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Speaking of Nature
Bill Danielson photo
Each petal of the hawkweed flower is actually the petal of a tiny, individual flower called a “ray flower."

Kids and Critters: Lots of little flowers

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Fourth of July is this Saturday and I bet you can’t wait to see some fireworks. My favorites are the really big ones that spread out across the sky like giant flowers. I am particularly fond of blue fireworks, but there really aren’t too many blue flowers to choose from. So I decided to go looking through my collection … 0

Speaking of Nature: To spot the Eastern towhee, you need to be in the right area

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sunday was Father’s Day, which also happened to coincide with the first day of summer. To celebrate, my beautiful wife Susan and I headed to Amherst to spend the weekend with my parents. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and Sunday turned out to be a beautiful rainy day; one that caught my … 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

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, … 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 … 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 … 0

Speaking of Nature: the eastern cottontail

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is probably one of the most ubiquitous, recognizable animals that can be found in our area. They can easily be seen munching on grasses by the sides of roads, especially by people who … 0