Sunday, July 28, 2013
What could be a more iconic image of the summertime experience of children in the Northeast than the joyful pursuit of fireflies on a warm summer evening?
Sunday, July 21, 2013
In our area, there are only two large frogs that you are likely to find in the warm waters of a lily pond — the green frog (Rana clamitans melanota) and the bullfrog (R. catesbeiana).
Sunday, July 14, 2013
As birds go, the house wren is on the small side. Any shortcoming in stature is more than compensated for in the personality department, however.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Summer is a time for picnics, swimming, camping and chipmunks. Chipmunks live in elaborate tunnel systems that they excavate for many uses. There are latrines and sleeping chambers, but the most important use of tunnels is food storage.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Summer is here and I find myself filled with great optimism. The flowers are blooming, the grass is lush and thick and wonderfully suited to barefoot walking, and my good friend Bert is back in town.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
As I sat on my porch last weekend, enjoying a day without any rain, I noticed a new development over by the stairs. A new plant had made an appearance up to the level of the deck boards.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
A male eastern towhee is quite dashing in appearance.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Today, I introduce you to one of our most dazzling local butterflies — the Baltimore checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton). I am starting this challenge early so you have a chance to keep your eyes out for this little treasure during its short flight time.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
John Muir once wrote that “none of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.” One could easily extend that thought to “Nature’s creatures.” I speak of this so you might be more open-minded the next time you see a snapping turtle.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Recently, my frantically excited wife announced that she had spotted a bird that left her momentarily speechless. It was a male rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) and I couldn’t blame her. The elegant black-and-white dress of the male, flamboyantly accented with a triangular necklace of red, makes it a beautiful sight indeed.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
With the arrival of warm weather, it is likely that gardeners and yard workers may soon come into contact with snakes. I am writing this week’s column on behalf of the snakes and asking that you who see them give them the benefit of the doubt before grabbing a shovel.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
This week we’re looking at the world through the eyes of a female red-winged blackbird. What kind of challenges does she face? What decisions does she have to make?
Sunday, April 28, 2013
The red-winged blackbird is an iconic symbol of spring. To teach you about the lives of these beautiful birds, let me tell you the story of a typical male of the species.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Of all of the birds that I have ever seen skittering about in thickets, song sparrows are among the sneakiest. They are designed for stealth, and they are very good at it.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Spring is finally here and it won’t be long before the soft ice cream stands are open. Soon we will be driving at night with the windows down and that is when we’ll hear it — a chorus of tiny voices drifting out of ponds, fields, and hidden pools in the forest.