Have you spotted some of spring’s first wildflowers in the forest? This is the time when the famously fleeting flowers called spring ephemerals bloom – but only for a brief period of time. [Read more…] about Ephemeral Wildflowers: Brief Beauties of the Forest Floor
Native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas. [Read more…] about Be Alert for Turtles Crossing the Road
Two diseases are commonly spread at bird feeders are Salmonellosis, which affects common redpolls, pine siskins, and other songbirds; and, Finch conjunctivitis which primarily infects house finches and American goldfinches. [Read more…] about Spring Chores: Sanitize Your Bird Feeder
The awakening of the many forms of life that passed the winter in a deeply dormant state begins with the melting of the snow, the retreating of the ice sheet covering our waterways, and the thawing of the soil.
Because of fundamental physiological differences among the species and the various preferences that each creature has for a wintering site, some animals are quicker to respond to the onset of favorable spring conditions than others.
In the forested regions of New York, the wood frog is among the first to return to an active state and announce with a distinct chorus of voices that spring has come. [Read more…] about Sounds of Spring: The Wood Frog
It is always difficult to predict when the ice will go out on a given body of water in the Adirondacks, however, it is easy to say when that waterway will be occupied by a loon, as this symbol of the northern wilderness always seems to arrive within hours of the ice disappearing.
The urge to return to its breeding territory is especially strong in male loons. Because of a recent population increase in this species, there can be intense competition for the remote sections of the large lakes and back country ponds that are highly attractive to this bird with the haunting voice. [Read more…] about When Ice Goes Out The Loons Arrive
Seriously, though, a few well-placed trees in one’s yard typically add at least 5% to a property’s value. Having large older specimens (of trees, I mean) around the house can push that figure close to 20%. In terms of energy savings, deciduous trees on the southern and western sides of a house tend to slash cooling costs by roughly one-quarter. [Read more…] about Plan for a Better Spring: Some Tree Ideas
When I was growing up, my family rented a vacation home on a mountain in southern Vermont. One night we were awakened by our dogs barking. Soon we heard a persistent gnawing on the outside of the house. My Dad went to investigate. His flashlight beam revealed a large porcupine with black, beady eyes. My father scared it away, but it returned other nights. [Read more…] about A Porcupine’s Salt Cravings
The woodcock is a plump, mottled tannish-brown bird that is seldom seen during the day because of its extremely effective protective coloration, and its preference for remaining inactive when the sun is above the horizon.
It is during the fading twilight of evening, and as the sky begins to brighten before dawn that this odd-looking bird ventures from a sheltered spot on the forest floor and begins to forage. [Read more…] about The Woodcock’s Spring Serenade
It’s spring cleaning time. Do it in a green way. There are natural household items that make terrific cleaners – beneficial to saving time, money, and the environment. [Read more…] about Tips For Green Spring Cleaning
“Happy is the farmer who has got everything ready for the active labors of the coming season. But no matter how thoroughly he is prepared there will always be plenty to do,” the agriculture columnist wrote in the April 25th, 1874 Ticonderoga Sentinel.
The task list was long and varied in the month of getting ready to make hay while the sun shines. [Read more…] about Small Farms in April in the Nineteenth Century