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Take Me Outside

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 splashes of color comes from the unsung …

Take a closer look at fall webworms

Sunday, September 7, 2014

As we approach the “leaf peeper” season and eyes turn toward New England’s forest foliage, there’s something on the trees that is far less attractive than the anticipated autumn splash of color. Fall webworms, a native insect, form gauzy balloon-like structures on the tips of many tree branches. The webworm is not a …

Passenger pigeon’s extinction, a somber remembrance

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Anniversaries are worth celebrating, but next month marks the 100th anniversary of a somber event. Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon was found dead in her cage in the Cincinnati Zoo, Sept. 1, 1914. This is perhaps the only extinct creature for which we know the date and time of its vanishing. However, …

Take Me Outside: To learn more about the trees around you, take a look at their bark

Sunday, January 6, 2013

any of nature’s treasures have been buried by recent snow. Yet trees offer opportunities for exploration regardless of snow depth or season. Tree bark has many functions and upon close examination varies considerably from one species to another. …

Take Me Outside: Geminid meteor showers will light up the darkness of December

Monday, December 10, 2012

According to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the world may end Dec. 21. Others say that the turning of this chronicle of time is actually a reason for celebration. Whether you are paying attention to either of …

Take Me Outside: Acorns are falling on my head

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lately when walking in the woods, I feel like I should be wearing a hard hat. Acorns are raining down, thunking on the ground, pinging on metal roofs and causing my chickens to think the sky is falling. Yet for some birds and mammals the acorns are manna …

Take Me Outside: Sounds like fall

Sunday, September 2, 2012

‘ Green leaves are fading and some are starting to turn red. Children and teachers are heading back to school. Many signs tell us that the seasons are changing. Some of those clues are the prominent sounds of crickets and grasshoppers as they perform their late summer swansong. …

Take Me Outside: What's so fascinating about ferns?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

' The recent rain has brought much needed moisture to our region and returned the woods to a panorama of lush textures and colors. Some of the main contributors to this array of verdant frilliness are ferns. Ferns are ancient plants. Fossil records show that they first appeared …