Longtime Canton, NY resident and regular contributor to New York Almanack Paul Hetzler has published his third volume of humorous nature essays, Birds of Happiness Aren’t Blue and 85 Other Very Funny and Somewhat Educational Nature Essays (2023). [Read more…] about Paul Hetzler Publishes Third Book of Nature Essays
In Northern New York, acorns ripen in late summer and normally drop from oak trees from September through October. They may fall earlier, however, for a host of reasons, from eager squirrels getting a head start on gathering nuts for the winter to environmental stress, including excessively hot or rainy weather.
Prematurely dropped acorns are green, whereas ripe acorns are brown. Other reasons acorns may drop early include poor pollination and tree infestation by insects or diseases. The most peculiar cause of premature acorn drop that I have encountered is the acorn pip gall wasp. [Read more…] about The Peculiar Acorn Pip Gall Wasp
As a nationally accredited land trust, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the terms of its conservation easements, set forth to permanently protect each property’s unique conservation values, are being upheld. [Read more…] about Conservancy Responds to Timber Theft on Protected Property
If you’ve wondered what awful new malady has struck our oak trees this spring, resulting in shriveled, deformed and dead leaves, the answer is chilling. Literally; as in cold. A hard freeze on the night of May 17-18 happened at just the right – or wrong – time, catching oak foliage at a critically tender stage. Since trees can’t change their locations (to my knowledge, at least), I guess you could say that oaks were in the right place at the wrong time. [Read more…] about Oaks Will Be Oakay
While my musings about nature generally focus on southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States, there are times when a subject is far too juicy to ignore even if it’s out of this world, like Japanese satellites made from trees. Back home on our little planet, we have a blind, rainbow-hued marine worm which slices fish in half for the joy of it.
This “Bobbitt” worm grows to ten feet long and can paralyze a human with its venom. Also cool but way less terrifying, a rainforest tree on the island of New Caledonia oozes more nickel than the richest mines are able to yield. [Read more…] about Acorn Woodpeckers: Adorable Acorn Adorners
These examples, along with countless other documents ranging from the historically important to the more mundane, were all recorded using iron gall ink, which is made – in part – from the protrusions created after oak gall wasps lay their eggs within oak trees. [Read more…] about Making Ink From Oak Galls: Some History & Science