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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

Track time

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The afternoon sun hangs low in the sky as I look west under the protective canopy of a hemlock grove. The one feature that dominates the winter in our area is — quite obviously — snow. In addition to dominating the landscape it can very effectively dominate people … 0

Looking back at 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

When I asked around about the general feelings people had toward 2012, I was surprised. There are always a few people who are fairly neutral about such questions and there are always people who fill out the pro and con sides fairly evenly, but not so this year. … 0

Speaking of nature: White-footed mouse

Thursday, January 3, 2013

There are many things I like about my yard, but one of the best things is that I have my own campsite down in the woods. All along the western side of my yard there is a long strip of forest that is made up almost exclusively of … 0

Speaking of Nature: Northern harrier nightmares

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Every week for the past 16 years, I have tried to share a story, experience, or bit of knowledge with you in a positive and constructive way. This year, however, I find myself caught in a repeating loop of the most diabolical mental torment imaginable, a cycle so … 0

Basically irresistible

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The sporadic movement of birds across the landscape continues. Here one day, gone the next, and back again next week seems to be a fairly reliable theme for this time of year and it can happen with “regulars” and visitors from afar alike. I made a few observations … 0

Speaking of Nature: Looking north

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This is always a difficult time of year to write about. The majority of the birds are gone for the summer and the few birds that take their place have been scrutinized closely since they are the only new game in town. There are no flowers in bloom, … 0

This bird gets down!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Well boys and girls, this is it. December is finally here and that means Christmas is only a few weeks away. The lights are going up, the trees are being decorated and soon there will be presents hanging in stockings or hiding under trees. And in the spirit … 0

Witness to the finch wars

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It is very easy to feel stressed out in this modern age. American society is based on information, communication and speed and it sometimes overwhelms the senses. At times, when the din of the Internet can feel like a veritable deluge of stupidity, it can be tempting to … 0

The Algonquin Pines:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This adventure is appropriate for lone hikers, couples, or entire families with young children. Your mission: seek out some giant trees; the results of 150 years of quiet, uninterrupted growth. Your destination is the Mohawk Trail State Forest, which lies on the western edge of Franklin County. Measuring … 0

Speaking of Nature: The red maple

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In the spring of 1988, at the tender age of 20, I walked into my first Dendrology class with great anticipation. Formally named Forestry 212 (Forest Botany), the course was something I had been waiting to take since I had enrolled in the Wildlife Biology program. From my … 0

Kids & Critters

Thursday, November 1, 2012

There is a bird that has reappeared at my feeders in the past few days. Gone for the summer months for reasons I’m not convinced I fully understand, this visitor is big, flashy, and dramatic. It also has a most peculiar name — the hairy woodpecker. In school, … 0

Speaking of Nature: Turning 600! (columns)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It snuck up on me this time. There I was, minding my own business and all of a sudden it was upon me. Perhaps it was the random coincidence with the beginning of the school year, or even the beauty of autumn’s arrival, but whatever the reason, I … 0