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Earth Matters : Proliferation of plants feeds the food chain

By Lawrence J. Winship

Because of the pandemic, I’ve spent much more time in our gardens this year. There is so much to see and do on our little half-acre lot. Over the decades, trees have filled in and gardens expanded and, through neglect, much has “gone wild.” New England gardeners know all too well what happens when you take your watchful eye off bittersweet, wild grape and multiflora rose. Add in hundreds of tree seedlings and you get the picture.

Published in Earth Matters on September 5, 2020.

Earth Matters : For the love of lampreys

By John Sinton

Consider the sea lamprey. Who couldn’t love such a face? With their ancient heritage, their complex lives and their glorious culinary history, these jawless, boneless fish are among the most fascinating of creatures. They live among us, out of sight, wanting only to feed and migrate to the ocean.

Published in Earth Matters on August 31, 2020.

Blog Sunday Birding with Scott : How Many Birds?

By Scott Surner

How many birds do you really have at your feeder? The short answer is it’s very hard to know. Most of us (including me) will keep a species list of what shows up at the feeding station and try and ascertain how many of each species there is. The easiest and only way to do this is keep a tally during the day. At the end of your observation period you take the highest number of each species for the day and you have your high count for that species. This is pretty much the only way to do it, and it’s fun to look back over the years and see what some of the high counts have been and on what date. So, when keeping your list, remember to not only keep a species list and numbers, but remember to enter the date!

Published in Blog, Sunday Birding with Scott on August 30, 2020.

eNewsletter : A Message from Julie

By Julie Johnson

As I write, it has been five months to the day since we were forced by COVID-19 to close our doors to the public. In the hectic weeks that followed, our extraordinary Board and staff were determined that we would find new ways to educate the community and inspire action for a healthy planet in the midst of a pandemic.

Published in eNewsletter on August 17, 2020.

Earth Matters : Nature blossoms in our retreat

By Christine Hatch For the Gazette

Did spring seem unusually long this year? Did you notice the miracle of new plants you’d never seen before pushing out of the earth and into your garden? When stay-at-home orders rained down we were on the off-ramp of winter, last year’s dead plants still plastered to compacted earth, and we had nowhere to go but — here. And so we did. We looked outside and registered anew our reduced “home range.”

Published in Earth Matters on August 8, 2020.

Earth Matters : Welcoming fresh faces to the great outdoors

By Kari Blood For the Gazette

Do you enjoy being outdoors — hiking, fishing, watching birds or paddling a kayak? Think about how you came to experience that for the very first time as a child or a teen, or even later in life. Like most of us, you probably didn’t head out all by yourself: Someone else brought you there, showed you where to go and what to do. They shared their love of being outdoors with you. Whether this person was family, friend or teacher, they were part of your community.

Published in Earth Matters on July 24, 2020.

Earth Matters : The secret of the well-equipped naturalist

By David Spector

How might  you equip yourself for an expedition to observe nature? The answers vary with where you’re going, the targeted aspects of nature, how long you expect to be outside, your level of interest and expertise, the time of year, etc. Here are some of my answers for day trips in western Massachusetts.

Published in Earth Matters on July 11, 2020.

Blog Sunday Birding with Scott : Reflecting on Spring Birding Class 2020

By Scott Surner

Well, June is now in the rear-view mirror, spring migration is over, breeding season is in full swing and (wait for it) and fall migration starts to show itself in a small way around July 4th . This is when a few southbound shorebirds from the arctic starting showing up along coastal beaches.

Published in Blog, Sunday Birding with Scott on July 5, 2020.

Earth Matters : ‘Murder hornet’ hysteria takes toll on beneficial bees

By Joshua Rose

The headlines started in March, from media nationwide. From CNN: “Invasive ‘Murder Hornet’ spotted in United States.” From The Associated Press: “‘Murder Hornets,’ with sting that can kill, land in US.” Here’s The New York Times: “‘Murder Hornets’ in the US: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet.” Even in our own Gazette, a recent letter to the editor was headlined “Beware of the ‘murder hornet.’”

Published in Earth Matters on June 27, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : Homeschool on Zoom – A Digital Ecology Class in the Age of COVID

By Jeffrey Mazur This spring I was excited to teach Digital Ecology again. It was the class I taught to my Homeschool II group in 2016 when I first joined the Hitchcock Center. Over the winter I had revamped the curriculum to incorporate new ideas like using stationary wilderness cameras and having my students create […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on June 15, 2020.
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