Our Natural Places

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(Header Image: Sandhill Cranes) One of the interesting things about the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is that observers are assigned to a specific geographic area within which to conduct a census. In our area, we have urban, suburban and rural spots which include lakes, parks, wetlands, forests and pasture land to explore. This diversity of habitat provides great potential for seeing a good mix of species as well as large numbers… Read More

 “Come to the woods, for here is rest.” – John Muir Upstate New York is unbelievably beautiful. In autumn, that beauty is enhanced by trees adorned with leaves of hues we never even knew existed. Walking along a path in November, crisp cold air turning your nose red, dry leaves crunching under foot, a Ring-necked Pheasant in a field springing up suddenly and snow beginning to fall gently to create a soft blanket… 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

Summer is enveloping us. Walking out the front door is like entering a huge sauna. The humidity turns clothing into a heap of sopping wet rags. Camera and binocular lenses fog over and wiping incessantly doesn’t help. Five steps from the car and perspiration runs down your face and stings your eyes. I. Love. It. Tenoroc Fish Management Area has become our favorite local patch. With over 7,000 acres of land and… Read More

“Sausage, grits and cantaloupe okay with you?” Once upon a time, there was a beautiful brown-eyed young woman who blinked those sublime eyes in disbelief when I revealed I did not care for grits. After all, my mother was raised in Mississippi, the virtual center of the “grits belt” of the southern United States. My father was from the panhandle of Florida, which is actually part of Alabama and Georgia, where a… Read More