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Speaking of Nature
Bill Danielson photo
The male red-breasted nuthatch has the bold coloration typical of male songbirds.

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 such a task, I decided to spend my time bird watching. The long, rainy week that preceded the weekend definitely gave one … 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 to be sacrificed to desk work, but it was relatively easy to make such a … 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 that it is also a particularly important time of year for the forests. This is … 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