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January has produced a winter wonderland

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Over the last two weeks, we have had 13 inches of snow, and winter has just begun. I consider this good news. I love snow. A fresh snowfall makes the world pristine and quiet. It brings serenity to my busy life. Favorite spot A few days ago, with 5 inches of snow already on the […]

Grand Vue Park’s white deer attract attention

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Earlier this year two white fawns stole the show at Grand Vue Park (www.grandvuepark.com) near Moundsville, W.Va. They were hard to miss, and soon became favorites of park visitors. Park general manager Craig White told me people began driving through the park just to see the white deer. Photographers hoped for that special shot. Rock […]

Memories of a Christmas Eve walk in the woods

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Everyone has special Christmas memories. This is one of mine. It first appeared in 2008. It was the night before Christmas about 20 years ago. Nora was barely 10 years old, and Emma was still dreaming of kindergarten. We had just arrived home from a Christmas Eve church service. About two inches of snow had […]

Hummingbirds in December? It’s no joke

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A week ago, Vonda Poole of New Wilmington, Pa. emailed me and worried about “a female hummingbird that has not gone south for the winter. It’s now December 9th,” she wrote, “and it’s still here. Was I wrong to leave a feeder up? What will happen when freezing weather hits?” I explained that keeping the […]

Yes, even sparrows are fun birds to watch in winter

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The diversity of backyard birds fuels their appeal. Cardinals and blue jays are spectacularly beautiful. Chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches sparkle with personality. Woodpeckers entertain. But some, the nondescript native sparrows we call “LBBs” (little brown birds), avoid the spotlight by simply feeding on the ground. Ground feeders are nice to have around because they help […]

Christmas Bird Count and Project FeederWatch

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cold winter weather means it’s time for two important citizen science projects — the annual Christmas Bird Count and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch. This year the 113th CBC runs from Dec. 14 through Jan. 5. Volunteers will devote one entire day to counting all the wild birds they can find. Local leaders determine […]

‘A book is a gift you can open again and again’

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Books always make great holiday gifts, especially for those who have everything. Here are a few recent titles that I recommend.

Winter’s fury is no match for Kinglets

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

As days get shorter, and nights grow longer, the cast of characters on my bird feeders changes. A mixed flock of pine siskins, purple finches, juncos and a few red-breasted nuthatches has joined the usual crowd of chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, song sparrows, and goldfinches. But it is a tiny winter bird that captures my […]

Wildlife is resilient in a storm, even during Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

As I write this, Hurricane Sandy has claimed more than 70 American lives and done an estimated $50 billion in damage, and those numbers are likely to increase. Another unspoken toll thus far is that taken on wildlife. How can wildlife possibly survive a super storm? That’s certainly been the topic of many emails I […]

Snakes, bats and spiders could use image makeover

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween can be a terrifying holiday for small children. Boogie men and scary creatures strike terror in their hearts. I’m hoping we can dial back the fear factor associated with real creatures that often show up in Halloween decorations. Spiders, snakes, and bats are three groups that strike fear in the hearts of many, even […]

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