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Nature

The Beauty Of A Buffer

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and volunteer residents, with financial support from the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance, were able to get out and plant three beautiful demonstration buffer gardens a couple weeks ago. We are so thankful to have been able to partner with ...

Pair Of Fawns Taken To Rehabilitation Facility After Losing Mother

A pair of fawns have been taken to a rehabilitation facility after their mother was struck by a car and killed on Route 16 in Franklinville. On May 16, JM Powers, a state environmental conservation officer, received a phone call from the New York State Police about a doe struck by a car and ...

Start Of Spring

A week or two ago, as I was on the phone with a friend, I began narrating the battle between starling, sparrow, and woodpecker for control over the suet feeder. It lasted only a minute before a blue jay came in to claim their prize, sending the others scattering. As I finished up this ...

Audubon: Natural World Also Flattens Curve

For a while there, the natural world was about two weeks early. It was promising, and so I started some seeds a little earlier than I normally would, cued by what was really happening outdoors, since the plants don’t know about the calendar, nor do they care. Then, just as we became mired in ...

Birdathon Is A Community Event

“Sweet, sweet, sweet. I’m so sweet!” A bird called from the bushes and the group I was with claimed that it was saying those magical words. “Sweet, Sweet, Sweet. I’m so sweet!” All I hear is a series of tweets, but I nod and try to hear what the group hears and see what they are ...

New Love For Old-Fashioned Grandmother’s Gardens

Even before the coronavirus crisis sparked renewed interest in vegetable gardens and victory gardens, there’s been a movement toward more traditional gardening aesthetics. For example, there are what’s known as Grandmother’s Gardens. These old-fashioned, naturalistic flowerbeds rich ...

Wild Flowers Of The Woods

Springtime in the woodlands of Western New York is a treasured time of rebirth, revelation and resilience, even in the midst of April snowstorms and today’s COVID-19 crisis. Its unfolding brings reassurance and hope after the long gray months of winter’s chilly darkness, and spiritual, ...

Doors Are Locked And Lights Are Off

Audubon Community Nature Center feels dead inside. The doors are locked. The lights are off. Heat is only on in the office and for the live animals in order to save money. It is cool, dark, and echoes with that odd quiet of places that are abandoned. Frankly, while there are still staff ...

Living Lawns Or Pesticide Peril?

Springtime is here, and the backyard beckons. Our lawns and landscapes grow more lush, lovely and greener with each new day. But green is not necessarily “green” from an environmental standpoint, especially when it comes to lawns. While America’s turf collectively covers an area ...

Play In Nature

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a reprint from June 2018. Amid the COVID-19 virus, we all need something to lighten our hearts. Nothing does that better than play. It is also important to note children learn and practice social, emotion, cognitive and physical skills through play. So ...

What Is A Watershed?

The staff and board of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy get asked numerous questions about our region’s watersheds and water quality. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers. WHAT IS A WATERSHED A watershed is an area of land where all surface water and ...

Nature Is In Supply

Here’s the thing. There are many fewer excuses now. Maybe you’re home. Maybe you’re kids are home. Maybe you’re working from home, on limited hours, or in quarantine. Even though the toilet paper may be in short supply, nature isn’t. And it is a glorious time to be outside. Yes, ...

‘Re-Wilding’ Your Lawn Takes Work, Especially At First

“Re-wilding” is the trend toward diversifying traditional lawns by putting in native plants that flower and fruit, boosting wildlife populations. It returns more control of the home landscape to nature. But such conservation landscaping involves more than simply quitting pruning or ...

Small But Significant

Late last fall, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, along with the Chautauqua Watershed Management Alliance, concluded work on CWC’s Ball Creek Preserve for a wide-ranging water quality improvement project. This project was primarily funded through the New York State Water Quality ...

March Is A Great Time To Prune Many Shrubs, But Not All

Don’t prune your forsythia, lilac or mock orange yet. Anything you cut off now will result in that much less of a flower show this spring. Except for these and many other spring-flowering shrubs, however, March is a fine time for pruning many trees and shrubs. It’s easy to see what to ...

Spring Dances North

Winter is a monster with icy claws, wrapping itself around the roof of the earth for months at a time. Winter’s icy breath chills the bones and chases animals and retirees to the south to escape. Trees drop their leaves in fear and hunker down. Animals fall asleep or grow thick fur as armor ...

Leave A Legacy

Our planet’s journey around our star has carried us through the longest nights of the year, and spring is just around the corner. Life’s wondrous tapestry weaves its story of beauty, mystery, and miracle in the fabric of seasons, time, and space, and here we are in the midst of it all. ...

Seasons And Holiday Joys May Be Tied Together

Many of our holidays seem tightly tied to season. Whether their origins are based on the cycles of the natural world or religion or history, they at least seem to “fit in” with the time of year. I write this article on Valentine’s Day. A day that seems to be more tied to ...

While It May Seem Early, Wood Frogs Rush The Season

It may seem a bit early to be listening for frogs, but wood frogs rush the season. They emerge from beneath forest leaf litter in late winter, and as soon as the ice melts, they sing. A wood frog’s voice is hardly frog-like. One field guide describes a wood frog chorus as sounding, “like ...

Early Signs Of Spring Bring Anticipation

Early signs of spring put smiles of anticipation on the faces of nature lovers. Longer days, warmer temperatures, and lawns slowly turning from brown to green are hard to miss. But the very first harbingers of spring are more subtle. If your daily travels take you along a stream that meanders ...