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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

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