Way back in the summer of 2018, in the "before time", we could travel, and hang out in large groups. Remember those days? Ah, innocence. Little did we know... https://youtu.be/mlgaZRprj3A Day 3 on the Big Island started with that most fleeting of opportunities - sleeping in. We had an evening appointment requiring several hours in…Read more Hawai’i 2018: Day 3 – Swimming with Mantas!
Arctic Terns (Sterna paradisaea) have one of the longest migrations in the world, annually flying from the Arctic to the Antarctic, a distance of over 12,000 miles (19,000 km), AND BACK. As we were told in Iceland, this exertion leaves them perpetually ticked off. At one point during our Iceland summer (2019), we pulled off…Read more Arctic Tern
Out backpacking in mid-October, we saw two Timber Rattlesnakes cuddled up together for warmth, and then this friendlier Garter Snake on what was probably one of the year's last hunts. After this weekend, it started getting cold, quick. I'm sure he's underground somewhere now. Get Out There! http://www.flying-squirrel.org
Times are strange. Even though a lot of what I like to do is, by its nature, remote - backpacking, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, etc - all these activities became extremely popular as soon as we started getting guidance not to congregate. The bars closed down and the trailheads clogged up. Add to that the challenges of…Read more COVID Camp
I'm about a week late in writing about Earth Day, but this subject seems to fit, so consider it my offering. Recently, someone challenged me to consider the COVID-19 outbreak from a non-human-centric point of view. The basic nature of the argument was this - if nothing else, the human tragedy associated with a global…Read more Earth Takes a Break
Signs of spring are everywhere right now. Fruit trees are starting to bloom, and the larger hardwoods are budding. Robins are everywhere (though in truth I've seen them all winter - they never really left), and the high school sailing team is back on the water. We've had no snow this winter, and very few…Read more Red-Belly Nest
I have what is, mostly, a desk job. And so, recently, I got a FitBit. It's a little cliche, maybe, but this little robotic overlord on my wrist has served a purpose in that part of my life where I represent the target audience of sedentary office worker - and so it dutifully reminds me…Read more Canine Wake-up Call
It topped 70 degF at home this weekend (in the mid-Atlantic). Second week of January, and I'm in a T-shirt. It's not that this doesn't ever happen. Brief warm spells are a thing here - but we still haven't really gotten cold. The leaves are off the trees and it feels like April, with thunderstorms…Read more It’s Too Warm!
Last summer I introduced the idea of Night Music, that special cacophony of animals, insects, wind and whatever else that is unique to the night, and makes many an outdoor evening or camping trip that much more memorable. I was intrigued to find that many people hear almost nothing in their respective wild lands. Silence. …Read more Night Music, Revisited
Spring is here! Around here, the trees are budding, the weather is alternately windy, stormy, and cold - and the birds are returning. Flocks of robins cover the neighbors' lawns, and the ospreys have returned to claim and improve last year's nesting sites. Bird migrations have long been a mystery to us simple humans. We've…Read more Cryptochromes and Bird Migration
I'm a little late posting this, but hey, busy weekend. So... There are many, many groundhogs out there. Several are consulted each February 2 on the prospects of an early spring. (Punxsutawny Phil is merely the most famous of these prognosticating rodents.) I wondered - how good are they? I mean, just so we're on…Read more On Groundhog Meteorological Prognostication
Snack break - we're in round two of a two-step snowfall here in the Mid-Atlantic. First was 5 inches of snow worn down by some sleet and freezing rain, and now it's a serious snowfall bringing maybe as much as another 5 inches. We had several birds stock up during the lull. These dark-eyed juncos…Read more Junco Snack Break