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Speaking of Nature
Bill Danielson photo
This is the photo that initially faked me out. The pink beak said field sparrow, but the coloration around the eye and the light patch on the forehead gave me doubts.

Speaking of Nature: an unexpected visitor

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Human beings in general, and scientists in particular, are very sensitive to patterns. This makes a lot of sense when one considers the nature of the planet that we live on. The planet spins at a constant rate, which causes us to catch sight of (and then lose sight of) the stars in a very comfortable and predictable pattern. But … 0

Speaking of Nature: oaks

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I was very fortunate to get a day off on Tuesday. The weather was so mild and the landscape so peaceful that I couldn’t resist going for a walk in my back woods. Many is the day that I have wanted to call in sick and play hooky on a gorgeous day like … 0

Kids & Critters: Want to know a secret?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My wife has recently been putting some extra effort into learning the names of the birds that come to our feeders. Summer birds can be difficult to learn because there are so many of them and they can often be difficult to see. Winter birds, on the other hand, are much easier because … 0

Speaking of Nature: A dandy dabbling duck

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The big news in birding this week is the arrival of the waterfowl. Ducks and geese have flooded into our area as the ice covering lakes and ponds has melted and a day doesn’t go by without me … 0

Kids & Critters: The red-winged blackbird

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Springtime is finally here and even though Mother Nature may still have a few tricks up her sleeve, we can finally start to feel the change of the seasons. The days are gradually getting longer and with the … 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