Nature Watch

NATURE WATCH: Ingredients from Nature’s Bounty

NATURE WATCH: Ingredients from Nature’s Bounty

by Nona Estrin Tomatoes! And all the wonderful things one can do with them. Each year we call a week or two Bacon Festival. The required accompaniments are fresh Manghi’s white sliced bread and our fall lettuce, and of course, mayo!  Don’t forget baked tomato halves with Parmesan, olive oil and bread crumbs, and a […]

NATURE WATCH: Honoring Ancient Waters

by Nona Estrin This fine summer is due mostly to weeks without rain. Trees are still bringing water up from the surface layer of the earth and sending it off into the air through their leaves. I feel the cooling effects when I go at noon from our scorching hot patio into the woods, just […]

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 […]