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Nature Notes: Belted Kingfisher

Nature Notes: Belted Kingfisher

Ed Robinson
November 3, 2022

Every time I see this robin-size bird I cannot help but think that it looks like it was made from mismatched bird parts. The large head sits on a stubby neck, not very sleek. The legs are short, not made for walking. The tail is undersized relative to the body and wings. That long, heavy… Read more

Nature Notes: Harvest Time

Nature Notes: Harvest Time

Ed Robinson
October 11, 2022

Early autumn, and the living is easy, as easy as it gets in the natural world at our northern latitude. The heat and drought conditions of summer are gone, and the deprivation of winter has not arrived. This is a time of plenty for most wildlife and they are making the most of it. Across… Read more

Nature Notes: Porcupine

Nature Notes: Porcupine

Ed Robinson
September 6, 2022

An old French name for this creature is “porc d’espine,” literally the “pig with quills.” But you will not find roast porcupine gracing the table in a three-star Michelin restaurant. There are, however, many recipes online for a dish called “porcupine meatballs” which fortunately substitute long grain rice for actual quills. Unless you are lost… Read more

Nature Notes: Spotted Salamander

Nature Notes: Spotted Salamander

Ed Robinson
August 1, 2022

In late winter in Maine, a few things are certain: maple sap will be running on warm days, you soon have to complete your tax return, and winter is losing its grip even if there is one more storm in the forecast. As the days grow longer, and the snow gradually melts, you have the… Read more

Nature Notes: Chipping Sparrow

Nature Notes: Chipping Sparrow

Ed Robinson
June 1, 2022

Looking weary and bedraggled, the tiny bird gathered its remaining strength while staring down its adversary. When it appeared that its aggressive stance and sharp calls were inadequate to drive away the intruder, the sparrow launched another attack. The intruder mirrored the attack and the sparrow dropped back upon the pickup’s tonneau cover to rest and… Read more

Nature Notes: Moving Month

Nature Notes: Moving Month

Ed Robinson
May 1, 2022

May is one of the best months of the year, a time when we climb out of the recliner, shake off the winter cobwebs and shift into high gear. Mud season is behind us, summer beckons and spring is bursting out all over. An upbeat song by Katrina and The Waves captured the mood of… Read more

Nature Notes: Brook Trout

Nature Notes: Brook Trout

Ed Robinson
April 11, 2022

The mid-September day was perfect for fishing; overcast, upper 50’s, light breeze, no mosquitos, swamp maples in bright red dress.  The fly was a floating elk hair caddis, one of the most productive flies in any Maine angler’s box.  The stream was small but scenic, winding through a quiet meadow 20 miles east of Greenville. … Read more

Nature Notes: Insects at Risk

Almost daily we are presented with more evidence of significant changes taking place around the globe. The big news items often refer to global warming, the status of the ozone hole, deforestation in the Amazon and rising CO2 emissions. Close to home we regularly hear about rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine and the impact on… Read more

Nature Notes: Ruffed Grouse

Nature Notes: Ruffed Grouse

Ed Robinson
February 9, 2022

It was a brisk but glorious winter day, dazzling blue sky, no wind and ten inches of diamond-bright powder on top of a two-foot base.  Snowshoeing through the aspens on my way to prune some old apple trees, my hands were full of tools.  Pruning is far easier when standing on solid ground but Mother… Read more

Nature Notes: Lights of the North

Nature Notes: Lights of the North

Ed Robinson
January 6, 2022

We were dog tired after a long day of rowing the heavy rafts 23 miles down the winding river, much of it into the wind. Charlie and Pete had suffered on their raft with a broken rowing frame held together with duct tape. Another 12 miles to go early the next morning to meet our… Read more