Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013
Basically, we have turned America into a habitat for starlings. They are happiest in areas that are covered with short grasses and cleared of most trees. Humans had disrupted nearly every habitat on the continent, converting most of them into agricultural landscapes.
Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013
As winter gets closer and the temperatures continue to fall, it is quite likely that mice will explore our garages and workshops in their never-ending quest for food and shelter. They may cause some trouble in the process, but they are simply looking for a way to survive in a rather unfriendly world in which they represent food for almost every local predator.
Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013
Recently, I heard telltale thunking and I found a pair of adolescent raccoons lounging on my porch. There was something in their nature that reminded me of a mother raccoon who used to bring her babies to my house for dinner.
Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013
My first memory of raccoons goes back to when I was 6 or 7 years old. It was during a family camping trip in the Adirondacks at a place called Camp Little Notch.
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013
It was during the wonderful days of late autumn some 20 years ago that I encountered the bigtooth aspen for the first time.
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013
Woolly bears are the larval forms of a group of moths known as tiger moths. Legend has it that they can predict the severity of winter. But is it so?
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013
This past weekend, I got out the mower and gave it a final run around the house, and while I did this I started to think about the animals that live at the mercy of the weather.
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013
My neighbor the chipmunk is a thief. Using 20 minutes-per-ounce as a nice round number, I calculate that the chipmunk can remove the equivalent of a 40-pound bag of seeds in a little less than 18 days.
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
I wasn’t sure exactly where they were, but their voices carried through the crisp morning air with a clarity that allowed me to pick out individuals from the fugue. I turned to the east, squinted against the brightness of the sun as it lay close to the horizon, and finally spotted the family of Canada geese as they moved down into the valley.
Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
For those of you who have never seen one, a broad-winged hawk is best described as a small cousin of the red-tailed hawk.
Monday, Sept. 23, 2013
I imagine that goldenrods are fairly familiar to everyone, but I’m also fairly certain that the plants themselves are not quite as well-known as the flowers.
Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013
Asters are some of our most splendid wildflowers, and they don’t really start flowering until September.
Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013
At this very moment a handful of remote-controlled cars is sending radio signals across the void of space in an attempt to help us learn about Mars. We know that it’s about half the size of Earth, we have learned that the average temperature is 64 degrees below zero and that Mars is a lot more like Earth than we ever suspected. But the big question remains, “is there (or was there) life on Mars?”
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013
Along the ocean shoreline, at this time of year, you might come upon a solitary bird with a very striking color pattern. This gorgeous little bird — the ruddy turnstone — will be a particular treat to see.
Monday, Aug. 12, 2013
The American kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. There are 58 species of falcons and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Here in North America, we have a total of seven falcons, but in the eastern U.S. we are only likely to see four of them: the gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon, the Merlin, and the American kestrel.