Nature Watch

NATURE WATCH: Rain. Finally!

by Nona Estrin Either dry conditions, nearby logging or the forest tent caterpillar defoliation of the Drew Mountain range to our east, has been responsible for more woodland birds than we are accustomed to. We hear scarlet tanager, thrushes, vireos, rose breasted grosbeaks and others, not normally singing in August. Foliage around the small pool […]

NATURE WATCH: Rainfall Dearth Shrinks Salamander Pool

NATURE WATCH: Rainfall Dearth Shrinks Salamander Pool

by Nona Estrin Early in the cool, up to the woods off Brazier Road where we have permission to roam. Visited a number of favorite haunts. Most of these we named over the decades after events or findings. Some, Porcupine Condo, and Spotted Salamander Pool, still inhabited by their namesakes, or descendants. But unexpectedly, came […]

NATURE WATCH: It’s Wild Orchid Time

NATURE WATCH: It’s Wild Orchid Time

by Nona Estrin Last of the spring tree colors. Goodbye grey-green new leaves of large-toothed aspen and hello June bugs banging on screens after dark. The end of a glorious, long, slow May. And yes, if you have a special place you go to see early wild orchids, either the lime-loving yellow lady-slipper or the […]

NATURE WATCH: Time for Brooding

NATURE WATCH: Time for Brooding

by Nona Estrin Walking the path south of our yard, to see a broad-winged hawk nest, I’m noticing something curious. I’ve seen it before, but for how long? Occasional tufts of dried maple leaves are here and there. They’ve been pulled together and partly down into a  worm-sized hole! This and the mid-May snow … […]

NATURE WATCH: Yellow-rumped Warblers in the ‘Hood

NATURE WATCH: Yellow-rumped Warblers in the ‘Hood

by Nona Estrin Had we not wandered down to Carol Dixon and Bruce Howlett’s beaver ponds during the clear cold snap recently, we never would have guessed that so many yellow-rumped warblers were in the neighborhood. These ponds are protected from the north and west winds, and they hold the afternoon sun and warmth. Insects […]

NATURE WATCH: Edibles Emerge In Our Woodland Domain

NATURE WATCH: Edibles Emerge In Our Woodland Domain

by Nona Estrin At last, the green in our morning eggs and on our dinner plates is gathered mere yards from where we eat it! Wild, cooked leek greens are in everything now, our go-to for so many meals. Their deep woodland domain is on the slope next to the yard. It’s a different world […]

NATURE WATCH: April Brings Morning Concert

by Nona Estrin The hardest of April weeks — in the teens and snow! We grudgingly bundle up and kick ourselves outdoors. Once out, the legs and blood start moving, we warm and feel the day brighten around us. Blue jays, still in a pre-mating flock, give their tropical-sounding late morning concert of flute-like unison […]

NATURE WATCH: Drip, Drip; Life Emerges

NATURE WATCH: Drip, Drip; Life Emerges

by Nona Estrin Drip! drip! drip! It’s either sap or rain, and what a change from one to the other. We’ve just had the weekend of our dreams with sap runs and sun, and here comes a week of rain and cloud, perhaps even snow! Still, a walk along the edge of our neighbor’s beaver […]

NATURE WATCH: Among Sweet Twitterings, Water Tumbles

NATURE WATCH: Among Sweet Twitterings, Water Tumbles

by Nona Estrin Red-winged blackbirds! Large flocks of north-bound goldfinches, still in winter drab, join a handful that wintered here, adding their sweet twitterings to the sound-scape. All is changing now with the equinox fast approaching. I strain to still hear the American tree sparrow, our winter sparrow, over the din. They have not yet […]

NATURE WATCH: Drizzly Magic Changes

by Nona Estrin The recent sub-zero blast and a spell of providing intense family support left me completely disconnected from what was happening outside. Then a walk this morning, when it was drizzling softly and everything that was even slightly horizontal was still covered with mounds of melting sleet, started to do its work. By […]