Speaking of Nature

Speaking of Nature: Bill discovers a real head tern-er

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Standing at the edge of Malibu Lagoon, I was hypnotized by birds. Double-crested cormorants were perched on a large tangle of driftwood, snowy egrets were hunting in the shallows and common terns were flying overhead. All of these birds were comfortably familiar, but that feeling of comfort would quickly give way to the anxiety of “wrongness” followed by the exhilaration … 0

Speaking of Nature: The whimbrel

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It was Thursday, Aug. 6, and for the first time in my life, I was on a beach in Malibu. I was not alone on this beach. There were well over 100 people swimming, walking or basking in the sun, but I was clearly the odd man out. Where others wore only swimsuits, … 0

Speaking of Nature: the western gull

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sunday was my first day at home in over two weeks. At the end of July, I had to go east to Bridgewater University for an AP Teacher’s conference. Then I returned home for an evening of unpacking, laundry and re-packing for a trip west to California. The week at Bridgewater was a … 0

Kids & Critters: Cow vetch

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been having a wonderful time this summer. The weather has been so mild that being outside and exploring has been something easy to do without getting too uncomfortable. As a result, … 0

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 … 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 … 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 … 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