Nathan Bolls


Written By Nathan Bolls on May 4, 2023

For the past four months, this column has considered a problem of serious international scope: climate change. But other undesirable changes are afoot, e.g., the problem of unnatural, invasive, “exotic” species.  This problem, though not as immediately dangerous to human welfare as is climate change, always is with us. In one sense, the problem is worldwide because the ancestral home of an invasive species into, say, eastern Kansas may come from about anywhere in the world. The extent of invasiveness depends upon the capability of the new species to survive in its new home.

Written By Nathan Bolls on December 1, 2022

The gift season is upon us. And what to do with it? I’ve heard counselors argue that we should exercise our hands and arms more and our checkbooks and credit cards less. Hugs and other expressions of love and affection are rather inexpensive and so meaningful if the recipient pauses to think about the event. But recipients can learn. And items handmade and useful never go out of style. Who doesn’t like a something snuggly or a favorite homemade pastry?

Written By Nathan Bolls on November 2, 2022

Our palette of fall!

Gently falling, fading—gone,

Save in grateful eyes.



We again are losing our summer umbrella of living shingles: the marvelous evolutionary development we call the green plant leaf. In addition to the leaf’s essential process of photosynthesis, they offer shade to soils and organisms in thousands of different ways.

Written By Nathan Bolls on August 31, 2022

One of the many discouraging facts of our time is that several authorities agree that of the number of birds present across our country in 1970, three-out-of-four of them no longer exist, an average of a seventy-five decline for all species—more for some species, less for others. And this includes two species once very common and familiar to us: the eastern and western meadowlarks. 

Written By Nathan Bolls on July 7, 2022

If human assumption is correct, one of the birds that blesses our lives (but seen here only infrequently) is totally unaware that its name and one of its primary personality traits were immortalized in the 1960 Pulitzer prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and in a critically-acclaimed 1962 film of the same name.

Written By Nathan Bolls on May 5, 2022

Among college students who elect to major in some aspect of the biological world, those who choose one of the fields within plant biology constitute a much smaller bunch than those who elect to study some topic within the field of animal biology. There are several reasons for this imbalance.

Written By Nathan Bolls on March 31, 2022

Saturday, 19 March, the day before the first day of spring, seemed a good time to check the progress on campus of Spring emerging from Winter—and to see how may signs of Spring were about. I was not disappointed. For starters, I enjoyed two butterflies and one small spider. No dragon flies yet.

Written By Nathan Bolls on February 17, 2020

Mother Earth by Nathan Bolls

I recently received from a friend and was intrigued by “12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writing” by syndicated columnist, Anne Lamott. A sample follows:

Written By Nathan Bolls on November 7, 2019

The loud, thumping trill from the woods booms against our ears. I’m reminded of James Thurber’s “things that go bump in the night.” What Phantom of the Forest with such auditory might lurks therein and calls from the night? Or... “what rough beast...slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?” (W.B. Yeats poem “The Second Coming”) Numerous societies across our world speak of a mysterious local monster, but the existence of none, as of yet, has been proven. We hear most often of the Himalayan Yeti, the north American Sasquatch (Bigfoot), or of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster.  

Written By Nathan Bolls on October 17, 2019

A big topic during our recent “National Climate Week,” was that of “ecological literacy.” The current ecological crisis suggests the necessity for a steep ecological learning curve for all of our world societies, but especially for those of the “industrial belt” that circles the globe north of the equator. This area uses natural resources and produces trash and pollutants at levels that are disproportionate to its percentage of the world’s population.