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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: 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

Speaking of Nature: Springtime is the time to study ecology

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Part of every high school student’s education includes a course in biology. For some this is a “scratch the surface” introduction that simply introduces them to some of the scientific vocabulary while they attempt to sort out other … 0

Speaking of Nature: The American Kestrel

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One of the most frustrating things about being a nature photographer is how often you can see a fairly common species and still have no real chance of getting a photo of it. It makes perfect sense that … 0

Speaking of Nature: Canada goose

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Before I get started on this week’s column, I just want to run through some of the arrivals that have occurred in the last week. On Friday, April 3, the tree swallows and eastern phoebes showed up. I … 0

Kids & Critters: the wood duck

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

People will tell you that the robin is a sure sign of spring. This, I think, is more a matter of association than truth. The fact is that some robins spend the winter with us every year, though … 0