Speaking of Nature
A male Condylostylus patibulatus has a narrow abdomen, with colors ranging from yellow to blue.  Note the "halter" under the left wing.
Bill Danielson photo

Speaking of Nature: A fly with no name

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So there I was, standing in the delightfully cool conditions of an early-July morning, waiting for a butterfly. This, it seems, is a theme when dealing with butterflies. Easy to see, they are (in my opinion) inflicted with a sort of attention deficit disorder that prevents them from focusing on any one thing for very long. Something grabs their attention, … 0

Speaking of Nature: The height of summer

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Any of my regular readers will rightly identify a distinct lack of butterflies in this column. This is not because of a lack of effort on my part, but rather because of the bounty of distractions that nature has thrown in my path. I go out to look for butterflies and something else … 0

Speaking of Nature: The Milk Snake

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It was Sunday at 7 p.m. and for reasons I don’t have space to explain, I had decided to go to bed early. All I had to do was lock the doors, kill the lights and brush my teeth. Then, in the middle of this easy checklist, I noticed that the garage was … 0

Speaking of Nature: A nuthatch saves the day

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunday was an unexpectedly gloomy day. Saturday had been so warm and lovely in comparison that the annual chore of moving firewood seemed like an unacceptable use of time. So, rather than don the heavy clothes required for … 0

Speaking of Nature: fall migration

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I’m teaching a new course at school and it’s absorbing so much of my time that I haven’t had a chance to go out with my camera in far too long. This past weekend was another that had … 0

Kids and Critters: mushrooms

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The beginning of autumn marks that time of year when the green leaves of summer finally “fall” off the trees. This a particularly beautiful time of year here in New England, but what you might not know is … 0

Speaking of Nature: Pied-billed grebes do exits!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One of the great joys of my life has been the ever-growing relationship that I have with the birds of the world. As time passes, I find that I learn more and more about our avian neighbors and … 0

Speaking of Nature: There’s a new vulture in town

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back in the fall of 1986, I entered the wildlife biology program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with so much to learn. My head contained a smattering of information about the birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and fish that … 0

Speaking of Nature: The cricket moon

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The last glorious days of summer are upon us. September is here and the world has taken on a definite and delightful quality that is distinct and easy to hear. Many of our birds are preparing to leave … 0

Kids & Critters: Ambush bugs

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Now that school is in back in session, we can all start our new classes and meet our new teachers. I always enjoyed learning new things in English, math and history, but when I was a boy, I … 0

Speaking of Nature: West Basin birds

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I had been so mesmerized by the loon that I completely forgot about my camera bag. It was only when I turned back to look for it that I realized how far I had walked. The bag was … 0

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 … 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 … 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 … 0

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 … 0