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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: 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 …

Take Me Outside: Keep an eye out for possums 

Friday, March 1, 2013

As the weather begins to warm in March, some animals that have been relatively inactive all winter begin to make their presence known. One such creature is the opossum. Native to more southern regions, this cat-sized mammal is …

Take Me Outside: The truth behind Groundhog Day

Sunday, February 3, 2013

By the time you read this we’ll know if the groundhog saw its shadow and how much more winter we have to endure – or not! The tradition of the groundhog emerging on Feb. 2 to predict the …

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 …