Nature Watch

NATURE WATCH: Hemlock for Nuthatches

NATURE WATCH: Hemlock for Nuthatches

by Nona Estrin I cherish each view of a red-breasted nuthatch this year. This smaller version of its larger cousin, the white-breasted nuthatch, follows the success of hemlock cones, and this winter they have stayed in Vermont to enjoy a bumper crop of the oily, delicious seeds of the hemlocks. The shrinking snowpack under evergreens now […]

Nature Watch – Closer to Spring

Nature Watch – Closer to Spring

by Nona Estrin Ready for sap runs and red winged blackbirds! Mating starts for the tiny pointed nosed shrew, perhaps the only venomous mammal. I see their delicate tracks, under an inch in diameter, or sometimes, while late winter skiing I encounter the little creature its self-running across the snow. I guess eating only protein […]

Nature Watch

Nature Watch

by Nora Estrin Days Lengthen Gray, icy weather hides the approach of spring. But by February 1 the crow flocks break up into family units, migrating birds start moving north, and days lengthen. The sun comes out, the wind dies, and fora moment, its rays almost feel hot. It’s no accident that Valentine’s Day is […]

Nature Watch

by Nona Estrin Let in the Fresh Air With each successive thaw, the snow pack slumps into gullies as water runs off the land. Many small creatures now begin their life cycle. Snow in the woods was peppered with snow fleas the last thaw, and there will be more. Even tinier, influenza and other microbes […]

NATURE WATCH: Long Nights, Short Days

by Nona Estrin This year, family cares and responsibilities leave me with little time to prepare for the holidays. Without all the frenzy, I notice the quiet, the long dark nights, sometimes star-lit, sometimes soft with snow. And the short days, quiet too, with low light or blazing sun, but especially, I feel the pull […]

October Sun

by Nona Estrin Waves of song sparrows, white-throated sparrows, and ruby-crowned kinglets still passing through, and here and there, amid the bare trees, a solitary splash of bright red maple. What remains of gold is still coming on in spots …                             […]

NATURE WATCH: Why No Color?

by Nona Estrin What happened to the leaves while we were away? Opposite-branched ash trees, which turn colors from yellow to peach to deep mahogany,  stand bare against the blue, blue sky. Many sugar maples are in disarray, either bare, covered only by a few brassy samaras or seeds, or sporting a variety of dead […]

NATURE WATCH: Holed Up for Jose

by Nona Estrin A visit to the Outer Cape coincides with the remnants of Hurricane Jose. We will be holed up for the winds and rain, then enjoying the great swells after Jose has passed well to our North. Our thoughts are with hundreds of thousands of tree swallows, migrating now along the coast, fattening up […]

NATURE WATCH: Waiting for Crickets

NATURE WATCH: Waiting for Crickets

by Nona Estrin The fall soundscape is still missing something for me, and I think the early cold spring has made them late. The chirping of crickets! Tree crickets are singing. The ones that trill on continuously and could be confused with ringing in the ears! But ahh! the chirping ones, the sweet ones,  either […]

NATURE WATCH: Fleeting Stillness Of Summer

NATURE WATCH: Fleeting Stillness Of Summer

by Nona Estrin Now just as summer seems to take a big breath in before turning toward fall, just at the moment when there is a stillness over the land, we humans at these high latitudes speed up. There is first applesauce, fruit and vegetable preservation, visitors pouring into Vermont, old friends, family coming, weddings […]