Our Natural Places

Archives

Crossing Saddle Creek on the footbridge, it seemed I had been transported to another place. First, there was a hill to climb – in Florida? The tall trees, the dense understory of lush ferns, curtains of vines hanging from huge limbs made it feel as if I was in a rain forest in the Amazon. A huge dragonfly rising from the path completed the illusion. In reality, I was exploring an unfamiliar… Read More

A review of last year’s records began as a search for early fall migration arrival dates. It soon devolved into a tragic tale of ancient Babylon, unfulfilled love and blood-soaked — I’m getting ahead of myself. The data indicated a few early American Redstarts might begin arriving as early as the last week of July. Where would be the most likely place to search for them? Several choices presented themselves. Wait. What’s… Read More

Once upon a time (stop me if you’ve heard this one), our primary consideration in planning an excursion into the Great Outdoors was limited to researching what birds might be found at a particular location. Was fall or spring migration in progress? Could we hope for wintering birds? Perhaps new bird families would offer an opportunity to observe chicks pestering parents for food or practicing flight lessons. As time progressed, so did… Read More

  June in Florida. Very early in the morning, one can imagine the air still has the lingering coolness most people associate with spring. It’s a hallucination. If you take more than two steps through the greenery, your feet and calves are immediately soaked in dew. Humidity manifests itself by making you feel as though you have stepped into a sauna. As there is no breeze, walking briskly helps evaporate the drops… Read More