During the first four days of August, the Western Basin of Lake Erie made national news. A harmful algal bloom (HAB) threatened the water supply near Toledo, Ohio. Wind and water currents pushed a bloom of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) to the city’s water plant intakes. Toxins (microcystin is of greatest concern) produced by this algal […]
Insects thrive during the warmth of summer, and many are conspicuous and familiar.
When my wife and I left on vacation July 21, I felt pangs of guilt. I had been hosting a growing number of ruby-throated hummingbirds at my feeders since early May.
Relaxing in a hammock with a good book is a great way to relax on a warm summer afternoon. Here are a few titles that have recently caught my eye.
Deer are active in the summer, and enjoyable to watch, from a safe distance.
About three weeks ago I noticed a doe and her twin fawns passing leisurely through the yard shortly before 7 a.m.
Back in 1974 a local pigeon fancier imported a flock of about 50 Eurasian collared-doves to the Bahamas.
The light that fireflies produce is nothing short of amazing.
A trip to the beach can be filled with surprises. One sure bet is that there will be gulls galore.
By SCOTT SHALAWAY Every year, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates a week in June as National Pollinator Week. The effort is intended to draw attention to the invaluable services provided by bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, birds and other pollinators. Plants reproduce when pollen (sperm) from male flower parts (anthers) reaches the pistil (site of […]
Though large and common, beavers are seldom seen unless you know where to look. The best time to see beavers is at dusk on a summer evening. And the best place is on quiet water from a kayak or canoe. Float quietly! Wildlife usually ignores me when I glide silently and low on the water. […]
Lesson learned: Grapevines are important to the ecosystem.
Let’s examine how small songbirds such as warblers, vireos and flycatchers act as keystone species in forest ecosystems.
When I walked to my office this morning, I noticed a female brown-headed cowbird perched high atop the tallest tree in the yard. For 10 minutes she surveyed the surrounding area.
Almost overnight, the old field below the house has greened up, and birds have set up nesting territories. Bluebirds were the first to lay eggs because the nest box protects the eggs from the elements. Within just a few weeks, however, field sparrows, indigo buntings, white-eyed vireos, and cardinals have also established territories. Nest on […]
Birds vocalize throughout the year, but the purpose of the sounds varies. Always, however, birds sing to communicate.
By SCOTT SHALAWAY Early childhood experiences often shape the adults we become. In my case, I remember going to the Philadelphia Zoo with my parents. I relished those times with my mom and dad and recall them fondly now. Lions, tigers, and bears were just the stuff of books, but at the zoo they became […]
Morel season is a memorable time of year, and it’s finally here!
The best way to attract hummingbirds is to plant native, nectar-bearing flowers.
Few experiences are more rewarding than introducing a child to the outdoors. I remember teaching my daughters at the age of three to recognize the voice of a barred owl – “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all!” They were amazed they could identify a bird without seeing it. And when my wife and […]