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Speaking of Nature

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 birds were comfortably familiar, but that feeling of comfort would quickly give way to the anxiety of “wrongness” followed by the exhilaration … 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 the sun, but I was clearly the odd man out. Where others wore only swimsuits, … 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, laundry and re-packing for a trip west to California. The week at Bridgewater was a … 0

Speaking of Nature: The mink

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It was day one of my visit to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island and things were looking good. I was up at 5 a.m. and the weather was certainly going to cooperate, but there was … 0

Speaking of Nature: A glorious day for Bill's 700th column

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It was May 3, 1997, when my first column appeared in the Recorder. Today, 18 years later, I celebrate the publication of column No. 700. We’ve been through a lot since that first column. I changed jobs several … 0

Kids & Critters: the American Toad

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I feel much better about getting up and going to school these days. The air is warmer in the morning and it is scented with the perfume of damp earth. More than … 0

Speaking of Nature: Skunk cabbage, the earliest of flowers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I’m up early to write this week’s column and as I sit in the silence of the pre-dawn hours, I can hear the telltale patter of raindrops on the roof just above my head. It’s one of those … 0

Speaking of Nature: Springtime is the time to study ecology

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Part of every high school student’s education includes a course in biology. For some this is a “scratch the surface” introduction that simply introduces them to some of the scientific vocabulary while they attempt to sort out other … 0

Speaking of Nature: The American Kestrel

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One of the most frustrating things about being a nature photographer is how often you can see a fairly common species and still have no real chance of getting a photo of it. It makes perfect sense that … 0

Speaking of Nature: Canada goose

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Before I get started on this week’s column, I just want to run through some of the arrivals that have occurred in the last week. On Friday, April 3, the tree swallows and eastern phoebes showed up. I … 0

Kids & Critters: the wood duck

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

People will tell you that the robin is a sure sign of spring. This, I think, is more a matter of association than truth. The fact is that some robins spend the winter with us every year, though … 0

Speaking of Nature: Craving some color

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anyone who lives in the northern Temperate Zone is familiar with the feeling. Winter is wonderful when it arrives. It is a fantastic change from the chill of late autumn with its gusting, snowless winds. I mean, why … 0

Speaking of Nature: Sheldon the red-tailed hawk

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The pattern became a familiar one in February. Birds would be at the feeders, or on the porch railing, or anywhere else I had spread out some seed. The options were limited due to all of the snow, … 0

Speaking of Nature: We’re not there yet

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One of the great joys of childhood is traveling to see your grandparents. When I was a boy, this meant jumping into the family car in Amherst and heading west to Albany. My parents would often pack a … 0

Kids & Critters: When will the grackles arrive?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Most people are familiar with the notion of bird migration. Birds that are primarily insect eaters are often forced to retreat to warmer southern regions during the cold, dark winters of more northern areas. But every winter ends … 0