Speaking of Nature
 Bluets are tiny quarter-inch flowers that can really dazzle the eye if you get down to their level.

Speaking of Nature: Craving some color

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anyone who lives in the northern Temperate Zone is familiar with the feeling. Winter is wonderful when it arrives. It is a fantastic change from the chill of late autumn with its gusting, snowless winds. I mean, why endure the cold if you’re not going to be able to enjoy the snow, right? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. … 0

Speaking of Nature: Sheldon the red-tailed hawk

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The pattern became a familiar one in February. Birds would be at the feeders, or on the porch railing, or anywhere else I had spread out some seed. The options were limited due to all of the snow, but it was not uncommon to look out my kitchen and see a blanket of … 0

Speaking of Nature: We’re not there yet

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One of the great joys of childhood is traveling to see your grandparents. When I was a boy, this meant jumping into the family car in Amherst and heading west to Albany. My parents would often pack a basket of snacks to keep my brother, sister and I from starting food riots in … 0

Speaking of Nature: Martin’s broken wing

Thursday, February 13, 2014

With the arrival of fresh snow last week, I decided to give my Environmental Science students a challenging assignment; something a little different from the standard, “read a paper and then tell me what you think” kind of … 2

Speaking of Nature: Beauty is in the ear of the beholder

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One of the great delights in any naturalist’s work is introducing others to something new. Sometimes this takes the form of a rare sight seldom seen by people, while other times it comes in the guise of a … 0

Speaking of Nature: the anhinga

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When I looked at the calendar on my office desk, I was absolutely floored by how quickly time has gone by. January is more than half over, midterms are already under way and winter break is just around … 0

Speaking of Nature: surf scoters

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As is always the case at this time of year, the weather is on our minds. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen rainy days in the 50s followed by heavy snows and temperatures below zero. Then, just … 0

Speaking of Nature: What a difference a day can make

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The difference between 2013 and 2014 was probably not a particularly sharp one for many of you, but the shift that I experienced was amplified by the fact that I had traveled. My mother-in-law (Fran) celebrated her 75th … 0

Kids & Critters: mourning doves

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) is as elegant as it is common. A little larger than the average birds that inhabit our back yards, the mourning dove is about 12 inches in length. Much of that is accounted … 0

Speaking of Nature

Thursday, December 26, 2013

As is customary at this time of year, I am going to take a look back at 2013 and try to determine what made it different from all of the other years I have lived through. This is … 0

Speaking of Nature: Snowy Sunday

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When I awoke last Sunday morning, I realized that we were no longer waiting for winter. Although her arrival was not scheduled until Dec. 21, it was clear that she had arrived a little early. The world had … 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