Speaking of Nature
An immature common loon struggles to subdue a crab in its beak.  Just a moment later, the crab was swallowed whole.
(Bill Danielson photo)

Speaking of Nature: Breakfast with a loon

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My eyes just sort of opened. No alarm had rung, nor had there been any unfamiliar creaking in the rented house, I simply woke up. I fumbled for my watch and noted (with great satisfaction) that it was 4:55 a.m. My beautiful wife was still sound asleep, so I didn’t exactly spring up from the covers, but my mind was … 0

Speaking of Nature: The eastern phoebe

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Phoebes have been of special interest to me ever since I moved into my red house. Prior to that I never had the physical structures in any of my previous homes or apartments that would entice a phoebe to nest. Phoebes like little sheltered nooks under the eves of houses, or inside garages, … 0

Speaking of Nature: Seaweed isn't a plant

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some of my favorite summertime memories from my childhood revolve around visits to the ocean. I can remember wonderful trips to Cape Cod and the coast of Maine where it seemed that every sight, sound and smell was something new. You could smell the ocean before you got within sight of it and … 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

Speaking of Nature: Snowy Sunday

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When I awoke last Sunday morning, I realized that we were no longer waiting for winter. Although her arrival was not scheduled until Dec. 21, it was clear that she had arrived a little early. The world had … 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