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Nature

The World Around Us

On a rare, sunny day in late November, Karen Hansen from Samsara Yoga Center in Jamestown led a reflective walk for the Audubon Remembers event. It was one of those days that is truly a gift in late fall. The clouds and rain predicted never materialized. Bright blue sky was visible above, ...

Winter Landscapes That Prove Berry Good For Birds

Winter arrived early this year, rushing nature to snuggle in for the cold months ahead. As we enjoy the last few leaves of fall and remaining sprigs of goldenrod and aster, we also hurry to clean up and put our gardens to bed for the winter. Although we will lose our orioles and ...

Books To Find For Nature Lovers

Great books make great gifts. Here are some titles worthy of consideration for nature loving family and friends on your holiday gift list. Birds in Winter: Surviving the Most Challenging Season by Roger Pasquier (2019, Princeton University Press, $29.95) has been incubating in the author’s ...

Graceful Branches

Without the leaves on many of the trees and shrubs, sightlines are longer, that which is hidden forms shadowy outlines and lurking forms. Sometimes it is a downed tree, with roots now reaching toward the sky. Other times it’s a gnarled apple tree, the last of its grove, encased by ...

Encountering An Owl Can Be Wonderful

The sound startled my daughter and I as we walked through the mid-afternoon forest. A loud echoing hoot shot across the valley. The sound was coming from a dense patch of hemlock trees up the hill. It was close, very close. Scary close to someone who didn’t know what they were hearing, like ...

A Turkey’s Disappearing Act Is Impressive

Thanksgiving has just passed, so let’s talk turkey. Anyone who has ever tried to get a good look at a wild turkey knows they have incredible eyesight. One moment you’re looking at a big bird; then you blink your eyes, and it’s gone. You swear you didn’t move a muscle, but obviously you ...

Take A Hike

Winter isn’t the time of year most people associate with hiking, but if you’re properly prepared and equipped with some basic knowledge, it’s a fine time to take a walk in the woods. What you wear on a winter hike can really make the difference between a miserable or even dangerous ...

Being Curious is A Good Reason To Stay Outdoors

I can clearly remember the first time I found myself in a grove of giant sequoias. On the first night of a camping trip, a group of us went out on a night hike under an almost full moon. We had the trail to ourselves and the entire experience was overwhelming in the best possible way. I also ...

Shoot Game With Cameras, Not Guns

According to data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, hunting is fading as a recreational activity. In 1980, Americans bought 16.3 million hunting licenses. By 2018, that number had dropped to 15.6 million. During that same time period, the total U.S. population grew from 227 million to ...

Mud Can Be Another Form Of Pollution

When I first heard Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy Executive Director John Jablonski say that “mud is pollution,” I was completely confused. The word pollution brings to mind Love Canal, acid mine runoff, Erin Brockovich and the Cuyahoga River burning in the 1960s. But not mud. ...

The List Is Endless

Most, if not all of us, have experienced some sort of internal hardship at some point in our lives. It could be depression, anxiety, nervousness, grief, or overworking. The list is endless. These feelings are not easy to talk about and many issues get put on the back burner. Having such an ...

Enjoy November’s Secrets

November. Each day the sun rises a few minutes later and sets a few minutes earlier. Days grow chilly. Nightly frosts become the rule. It’s just a matter of time until the first snow falls. Yes, it’s November. By month’s end, the whole world seems on the brink of death. The few ...

Misunderstood

Algae are not plants but, rather, simple photosynthetic protists which are typically aquatic. “Blue-green algae” are not true algae at all but photosynthetic bacteria called cyanobacteria. They form a large diverse group that ranges from seaweeds like kelp to pond scum to freshwater lake ...

Late Fall Is The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I admit it. I don’t really enjoy this time of year. In a walk outside, it is a challenge to find joy, beauty, and warmth in late fall, especially compared other seasons. The blooms and songs of summer are over. The bright pinks, yellows, reds have fallen away. The last hurrah of fall ...

Time For Project FeederWatch

Back in 1976 a Canadian ornithologist named Erica Dunn established the Ontario Bird Feeder Survey through Canada’s Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO). After a successful 10-year run with more than 500 participants, it became apparent that only a continental survey could accurately monitor ...

The Importance Of Play

The old ship’s bell rang out across the landscape. “Clang! Clang! Clang” The sound echoed around the neighborhood that I grew up in and it was the signal to come home. Most people where I grew up had a signal to call the kids home. My family had a ship’s bell. Another neighbor had a ...

Fall Leaves —Managing A Beautiful Resource

Each fall, property owners repeat the cycle of managing the leaves that drop from the trees into their yards. What you do with these leaves can either benefit or harm your yard’s environment — as well as that of the lake or other waterway downhill from your property. Why? Because ...

The Nature Of Halloween And Its Critters

In 1974 Jim Stafford co-wrote and recorded a popular song called, “Spiders and Snakes.” At least part of its appeal was Mary Lou’s line, “I don’t like spiders and snakes…” because so many people shared her feelings. Sadly, 45 years later, such attitudes remain. My younger ...

Close Encounters

The bird’s black eyes stared unblinking into mine, as if the animal was searching for something deep inside of me that only a bird of prey could see. It was absolutely captivating. Time stood still as the vulture and I established some level of communication that was beyond anything I had ...

Woolly Bear Predictions

Woolly Bears. These fuzzy orange and black caterpillars seem to be everywhere: crossing roads, hiking down trails, wandering along the sidewalk. The rumors about how they predict the winter seem to be as prolific as the caterpillars themselves. One person told me that abundant ...