The Butterfly Effect
- Being Human
- Being Outside
- Boston Globe
- Earth and Sky
- Photography and Optics
- What's This?
In case you missed it, after 21 years of searching I discovered an imperiled butterfly the size of a penny, Bog Elfin, flying in my home state of Vermont. Then came the international “notoriety.”
The British tabloid was kinder to me than to the Royals. The front page of The Boston Globe was indeed an honor. The podcast Conflict of Interest became an intelligent conversation about meaning and nature. And my own essay about the discovery is posted to my new home online: the newsletter Chasing Nature.
Chasing Nature is where I’m now exploring, with words and images, wildlife, wild places and the human condition. Now with readers in 75 countries, I guess Chasing Nature has become my third act — the next best thing to our gathering together somewhere outside. So I hope you subscribe (it’s free).
As Chasing Nature continues to grow, these email updates to remaining blog subscribers like you will eventually cease. If you want breaking news about lectures and nature workshops (which I expect to resume in 2024), you’ll find it first at Chasing Nature. (It’s why you’re not seeing much new writing here at my blog.) But I also suspect that Chasing Nature might be a portal for you to much more. Here’s why.
With Chasing Nature I’ve joined legions of independent writers publishing online at Substack. Substack is sort of like cable except that you choose only the channels you want: you discover and subscribe to writers you like (or even writers you dislike).
Seymour Hersh and Margaret Atwood write on Substack. So does George Saunders and Marianne Williamson. Dan Rather is on Substack. And the most-read writer on Substack is probably Heather Cox Richardson, a historian who writes the wildly popular daily political dispatch Letters from an American.
But a better reason to explore Substack is for the writers you’ve never heard of.
But a better reason to explore Substack is for the writers you’ve never heard of. If you’re into, say, cooking or crypto, race or religion, fashion or fiction, big pharma or small farms, odds are there’s a worthy Substack writer for you on those topics.
Most of us on Substack write free of charge; many of us include an option for you to pay a monthly subscription fee (typically $5 per month), which usually gets you extra reading and other benefits.
Many subscribers read entirely for free on Substack. Many pay a stable of their favorite writers each month, and read other writers for free. I myself allocate about $50 per month to 10 or so Substack writers I like to support. I read another 20 or so gratis.
Writers charge because writing takes time, brains and skill. Good writing is worth the money, and there is a ton of good writing for you on Substack — free and paid. That’s where you’ll find me. And that’s my pitch. Thanks for reading.
Bryan and a Butterfly in the News
My 15 minutes of fame began with a little brown butterfly, which I wrote about at Chasing Nature. The Boston Globe‘s stellar writer Billy Baker brought the story first online (this is a shareable link, but sometimes you hit a paywall, which you can sometimes close and then read the article — do consider a subscription, however) and then to the front page of The Globe in print on June 27. (Vladimir Putin was higher above the fold than I was that day, but he’s a war criminal and I chase butterflies.) Next, The Daily Mail saw fit to hack and reassemble the Globe article with a clickbait headline. That story isn’t half bad.
Now, as I await a call from the movie studios … well, I’m not really waiting for that. But do consider listening to these two podcasts with me as a guest. And below you’ll find a photo of The Globe‘s front page with me and Vlad.
Podcast Episode – Conflict of Interest
Kevin Ellis and I discuss butterflies and meaning on his podcast Conflict of Interest.
Podcast Episode – Rumble Strip
On the award-winning podcast Rumble Strip, host Erica Heilman and I are out birdwatching in May (and I'm on record admitting that I wouldn't mind dying in a bog).