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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.’”