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Speaking of Nature
A male Condylostylus patibulatus has a narrow abdomen, with colors ranging from yellow to blue.  Note the "halter" under the left wing.
Bill Danielson photo

Speaking of Nature: A fly with no name

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So there I was, standing in the delightfully cool conditions of an early-July morning, waiting for a butterfly. This, it seems, is a theme when dealing with butterflies. Easy to see, they are (in my opinion) inflicted with a sort of attention deficit disorder that prevents them from focusing on any one thing for very long. Something grabs their attention, … 0

Speaking of Nature: The height of summer

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Any of my regular readers will rightly identify a distinct lack of butterflies in this column. This is not because of a lack of effort on my part, but rather because of the bounty of distractions that nature has thrown in my path. I go out to look for butterflies and something else … 0

Speaking of Nature: The Milk Snake

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It was Sunday at 7 p.m. and for reasons I don’t have space to explain, I had decided to go to bed early. All I had to do was lock the doors, kill the lights and brush my teeth. Then, in the middle of this easy checklist, I noticed that the garage was … 0

Speaking of Nature: Butterfly Project 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When I look through my records for the past 18 years of writing, I find that birds have been the taxonomic group that has received the greatest portion of my attention. This, I think, is a product of … 0

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 … 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 … 0

Speaking of Nature: Two brothers

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is one of the most recognizable species of mammals in North America. Evidence from the fossil record also suggests that it is one of the oldest and most successful species, appearing about 4 … 0

Speaking of Nature: Summer

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For those of us who live in the Temperate Zone, there’s a familiar pattern to the seasons. Winters are cold and dark, summers are warm and light, and the bookends to these two extremes are the transitional seasons … 0

Kids and Critters: The tree swallow

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Down the hill from my house, at the edge of my lawn, there is a post with a nest box on it. I placed this nest box in this particular location about 10 years ago and I have … 0

Speaking of Nature: the orchard oriole

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It was a Sunday morning (the second morning of my two-day field trip to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge) and I was up and out early once again. The previous morning I had discovered that the ducks of … 0

Speaking of Nature: The mink

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It was day one of my visit to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island and things were looking good. I was up at 5 a.m. and the weather was certainly going to cooperate, but there was … 0

Speaking of Nature: A glorious day for Bill's 700th column

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It was May 3, 1997, when my first column appeared in the Recorder. Today, 18 years later, I celebrate the publication of column No. 700. We’ve been through a lot since that first column. I changed jobs several … 0

Kids & Critters: the American Toad

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I feel much better about getting up and going to school these days. The air is warmer in the morning and it is scented with the perfume of damp earth. More than … 0

Speaking of Nature: Skunk cabbage, the earliest of flowers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I’m up early to write this week’s column and as I sit in the silence of the pre-dawn hours, I can hear the telltale patter of raindrops on the roof just above my head. It’s one of those … 0