Our Natural Places

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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

(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

(Header Image: Swamp Sparrow) Is our “patch” TOO convenient? I mean, within ten minutes we can be in the middle of some pretty decent birding territory. So it is no wonder we tend to visit it more often than other, more distant locations. As Gini said on this morning, we always see SOMETHING special out here! Today was no different. Central Florida has only four species of sparrow which breed within the… Read More

Within the gradually dimming recesses of my memory I recall a spring camping trip in Lincoln National Forest, near Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Through an accidental stroke of genius, I had pitched our tent in such a manner that, from the interior, the tent’s entrance framed a field of wildflowers, beyond which lay an impressive stand of aspen trees. Our first night was, shall we say, “memorable”. (Please do not bring up thunderstorms… Read More