Our Natural Places

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Header Image: Great Egret Our current summer has caused childhood memories to flood my conscience lately. It is hot. I walk barefooted to the mailbox and as I cross the concrete driveway, my pace quickens as it seems I’m walking in a frying pan. As a kid, my feet were tough enough to walk on sandspurs without ill effect. A dish of ice cream last night (yes, I know, apparently verboten at… Read More

Header Image: Picnic Lake At Sunrise A liter of water and about 60 grams of coffee beans, for me, is a pleasant way to begin a morning. One of my favorite Central American coffees is lightly roasted at a small local roastery. The flavor is wonderful, but I wished it could be “more“. I tried increasing the amount of beans to the grind but, although stronger, it didn’t increase the flavor. When… Read More

Header Image: Lake Shore When is the best time to go birding? Early in the morning. Or – When the birds are feeding. Or – During migration. Or – Late in the day as they feed before roosting. All of the above. None of the above. Any of the above. My Dad was an avid fisherman. Tides, phase of the moon, time of day – all can influence when fish are more… Read More

Header Image: Sandhill Cranes Hoo-H-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo. Hoo-H-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo. Softer than one would expect for a relatively large bird. Distant. Distinct. “Great Horned Owl!”, Gini exclaimed in the darkness. It was now about an hour-and-a-half before sunrise and this was our fourth stop in an attempt to hear nocturnal birds. A bit later, a Barred Owl couple called to each other. The highlight of our pre-dawn foray occurred at a boat ramp. “Whip-whip-whip.” Whoosh! An… Read More

Header Image: Purple Gallinule ‘Tis the season. Each year around Christmas, birders across the land scatter to assigned sectors before dawn to listen for nocturnal birds and, once the sky has lightened, continue throughout the day counting species and individual birds until “warbler neck” has disabled them completely and they return to their own nests exhausted, hungry, dirty and mumbling about how horrible this year was compared to past years when flocks… Read More