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There is magic just outside your door, says Angela Douglas, professor emerita of insect physiology and toxicology at Cornell University. In her new book, “Nature on the Doorstep: A Year of Letters” (Cornell University Press, 2023), Douglas explores the many joys and curiosities of her own upstate New York yard, cultivated with nothing more advanced than "strategic neglect." In a Chats in the Stacks book talk given at Mann Library on the Cornell University campus in November 2023, Douglas discusses her motivation for taking up natural history writing after a long career as an academic biologist. Simple yet life-changing pleasures can be found in paying attention to the world we see immediately around us, and even humble backyards can play an important role in cultivating our appreciation of the natural world and its conservation.