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Speaking of Nature
A male robin glares at me while trying to deliver a meal of earthworms to his waiting offspring. The female (in the foreground) can be differentiated from the male by her gray head.

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 the song of the robin, but I … 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

Kids and Critters: Does this flower know if you like butter?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July is finally here and for many of us that means the longest days of the year can be spent outside. I remember spending hours on end running and playing in the woods and fields around my home when I was a kid. Sometimes my friends and I would go on long walks … 0

Speaking of Nature: Waiting for winter

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

By the time this column hits the newsstands, we will be just nine days away from the official start of winter — that magical day when we in the northern hemisphere will find ourselves turned as completely away … 0

Kids & Critters: A burst of color

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December is here and that mean that Christmas vacation will be upon us soon. For many people this means a trip to see relatives in far off places. My students are already talking about their plans for the … 0

Speaking of Nature: Give thanks

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On Sunday, I woke up to discover that winter had finally arrived. The world was rather familiar looking when the sun went down on Saturday, but by the time the sun returned, there had been a change. Snow … 0

Speaking of Nature: The great exception

Thursday, November 21, 2013

One of the benefits of being a teacher is learning. In order to teach a thing, you must first know it; but even then, a student can ask a question that catches you by surprise. Young minds, unfettered … 0

Speaking of Nature: The Pigeon Project

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My house is located in rural open country, so there are a few birds that I’ve had to get used to doing without. I have lots of goldfinches, house finches, mourning doves and crows, but very few titmice … 0

Speaking of Nature: Tasty treats tempt visitors

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I live way out in the country. It’s the kind of place that is very quiet and very dark at night. I’ve lived in my house for eight years and ever since I moved in, I’ve been putting … 0

Speaking of Nature: The house wren

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I made a point of getting up early this morning for two reasons. First, I wanted to be awake while the world outside was still nice and cool. With another day of 90-plus weather forecast, I didn’t want to miss being outside when I could enjoy myself without … 0

Speaking of Nature: Baby birds

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Go outside and listen carefully and you will hear the begging of hungry baby birds from almost every quarter. Summer is upon us and we will soon be up to our eyeballs in baby birds. In my own yard, I have baby bluebirds, tree swallows and house wrens … 0

Speaking of Nature: The field sparrow

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last week, I wrote a column about a wonderful little bird called a chipping sparrow. The smallest of our local sparrows, this tiny bird is virtually ubiquitous throughout the suburban landscape. With a little attention to your surroundings, and little “learning” and a little practice, anyone will be … 0

Where barred owls thrive

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Writing, like many human endeavors, tends to fall into a comfortable routine for the writer. In extreme cases there may be certain ceremonies that must be followed, or sacrifices made, but at the very least you could say that distinct, patterned habits may result. For me it’s usually … 0

Speaking of Nature: Birches

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When I look at my desktop calendar, I see that yesterday marked the beginning of spring. Known as the vernal equinox, this is a discrete instant in time when the Earth is at a point that creates exactly equal amounts of daylight and darkness. Since that happened at … 0

Speaking of Nature: skunk cabbage

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March is a wonderful month of the year because March is the month when spring arrives. Some of the earliest migrant birds have already started to show up and it won’t be long now before the weather starts to warm up, the ice and snow begin to melt … 0