington Armory this evening to see a show—it was early dusk, about 7:15—we saw a sizable flock of Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) swirling about, ready to come into to roost for the evening.
  • 16 January 2009: Potomac Stages and Alyse Kraus report the launch of a new shuttle service along the H Street performing arts corridor.
  • 27 June 2009: Artomatic 2009 once again takes place in an unbuilt-out office building, this time a new structure atop the enlarged Navy Yard Metro station.
  • 9 November 2009: Forum Theatre, recently relocated to Round House Theater’s Silver Spring black box, delivers a commendable production of Tony Kushner’s huge, seven-hour two-part play.
  • 11 March 2010: John Brunner anticipates comment-driven media.
  • 3 July 2010: A recent Earthtalk column summarizes research by Aiello et al. that calls into question the practice of adding triclosan as an antibacterial ingredient to consumer products.
  • 13 November 2010: “MAX TARASOV. Arthur, no one come!”
  • 20 March 2011: Via Via Negativa, a new botanical-entomological citizen science project pops up from U. C. Davis and the U. of Toronto: monitoring of pollinators of Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica and C. caroliniana).
  • 27 July 2011: On my way up and down J Street (so you know I wasn’t in downtown D.C.) to visit Mom I passed this charming brick and terra cotta edifice, which turns out to be the Sacramento Turn Verein, now a German language and culture society.
  • 5 December 2011: I know that it’s nothing fancy, but this neon sign that marks the entrance to a Doggett’s parking garage on 11th Street, N.W., with its helpful/hopeful HERE and jaunty arrow, just makes me happy.
  • 14 April 2012: Mark Z. Danielewski looks for love on OkCupid.
  • 17 September 2012: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama respond to the 14-point questionnaire from and Scientific American.
  • 28 February 2013: Martin Austermuhle updates us on the District’s gradual replacement of its street name signs with new ones that are set in mixed case.
  • 8 September 2013: Alexis Hauk profiles Robb Hunter, armorer and fight choreographer.
  • 21 February 2014: Amanda Rodewald, director of the Conservation Science program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, gives a 10-minute preso on bird-friendly coffee, in a video introduced by Gustave Axelson.
  • 4 August 2014: Allan Savory gives a rubbish science TED talk and gets 2M page views.
  • 26 December 2014: I visited several new spots, without making a big deal of it this year.
  • 13 July 2015: A Festival that gives the design departments an opportunity to shine.
  • 27 December 2015: Birds, habitat, coffee agriculture—and 10 ways of looking at Northern Virginia.