With fall officially upon us, there’s no better native to highlight than one of the first trees to showcase its autumn colors – the red maple (Acer rubrum). [Read more…] about New York’s Native Red Maples
The Northeast is home to dozens of species of mammals, hundreds of varieties of birds, and tens of thousands of different insects, but few lizards. This is the story of the five-lined skink.
Though I am fond of reptiles and often seek them out, I have never seen a skink. Unless you’re lucky, determined, or a rock climber – or some combination of the three – I’m betting you haven’t either, at least not in our neck of the woods. [Read more…] about New York Lizards: The Five-Lined Skink
Sitting in a grassy field on a late summer day, I watched dozens of dragonflies roaming the sky. Their slender bodies drifted in and out of view as they rode the air currents. I thought of the cool autumn days to come and wondered where these dragonflies would go. [Read more…] about Fall Dragonfly Migration
The Open Space Institute, in coordination with research scientist and Cub Scout representative, Christopher Nadareski, released four rehabilitated peregrine falcons on OSI’s River-to-Ridge Trail.
The late summer release occurred following their rehabilitation at The Raptor Trust‘s Bird Rehabilitation and Education Center in Millington, New Jersey. Local Cub Scout and other trail users we also on hand. Peregrine falcons are known as the fastest bird for the ability to reach speeds over 200 mph while diving for prey. [Read more…] about Rehabilitated Peregrine Falcons Released Near Shawangunk Ridge
Plenty of backyard birdwatchers consider blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) the villains of the avian world. Mark Twain best summarized anti-blue jay sentiment when he compared the bird’s principles to that of an ex-congressman. In Native American lore, blue jays are portrayed as thieves and tricksters. Understandably, this songbird generates antipathy for its nest marauding, birdfeeder bullying, and generally aggressive attitude. Boisterous and colorful, blue jays are seen as unrepentant by their detractors. [Read more…] about The Benevolence of Blue Jays
Early autumn is the time fog frequently shrouds valleys in the morning, and a heavy dew regularly coats unprotected surfaces for several hours after sunrise. As the atmosphere begins to cool with the change in seasons, moist conditions often develop at night and can continue well after dawn.
This is ideal for our various terrestrial amphibians, which require damp surroundings for their survival. Among the members of these moisture sensitive vertebrates is the red-spotted newt, a unique form of salamander that goes on the move as the foliage changes color. [Read more…] about Red-Spotted Newts In Autumn
Adequate nitrogen, plenty of organic matter, a dependable rototiller and other attributes coveted by gardeners are the same things that oil-spill remediation engineers need as well. This should not come as a surprise, given that three-fourths of “soil” is “oil.”
Although bulk-storage facilities, tanker semi-trucks and train cars are occasionally the source of oil or gasoline spills, it’s surprising how often faulty home-heating oil tanks or even a leaky auto gas tank lead to significant soil and water contamination. [Read more…] about Gardening With Gas
Whirlwinds of feathered bodies, iridescent beetle-blue on top and snowy below, are touching down all along the eastern seaboard. Flocks move in a loose collection of tumbles and dives, sweeping across fields and swamps. They pepper the sky, often collecting over bodies of water to skim for insects and catch a drink. As the sun sets, the scattered birds pull together, gathering like a slow-building storm. [Read more…] about Swallows’ South Migration
According to a press release issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, on August 24th, ECO Davey received a report of an injured Great Egret on Ooms Pond in the town of Chatham. The egret reportedly had a severely broken leg tangled in discarded fishing line. [Read more…] about Great Egret Rescued In Columbia County
But not before we get to enjoy fall. Yes, a Northeastern autumn is a postcard cliché. Yes, the tour buses and land yachts full of leaf peepers clog the roads. But, really, who can blame them? No matter how many you’ve seen, fall in the Northeast is still one of nature’s most awesome spectacles. [Read more…] about The Science of Fall Foliage