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Scientific American: Creepy Swimmer’s Itch Parasite in Lakes Can Scratch Summer Fun

FRANKFORT, MICHIGAN–Every morning for about eight weeks each summer, Leslie Ritter becomes bait. As head of the lifeguarding program at the Congregational Summer Assembly (a vacation community in northwest Michigan), Ritter wades into Crystal Lake up to her knees. After 30 minutes she gets out and records wind and temperature data. If her skin starts to tingle, she knows something in the lake is after her—and swimming lessons are canceled.

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Washington Post: For Visitors to Senegal, a Closer Look at the Salt Lake Harvest

LAC ROSE, SENEGAL-Not surprisingly, my tracksuit-wearing guide slid onto the back of his dromedary with great ease and aplomb, barely noticing that the camel let out a huff as he settled into the saddle, and lifted the rope that was attached to its jaw. I, meanwhile, was hesitant, gingerly stepping to the animal’s side, leery of being spit on. Read more

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Wall Street Journal: Forget Safari–Africa’s Most Intriguing New Destination

Bahar Dar, Ethiopia: LIKE MANY MARRIED couples, my husband and I have very different ideas about what constitutes a fun vacation. Last February, for example, while he took off for a week-long European skiing trip with his friends, I opted to spend two weeks traveling solo around dry and dusty northern Ethiopia. Read more

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First Person: 4 Hours in Flint, Michigan Guide

I see that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be taking their Democratic roadshow to Flint, Michigan—my hometown—on March 6. They will be holding a debate there (location TBD), invariably to do grandstanding and waxing lyrical about what a tragedy has befallen Flint. Read more

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Wall Street Journal: Owl Spotting in Serbia is Not Your Average Safari

KIKINDA, Serbia-It’s a familiar sight  to the residents of Kikinda, Serbia: people of all ages and descriptions standing under the trees that line the town’s large square, looking ridiculous as they cock their heads back, mouths agape, fingers counting in the air. I dubbed it the “Kikinda stance,” and my husband, Vladimir, and I perfected it recently on a visit to the town.

What is everyone counting? Birds. A picturesque town of about 40,000 people less than 10 miles from the Romanian border, Kikinda is home to the planet’s largest roosting population of long-eared owls. Every year from early November until the middle of March, hundreds of them roost each day in the trees of the square. Read more