Speaking of Nature
Bill Danielson photo
A mature pied-billed grebe has a white bill with a black stripe running up the middle.

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 the sense of familiarity deepens every time I pick up a bird guide and flip through its pages. Like many birders, I … 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 populated the countryside in which I grew up, while my heart was brimming over with … 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 us, while the others are shifting from the breeding season to the off season. As … 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

Speaking of Nature

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The birds at my feeder have found themselves in a rather interesting situation during the past few weeks. Accustomed to the loud, flamboyant behavior of blue jays and even the occasional (very occasional) visit by a crow, they have had to adapt to a new sort of visitor. … 0

Hitting high gear

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Four weeks ago, you probably found yourself getting ready for school. Your list of things to do might have included getting some pencils, paper and notebooks. It’s also possible that you needed to think about some new shoes or some new clothes. You had spent the entire summer … 0

Speaking of Nature: The Cottonwood

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sunday was a magnificent day and I made the most of it by parking myself on my porch. In the cool of the morning, I was able to sit back with a cup of coffee and listen to the tail end of the dawn chorus. At this point, … 0