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Speaking of Nature
Bill Danielson photo
The male bluebird delivers lunch to some hungry chicks.

Speaking of Nature: Bill's bumper crop of bluebirds

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

With mid-July behind us, it is now safe to say that the breeding season of our local songbirds is starting to wind down for the year. Some species, like the yellow warbler, may have already packed up for the season and started their move south. Others, like the red-winged blackbirds and grackles, still have hordes of hungry fledglings following them wherever they go. But here and there, if you look in the right places, you can still find birds that have tiny chicks in their nests. One such place where these sorts of tiny birds can still be found is Box 21 on the western … 0

Speaking of Nature: The American robin

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Whether it’s dawn, or dusk, there is always one prominent song in the world of birds; that of the American robin (Turdus migratorius). Bright and clear, this song carries quite some distance and brings with it the positive, hopeful, emphatic mood of the songster himself. The world just wouldn’t be the same without … 0

Speaking of Nature: Green Herons

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The phone call came on the afternoon of July 3. It was not at all unusual for the phone to ring because of the long list of telemarketers that somehow seem to get my number. No, what made this phone call unusual was the person on the other end of the line. It … 0

Speaking of Nature: Spring has pressed the button

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is it. We stand on the precipice of time and look out into the vast expanse of the future with optimism and the hint of a smile on our collective faces, … 0

Speaking of Nature: Elusive & unforgettable

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I purchased my first camera in January of 1998. I knew nothing about photography. More importantly, I knew nothing about nature photography. I didn’t understand the exasperating situations I would find myself in, the long periods of waiting, … 0

Speaking of Nature: A winter-thrush trifecta!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

One of the satisfying aspects of keeping a field journal is the fact that you have your own personal record of past events. It’s a silly thing, I know, but I take great delight in saying, “To My … 0

Kids & Critters: a fat rabbit

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All winter long, I have been noticing something rather odd. It doesn’t happen every single night, but at least a couple times a week it appears as though rabbits will walk out onto my deck. This is odd … 0

Speaking of Nature: The hairy woodpecker

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I had every intention of writing a story about Florida for today’s column. I was going to select some wonderfully exotic bird for which I had wonderfully exotic photos and I would then weave an intricate story about … 0

Speaking of Nature: Martin’s broken wing

Thursday, February 13, 2014

With the arrival of fresh snow last week, I decided to give my Environmental Science students a challenging assignment; something a little different from the standard, “read a paper and then tell me what you think” kind of … 2

Speaking of Nature: Beauty is in the ear of the beholder

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One of the great delights in any naturalist’s work is introducing others to something new. Sometimes this takes the form of a rare sight seldom seen by people, while other times it comes in the guise of a … 0

Speaking of Nature: the anhinga

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When I looked at the calendar on my office desk, I was absolutely floored by how quickly time has gone by. January is more than half over, midterms are already under way and winter break is just around … 0

Speaking of Nature: surf scoters

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As is always the case at this time of year, the weather is on our minds. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen rainy days in the 50s followed by heavy snows and temperatures below zero. Then, just … 0

Speaking of Nature: What a difference a day can make

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The difference between 2013 and 2014 was probably not a particularly sharp one for many of you, but the shift that I experienced was amplified by the fact that I had traveled. My mother-in-law (Fran) celebrated her 75th … 0

Kids & Critters: mourning doves

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) is as elegant as it is common. A little larger than the average birds that inhabit our back yards, the mourning dove is about 12 inches in length. Much of that is accounted … 0

Speaking of Nature

Thursday, December 26, 2013

As is customary at this time of year, I am going to take a look back at 2013 and try to determine what made it different from all of the other years I have lived through. This is … 0