Nature Watch

NATURE WATCH: Signs of Summer’s End

NATURE WATCH: Signs of Summer’s End

by Nona Estrin Last glories of summer. Even on out highest mountains, the occasional monarch butterfly or a small group of blue jays join broad-winged hawks and others heading south.  Close to home, you might try Mount Philo, or down I 91, to Putney Mountain Hawk Watch, with an online daily count reported for the […]

NATURE WATCH: Birds on the Move

NATURE WATCH: Birds on the Move

by Nona Estrin Quietly, without much notice, a great tide of birds has started moving south. As early as the heat and drought at the end of July, thrushes started to move, a couple of weeks early, eating alternate-leaved dogwood berries as they went. Young warblers now are showing up at our bird-bath, and we […]

NATURE WATCH: Ingredients from  the Garden

NATURE WATCH: Ingredients from the Garden

by Nona Estrin During this last wild month of summer, people coming and going, the little vegetable garden grounds me. Out each morning, look around, pick beans, lettuce, tomatoes, chard, summer squash, and cucumbers.  Eggs with chard and tomatoes in the morning, buttered steamed squash and chard at lunch, perhaps a summer chowder with whatever […]

NATURE WATCH: The Great Ash Sphinx Moth

NATURE WATCH: The Great Ash Sphinx Moth

by Nona Estrin By day, butterflies, by night, Great Ash Sphinx Moths hover like nocturnal humming birds amongst the fragrant tobacco. For these magical night-fliers and 44 other insects, ash is the primary host. What will become of them, the birds, and other life that feed on them? And what will we do to counter […]

NATURE WATCH: Summer Trees

by Nona Estrin So many birds showing up at the bird-bath for refreshment, and in the shad trees for berries, the young of the year following closely, begging, I love high summer and look around scanning the trees, hearing the wind rustling their leaves.  My eyes keep falling of the big ashes east of the […]

NATURE WATCH: Magical Fireflies

NATURE WATCH: Magical Fireflies

by Nona Estrin For we who have lived long, this historic heat wave brings many worries, but for the very young, just the discomfort of heat and the pleasures of water, evening, fireflies. A morning or evening trip to Wrightsville beach, the magic of a yard or field of fireflies, sitting by a brook in […]

NATURE WATCH: Rain Brings Treasures

NATURE WATCH: Rain Brings Treasures

by Nona Estrin There is nothing like rain after a long dry spell. I watched this one from under the back door overhang as it rolled in and let loose. The sensation, the smells, were powerful. Clouds billowed up in layers, so you could see way up, the rivers of wind-blown droplets, some driven madly […]

NATURE WATCH: Time for Babies

NATURE WATCH: Time for Babies

by Nona Estrin Birds catch my eye; a robin, beak-full, flies by; great crested flycatchers are active in the canopy, “Wrrreeep! Wrrreep!” It’s baby bird month! Baby animals too! Everywhere, the business is raising young, be it birds or foxes, and with birds, the ratio of success is tough. Our phoebes raise two broods—eight young, […]

NATURE WATCH: Save the Pollinators

NATURE WATCH: Save the Pollinators

by Nona Estrin A time of impossible beauty, endless to-do lists and a huge desire to do nothing! Buds are poised to burst on the apples here at 1,000 feet and wild plumb and shad are already in bloom. Pollinators, though fewer and fewer each year, will soon have their day in the blossoms. Once again […]

NATURE WATCH: Birds are Singing!

NATURE WATCH: Birds are Singing!

By Nona Estrin We live adjacent to a stand of balsam fir, and when the ruby-crowned kinglets arrived a few days ago, the air was full of their quiet yet melodic chattering song. Then last night, five inches of snow! How does an insect-eating bird survive this? By noon everything’s dripping, thawing. Small trees that […]