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Take Me Outside

They are not all Pine Trees

Sunday, December 7, 2014

At this time of year many people spend time examining evergreen trees as they search for the perfect Christmas tree. For some, any evergreen will do, but for many people, choosing the perfect tree on which to hang shiny ornaments, family heirlooms, treasures made by small hands, souvenirs from vacations and twinkling lights is one of the most important decisions …

Below the surface

Sunday, November 2, 2014

This summer I swam in many different lakes and ponds throughout central New Hampshire. Each body of water was unique. Some were wild and pristine with little sign of human activity. Others were ringed with houses and punctuated with boats. But one thing these aquatic systems had in common was a temperature gradient. …

Sumac is a lovely addition to the fall landscape

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This year’s foliage season is shaping up to be a gorgeous one. Red maples in the swamps started the parade of color and the yellows of the birches and orange sugar maples are lining up to add their hues to the renowned splendor of New England fall foliage. But one of my favorite …

Take Me Outside: A look at cicadas

Sunday, August 4, 2013

When I was growing up we called them “heat bugs” because they buzzed on the hottest days of summer. The high-pitched whine of the annual cicada is usually heard during the hot, “dog days” of summer, so they …

New Hampshire’s snakes are fascinating creatures who love the summer sun

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer is the time when many folks head to the beach or hang out by the pool to soak up some sun. But people aren’t the only sun worshippers. Reptiles like the common garter (not garden) snake cannot …

Take Me Outside: Find the forest's hidden spring blooms

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April showers have been uncommon this spring, but there will still be May flowers carpeting the forest floor. These spring beauties provide a good reason to venture into the woods in the coming weeks. Canada mayflowers, also known …

Take Me Outside: Nesting phoebes are a sign of the season

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Each spring I enjoy knowing that the eaves of my porch provide a nursery for a family of Eastern phoebes. This year is no exception – we have babies! For the past week I’ve been watching and listening as tiny waving heads with proportionally huge and gaping mouths …

Take Me Outside: Missing the snow

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Skiers, snowmobile riders and other snow lovers may be unhappy, but the lack of snow this winter is more than a disappointment for some creatures that depend on snow for their survival. Small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews and weasels use an area under the snow called …

Take Me Outside: Briefly blooming beauties

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In a normal year, the time between when the snow melts and when the tree leaves emerge is brief. But this has been anything but a normal year. So now is the window of time when early spring wildflowers will start to pop through the winter-worn forest floor …

Take Me Outside: Become a citizen scientist

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's a new year, time to turn the calendar (for those of us who still have the paper versions) and start fresh. Some people begin anew with exercise and changed eating habits, vowing to take on a healthier lifestyle. For me, it's time to start a fresh "yard …

Take Me Outside: Turtle talk

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A female painted turtle was the focus of much curiosity and exploration among a group of preschoolers I spent time with recently. She had climbed out of the Merrimack River, crawled through the shoreline buffer of silver maples and clambered across a lawn in search of a sunny …

Take Me Outside: Let's hear it for the birds

Sunday, May 6, 2012

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. This book was a wakeup call about how the broad use of pesticides, namely DDT, was killing birds and harming the environment. Carson warned that if such indiscriminant chemical application continued, our springs would …

Take Me Outside: Light show

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This is the week when many communities put on firework displays in celebration of our nation's birthday. However, there is also a natural light show that began last month and can be observed for the next several weeks, thanks to our resident fireflies. Fireflies are sometimes called glowworms …

Take Me Outside: The wonders of migration

Sunday, April 7, 2013

TakeMeOutside …

Take Me Outside: Feathered friends

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The weather has been fickle this winter, but one thing I could count on was visits by downy woodpeckers to my suet feeder. "Downies," like most of the woodpeckers in this area, are present year-round, so it's easy to take them for granted. They aren't colorful like a …