Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Moving, Again

Anoplius aethiops female speeding along with wolf spider cargo, Cape May, New Jersey

Almost ten years ago, back at the end of September, 2011, I relocated from Tucson, Arizona to my current city of residence, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Now, my wife and I are in the process of purging and packing to move to Leavenworth, Kansas. We are doing so voluntarily, as this has nothing to do with the federal penitentiary. Her parents live in Leavenworth.

I do love my in-laws, but I’m not sure I’m keen about a town that is all about prisons, the military (Fort Leavenworth), and churches. I’ve visited plenty of times, and it does have its charm (weekly farmers’ market, a couple nice coffee shops, and a handful of good restaurants), but at least we are not far from Kansas City (both of them).

What is truly exciting is that for the first time since my childhood, I’ll be back in an actual house, complete with front and back yards. The neighborhood is classic residential, so it remains to be seen how far we can go in rewilding our little lot without objections. There is a detached garage that I hope is full of spiders. We can see the “big house” from our house, the dome looming almost literally across the street behind us. There is a bison herd that grazes on the grounds there. No, seriously.

Meanwhile, I have developed chronic respiratory problems independent of Covid-19. Doctors are still trying to assess the cause, but it seems to be home grown, as I breathe fine everywhere but inside our townhouse. I have my theories, but I have plenty of speculative help on social media trying to solve the mystery. We do know my lungs are perfectly healthy. The problem appears to be getting a proper volume of air in and out of them without breaking into a coughing fit. I’ve been sleeping mostly upright in our recliner, and not all that well.

These bronchial issues have also halted my ability to publicize the Wasps book via interviews. I simply don’t have the endurance to talk very long. Hoping that improves drastically once we move, as I have interest from some stellar podcasts. Please see the sidebar on this blog for a promo code you can use for a discount when you buy the book from the publisher.

Leavenworth is on the Missouri River, and represents more or less an ecotone of where the Great Plains meets the eastern deciduous forest, heavily compromised by agriculture. It is hilly rather than the flat fly-over stereotype. Looking at range maps in my field guides, this intersection of Kansas-Missouri-Nebraska-Iowa is a veritable “black hole” where geographic ranges for various species abruptly stop. Everything is farther south, farther north, farther east, or farther west. This can’t be for real, and I’m anxious to see what really does live there.

We do see road trips in our future, but probably parceled-out rather sparingly, and no doubt dictated by the locations and interests of extended family.

Yes, my wife is more optimistic, and less of a sporadic nomad, than I am. I usually enter a new residence with enthusiasm that is eventually worn down by politics, sprawl, and other disappointments, so maybe the reverse will happen this time. Maybe we could start a nature center. Maybe I could find a partner and open a comedy club. Hey, the place could use a little….”levity.”

4 comments:

  1. Good luck with your move! The change of environment could be the cure!

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  2. So sorry to hear about your health issues. Another destination near Leavenworth that might be worth investigating is Lawrence, home of KU. I'm sure you know their reputation in Entomology. I was a student at KU back in the 50s and visited Lawrence again a few years ago. It's developed into a nice college town and is about the same distance as metro Kansas City from Leavenworth.
    Hope your health improves and the move is relatively painless.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I am friends with the curator of the entomology collection at KU. My wife is a KSU alum, though, so I may have to drive myself to KU.

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