Vampire Squid

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vampire-squidThis column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

Esquire says Baltimore looks like a movie set. All I can say in our defense is “crab cake” and “Preakness” and it’s not like we don’t know we have work to do. We know we have work to do.

See, for instance, this headline: Harbor East Gains Giant Starbucks, as if that will S.O.C. (Save Our City.) A Fractured Prune opened recently across the street from the Baltimore Public Library, Owings Mills branch. Does this make Owings Mills awesome? My kids, covered in sprinkles and honey glaze, would say emphatically, “Yes it does, Mom. Why are you such a hater?”

What does any of this have to do with the Vampire Squid that’s been in the news? Nothing. And that should make Baltimoreans and Owings Millers happy. Everything else has to do with us — police violence, undeterred development, lack of green space, long waits to see our GPs in poorly-decorated waiting rooms, and the escalation of Type 1 Diabetes in our children —  but thankfully not the Vampire Squid.

The Vampire Squid does not live up to its name (do we, Baltimore? Can we say we’re Charm City when sewage overflowed recently into Jones Falls?)

The Vampire Squid lives not on blood in its deep-sea midnight-black home, but on detritus. Scientists are fascinated by it because it lives for a long time (and has weird sex <— you know how scientists are.) It might spawn over 100 times in its lifespan, which is more spawning that I’m personally comfortable with. I have a headache.

Ohh, Kermie, as Miss Piggy would say. Taking us even further away from the headlines of our fair city is the new species of Glass Frog that was discovered in Costa Rica.


Kermit?” read the headline in USA Today. It looks very much like him with its wide set melancholic eyes and bright green skin. What I want to know is what does its song sound like? Rainbow Connection?

It’s what I want to sing to Baltimore right now. Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me, but my kids ::facepalm:: and ::eyeroll:: say, Geez, Mom. Turn that nonsense off.









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  1. Dang it, woman — you are FUNNY!!! I’m waiting for your stand-up career to start and your book to come out — the editors at Fishbowl were smart to snap you up! Thanks for your awesome writing — I don’t often get to laugh til I snort!

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