Speaking of Nature
 A sanderling in full winter plumage soaks up the sun on a
beach in Florida. For The Recorder/Bill Danielson

The long-range traveler

Monday, November 23, 2015

Last week, while sitting around one of the faculty dining tables at lunch, the topic of Thanksgiving vacation inevitably came up. Each of the teachers took a turn describing his or her plans for the coming week and everyone nodded with approval as the details were laid out. About half the group was staying home and hosting family, while the … 0

Kids & Critters: The red-breasted nuthatch

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I looked through my records and discovered that I’ve focused on plants for the past four months. Since the summer growing season is behind us now, which means most plants are starting to die back or go dormant, I thought it might be a good idea to try something a little different. The … 0

Speaking of Nature: The acorn woodpecker

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Our story begins on Catalina Island in the year 2008. Susan and I had taken a trip to the West Coast to visit some beloved relatives and on a whim we decided to go on an extra bonus adventure. We had severely underestimated the traffic congestion on the L.A. freeways, which caused us … 0

Speaking of Nature: The white-crowned sparrow

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Before I get started with this week’s column, I think it is my responsibility to alleviate any undue suspense and suffering by announcing that the juncos arrived at my porch on Sunday (Oct. 18). This coincided nicely with … 0

Speaking of Nature: the white-throated sparrow

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

If I love anything about writing this column it is the ability to accurately predict what my readers might see. Last week, I wrote a column in anticipation of the arrival of juncos in our area and not … 0

Kids and Critters: Butter-and-eggs

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

With autumn finally here, it should be obvious that the days are really starting to get shorter now. The Earth is moving in its orbit in such a way that the Northern Hemisphere is tilting farther and farther … 0

Speaking of Nature: Butterflies

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

At the beginning of July, I formally announced the launching of “The Butterfly Project.” Summer had just begun and I was in tremendously high spirits. What could be more fun, I wondered, than spending my days in pursuit … 0

Speaking of Nature: the spined macrothena

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When I sat down at my computer to write this column on Sunday morning, I realized that I had absolutely nothing. To quote a line from Seinfeld, my mind was “as barren as the surface of the moon.” … 0

Speaking of Nature: wasps

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

There are very few people in my life who can quote poetry from memory. Thus, it was with great delight (and no small measure of awe) that I listened to our beloved Uncle Mort as he offered up … 0

Speaking of Nature: Queen Anne’s lace

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wildflowers have been the focus of my kids’ columns this summer. In July, I introduced readers to hawkweed, a gorgeous orange-flowered plant in the composite family. In August, I switched families and took a look at the cow … 0

Speaking of Nature: Bill discovers a real head tern-er

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Standing at the edge of Malibu Lagoon, I was hypnotized by birds. Double-crested cormorants were perched on a large tangle of driftwood, snowy egrets were hunting in the shallows and common terns were flying overhead. All of these … 0

Speaking of Nature: The whimbrel

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It was Thursday, Aug. 6, and for the first time in my life, I was on a beach in Malibu. I was not alone on this beach. There were well over 100 people swimming, walking or basking in … 0

Speaking of Nature: the western gull

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sunday was my first day at home in over two weeks. At the end of July, I had to go east to Bridgewater University for an AP Teacher’s conference. Then I returned home for an evening of unpacking, … 0

Kids & Critters: Cow vetch

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been having a wonderful time this summer. The weather has been so mild that being outside and exploring has been something easy to do without getting too uncomfortable. As a result, … 0

Speaking of Nature: A fly with no name

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So there I was, standing in the delightfully cool conditions of an early-July morning, waiting for a butterfly. This, it seems, is a theme when dealing with butterflies. Easy to see, they are (in my opinion) inflicted with … 0