Poet Rory commented on my previous posting’s line about “newcomer Chicago with her wild-onion breath,” only deepening what is probably a mystery, I now realize, for most readers. Rory grew up in what we call the American Bottom, a stretch of Illinois riverbank along the Mississippi River, which he wishes was Southern Illinois but is several counties too far north. Nonetheless, he understands the allusion.
To know what Rory knows, have a look at this travel piece on Chicago I wrote  a while back for Place: The Magazine.
Before you go, here’s another picture of that saber-toothed spider that Starbuck and I found in a sandstone cave. I’m sure you understand why it’s blurry. When the thing is big enough to require red-eye reduction on your camera’s flash, you don’t want to spend too much time near it.