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Take Me Outside
** FOR USE WITH AP WEEKLY FEATURES ** Bluebirds are among the most colorful and most desired of all backyard birds and many people design habitat especially for attracting them. This Eastern bluebird is enjoying a patch of sun on an otherwise chill, North Carolina day. (AP Photo/ Dean Fosdick)

Welcoming back our migrating feathered friends

Sunday, May 10, 2015

For some, the term “waves” may conjure up an image of sea water surging onto a beach, receding and returning in a repetitive flow. Others may picture crowds in a sports stadium synchronously standing and lifting their arms, like a communal undulating body. But for those of us who enjoy watching birds, “waves” at this time of year describe the …

How to spot New Hampshire’s resident rabbits

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Many people were on the lookout for a special rabbit recently. But if you didn’t catch a glimpse of the Easter Bunny last week, don’t feel bad. There are plenty of reasons why rabbits are tricky to see, even the wild ones who live in New Hampshire. Our state is home to two native species of lagomorphs – the Snowshoe Hare and the …

Beautiful birches: Flexible forest dwellers are built to survive even the harshest conditions

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I’ve thought a lot about birch trees lately. One reason is that the clump of gray birches in our yard started the season by bowing down to the winter gods under the weight of the Thanksgiving snow. Though the day after that storm I shook the trees to relieve them of their burden, …

Take Me Outside: Who does what in winter?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

This winter has been a mix of unseasonably warm days followed by bone chilling temperatures. If you have had trouble deciding whether to wear your raincoat or down jacket before heading outside, imagine what it must be like …

Hunting season ends today, but there are still plenty of challenges ahead for New Hampshire’s deer

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Today is the final day of deer hunting season in New Hampshire; however, those animals who have escaped the arrows and bullets still have plenty of challenges ahead. Deep snow and severe cold are hard on them, but …

Take Me Outside: A Fall Witch – Not what you think

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The woods are transforming from myriad shades of summer green to glorious autumn reds, oranges and yellows. But leaves are not the only thing adding color to our brag-worthy New England forests. One source of yellow is the …

Take Me Outside: Sept. 1 marks beginning of official hawk migration season

Sunday, September 1, 2013

For some people, the start of September means it’s back-to-school time. For others, it’s a reminder of how short summers are in New Hampshire. Yet for those of us who love spectacular natural phenomena, Today marks the beginning …

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 …