Login

Nature's Notebook

Drive-by naturalist

Traveling along Route 7 last week, I came upon a mature bald eagle flying high above the Housatonic River. When I see one of these birds, I am always impressed by its sheer size, and the brilliant contrast of its snow-white head and tail feathers with its dark body. I can still remember the first time I ever saw one of these birds, in the early 1980s, and each new encounter never fails to thrill me.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Saving lives in winter

Winter can present many challenges. Driving can be precarious, heating bills rise, snow and ice storms cause power outages and spending time outdoors requires added effort to account for comfort and safety.
Winter weather also can present challenges for birds. Though birds are extremely resilient and have special adaptations that enable them to survive harsh winter conditions, they too can succumb to winter’s rigors.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Rabbits, rabbits, everywhere!

As I left my driveway this morning and headed down the dirt road to get to Route 4 in Sharon, I had to stop several times to avoid hitting the rabbits that seemed to be coming from every corner of the yard. This has been going on for quite a while now, and I know it is not unique to my yard as I have been getting a lot of questions about rabbits lately.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Rock solid case for saving our stone walls

Nature's Notebook

The ghost of a snake rail fence zigzags through the woods. I can tell its old location by the line of stones that once were piled at its base.

Stirrings

Nature's Notebook

I tapped my maple tree last week. The temperatures had reached the low 50s and the forecast called for a series of days with the right balance of freeze and thaw conditions required to get the sap running.
The fact that it was the first day of February and earlier by several weeks than is usual for my two-bucket operation to commence was offset by something deep within my being that is done with this mild winter and responds to the stirrings, however premature they may be, in the world outside.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Making a difference

Nature's Notebook
sheth@audubon.org

Knowing population trends, migratory movements and habitat requirements is extremely important in determining how to protect and conserve birds.

What a difference a year makes

Nature's Notebook
sheth@audubon.org

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time we were knee-deep in snow. This year, until perhaps recently, we were on target for one of the warmest winters on record.

Blue notes in the season of color

Nature's Notebook

I have an admission to make. While I can be inspired to write movingly about the natural world, and draw inspiration from the spinning stars and the pageant of the seasons, I am a curmudgeon when it comes to fall color.

Perhaps there is something in my New Englander’s soul that expects my anticipation to end in disappointment — rather like the classic boom-and-bust display of the Red Sox this season.

Summer’s bounty

Nature's Notebook
sheth@audubon.org

You can feel the changes in seasons already.  Early mornings are cooler, the days are shorter and the forests are noticeably quieter having lost many of the singing migratory birds to parts south. I like this time of year a lot. There is still plenty of warm weather to come for those of us who think in terms of “half full” rather than “half empty” and there is even more to see in our woods and meadows than in previous months.

Mountain lions seen at last?

Nature's Notebook

Last Saturday, a 140-pound male Eastern mountain lion was struck and killed on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford, Conn. There were strong sightings the week before in Greenwich, about 30 miles away, quite possibly the same animal.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection is working on the standard hypothesis that this was an illegally held captive animal that somehow got loose, perhaps wandering over from New York, as the eastern mountain lion is officially extinct outside of the Florida panther subspecies.