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Nature Notes: Dark-eyed Junco

Someone asked me once if I feared running out of topics for these monthly columns. Hah! There is no chance of that! There is such diversity in the natural world, and so many potential story ideas piled up on the desk that my ashes will be pushing up lupines before the backlog is cleared. The… Read more

Nature Notes: Dormant

One definition for the word dormant is being “temporarily in abeyance yet capable of being activated.” That describes how I feel after a hard day of cutting, splitting and stacking firewood followed by a long snooze. It takes the old noggin a few minutes to get up to speed for polite conversation with my long-suffering spouse…. Read more

Nature Notes: Peregrine Falcon

How things have changed! When I was young, mankind was still of the mindset that the natural world existed mostly for our pleasure and exploitation, and we were hell bent upon control of everything around us. Our chemical industries were hard at work inventing new products to kill every possible irritating insect and we were… Read more

Nature Notes: Yellow-rumped Warbler

“So, what is that, Scott, 75?” “More like 95, Ed, you missed a few while you were looking for that northern harrier over the marsh!” The location was Mutton Hunk Fen Natural Area Preserve on the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia, on an October morning perfect for a long walk with binoculars in hand. It is… Read more

Nature Notes: Jumping Worms

Just when it is safe to go outdoors without fear of brown-tailed moth caterpillars or disease-bearing mosquitos, along comes more bad news. While this new pest will not harm you directly, it damages the environment around you, and if you are a gardener there is no joy in this article. Even worse, this pest is… Read more

Nature Notes: Minke Whale and Friends

Nature Notes: Minke Whale and Friends

Ed Robinson
September 11, 2023

The middle of August found me wandering around the mud flats in eastern Maine with binoculars plastered to my face. A fair question would be why not slog around in Harpswell’s mud flats? Well, at my age I take any excuse to travel in order to see new habitats and fascinating species. The occasion was… Read more

Nature Notes: Wildlife Encounters

Wild turkeys in the backyard again, this time five large gobblers. Normally the birds pick their way along, grabbing a seed or an insect that catches their sharp eyes. This time the smallest tom was either feeling his oats, or he was tired of being picked on by the larger birds. Turkeys always have a… Read more

Nature Notes: Pelagic

Definitions vary by your choice of dictionary, but for our purposes the word “pelagic” means “species related to or living in the open sea.” This contrasts with species of coastal areas or on the bottom of the sea, known as the benthic zone. By now you may be wondering, so why are you writing about… Read more

Nature Notes: Black Bear

Nature Notes: Black Bear

Ed Robinson
April 27, 2023

“Pssst.” Roused from a deep sleep, I wasn’t sure what woke me, so I lay there listening. “Psssst!” This time it was louder and more insistent. My tentmate Andy. “What do you want?” I mumbled. “Shhhh. There’s a bear out there.” I had not heard a sound other than Andy’s hissing, but we were camped… Read more