Nature

Protecting your forest with a conservation easement can ensure it will remain a forest in perpetuity.
CWC photo

Land Conservation: Creating A Legacy Through Protection

A Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy conservationist’s job sometimes involves talking to land owners and providing information and options to help them make decisions which will protect their enjoyment and use of their land, while also protecting the Chautauqua watershed from further damage. ...

The Audubon Community Nature Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a natural history calendar that features stories of how wildlife has changed in the last 60 years as well as photos of staff, volunteers and visitors from the past.
Photo by Dave Cooney

Nature Center Celebrates 60 Years With Calendar

What marks the first day of winter? Is it the first snowfall or the winter solstice, which marks the longest night of the year in late December and is the official start of winter? For me, it’s the first snow, a date that is much less predictable. Many other things in nature are far easier ...

Red Squirrels: Six Ounces Of Nastiness

A walk through an evergreen forest on a cold late fall or winter day calms the soul. Wind whispers through the limber boughs overhead, and the fragrant aroma of conifers completes the experience. In such settings, I usually find a log, sit, and drink in the scene. Often, however, a loud ...

How the lights get in.

A Late Fall Hike

I’ve been in the office quite a bit lately so when I had a long break in my schedule on a sunny November day, I took the opportunity to take a hike. Since I was close I headed to the Westside Overland Trail that runs 24 miles from the town of Harmony to Mayville in New York. The sunlight ...

shalaway-scott

It’s Time For Project FeederWatch

Cornell University’s Project FeederWatch, sponsored by the Lab of Ornithology, is one of the continent’s most popular citizen science projects. New volunteers are always welcome. FeederWatch project director Dr. Emma Grieg, reminded me recently via phone that anyone can participate. ...

A young boy takes another cookie.
Submitted photos

Audubon Nature Center To Host Dinner Nov. 19

A pot of mystery soup bubbles in a pot hung over an open fire in the backyard. As guests arrive, they add their contribution into the mix. A quick stir after each addition creates a new brew. This appetizer never fails to generate conversation. Sometimes the resulting mixture is delicious; ...

shalaway-scott

The Song Of Great Horned Owls

On Thursday morning, Nov. 10, I woke at 5:30. I closed my eyes and tried to get back to sleep. A few minutes later I heard a low muffled sound. In a fog of semi-consciousness I assumed the dog was snoring. But after a few minutes, I realized the sound was coming from outside the bedroom ...

The Awesome Opossum

The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is one of the most commonly encountered mammals in Chautauqua County. Due to their often aggressive demeanors, hissing and salivating, they are viewed by many as a dangerous threat. Their propensity to "play opossum," or act like they are dead, works ...

The November Skies

The planet Mercury spends most of November behind the sun in relation to Earth, lost in the solar glare. In December, the little planet will make a nice appearance in evening twilight during the middle two weeks of the monthBrilliant Venus dazzles as the Evening "Star" low in the southwestern ...

The Sense You Get When Winter Begins To Creep In

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in a December 2005 edition of The Post-Journal.There is something familiar about the first sprinkling of snow covering the landscape. The air is thick in the morning with ice crystals, as if glitter was strewn about from the clouds. The birds huddle in ...

The Nature Of Halloween

Halloween, as I recall, was a day for friends to scare each other with nature's creepy crawlies - spiders, snakes and bats. And often those fears lasted a lifetime. We all know people who recoil at the sight of these critters.Spiders are probably the most notorious of the three because we find ...

The Stuff Of Soil

Have you ever thought about soil? How it is formed, what it's composed of, where it comes from, and what lives within it? Soil is so much more than dirt and mud. In reality it is a precious medley of minerals, microbes, and organic matter, and forms ever so slowly, at a rate of only an inch ...

Bald Eagle Liberty Remains In Good Health At Audubon Nature Center

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when out in public representing Audubon is "How's the Bald Eagle, Liberty?" Since being housed at Audubon in 2002 after an injury, Liberty provides visitors with a close-up view of a bird of prey.People love Liberty. Words I've heard used to ...

Winter Visitors Are On The Way

By the time you read this, there should be a chill in the air. It will finally feel like fall. And as days shorten and cooler temperatures prevail, it's time to watch for some migrating birds to return for the winter.The earliest and most reliable of these winter visitors are dark-eyed juncos, ...

Why Do Trees Lose Their Leaves?

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The temperatures are perfect for a long hike. The smell of the air brings back college memories of tying up cleats and playing soccer under the lights. Autumn is fleeting, but holds the variation of all the other seasons of the year in a few short months. ...

… To The Air Of Oct. 11 In The Mid-Afternoon

You are here. Finally. I forget that I miss you, that you fill me with gratitude. Carrying the scent of fading leaves, low sunshine, and the inaugural biting night of autumn, you wrap the season I've been waiting for into one inhalation. You arrive once, after the first ice crystals have ...

It’s Time To Fill The Feeders

Chilly temperatures and shorter days mean it's time to fill the bird feeders, so let me review the best foods to offer backyard birdsSunflower Seeds (best feeder - tubes). Black-oil sunflowers seeds are the single best and most economical food for wild birds. These small, thin-shelled seeds ...

Audubon Nature Center To Lead Field Trip To Kinzua Bridge State Park Oct. 12

There is a smell in the air that is special to fall. It is an obscure mix of rotting leaves, mushrooms and cold. The smell works its way into my nose as soon as I walk outside. I associate the smell with chestnuts, apples, cider and homemade donuts frying in oil. It is a time for raking and ...

Why I Feed Birds

I began feeding wild birds during the winter of 1978-79 while living in Lansing, Michigan. I was a graduate student and money was tight, but I felt I should feed birds to help them through the winter. That winter turned out to be a record setter; Michigan State University actually shut down for ...

Where Did Summer Go?

Wait, what happened? How can my friend post on Facebook that the early morning temperature was 32 degrees in my old hometown? Fall isn't here already is it? As Hall and Oates sang, "Say it. Say it isn't so.."Oh, but it is. There is no denying it. Autumn is here. On the lake at night, Canada ...