Cloudy
16°
Cloudy
Hi 34° | Lo 7°
Take Me Outside
Birch trees remain bent over Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, under the weight of ice from Monday's ice storm, in Litchfield, Maine.  Up to 7 inches of snow is forecast, worrying utilities that the additional weight on branches and transmission lines could cause setbacks in the around-the-clock efforts to restore power. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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, a couple of them still have a …

Take Me Outside: The secret lives of squirrels

Sunday, February 1, 2015

At this time of year many people enjoy feeding birds. Inevitably if you put up bird feeders, you’ll also end up feeding squirrels. While this can be frustrating, rather than spending energy and funds on “squirrel proofing” a feeding station, why not give-in to squirrel tenacity and enjoy some of the marvels of …

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 …

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 …

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 …