Backyard Unintentionals


I slowly removed the nail that holds the door to the Bluebird house tightly closed. We haven’t had a nesting pair of Bluebirds yet and I was excited at the possibility of one being in there now. I carefully opened the door and there she is, looking right back at me — a gray and […]

January 2, 2019

A Dragonfly And Other Generalities


“Look, there’s a bird.” It’s usually more like, “Look, there’s a Cedar Waxwing, Downy Woodpecker or Bluebird.” Even us “backyard birders” specifically identify the bird being observed, don’t we? It’s like a fisherman saying, “Hey, I caught a fish.” You get my point. I’ve been doing this for years with certain creatures. Wasps, flies and […]

June 23, 2018

A Snapping Turtle Rookery


Snapping Turtles aren’t known to lay their eggs alongside other turtles of their kind as Green, Loggerhead and other types of sea turtles do. But, in the past week, three different Snapping Turtles laid their eggs in our patio. As my initial Snapping Turtle blog states, we have had a nest in our yard for […]

June 5, 2018

Our Lawn — There’s Even Some Grass


Small patches of white, yellow, blue and violet flowers bloom throughout the year. Pickerel Frogs and Spring Peepers hop out of my way as small butterflies and bees float slowly front plant to plant. This is some of the wildlife I see as I’m walking across our lawn. It’s mid-April and still cold here in […]

April 24, 2018

Rookery By Crookery — Nesting Great Blue Herons


It’s the second week of March, and the Great Blue Herons are beginning to appear in the wetlands behind our house. The first arrivals have begun landing atop a few dead White Oak and Sugar Maple trees searching for just the right place to build this year’s nest. The Great Blue Herons’ squawk is a […]

March 18, 2018

Calling Owls


Suddenly, my wife points to what she describes as a shadow passing through the yard. We point our flashlight to a large White Pine at the side of my brothers’ house. As we flash the light up into the tree, a Barred Owl’s two large, round eyes are peering directly back at us. We’re calling […]

January 31, 2018

Backyard Voyagers — Use Our Senses


The more we use our senses, all of them, in our natural environments, the more we’ll discover and enjoy our experiences. The sights, sounds and smells in our yard are both reminders of plant and wildlife life cycles and indicators of seasons coming and going. The visual impact of a sunrise or sunset, whether subtle […]

January 14, 2018

Backyard Voyagers


An unfamiliar bird calls from the top of a Sugar Maple; loudly buzzing Bumble Bees swarm a patch of Ragusa Roses; a Cooper’s Hawk lands and hops under some hollys, looking up, to see if there might be a potential meal hiding within the leaves. We are Backyard Voyagers. Everyday as I look out on […]

December 28, 2017

Rise Of The Monarch Butterflies


We spot it, about an eighth of an inch long, motionless on the narrow green leaf. The white, yellow and black rings make it easy to identify, even at this size. It’s what we’ve anxiously been waiting to see since last fall. A Monarch Butterfly caterpillar is on one of our two Swamp Milkweed plants. […]

December 27, 2017

Seed The Birds


I remember the song “Feed The Birds” from the movie Mary Poppins. An old woman, covered with pigeons, is feeding bread to the birds from a park bench. Not as healthy for them as natural seeds and berries, but they eat it voraciously. I’d rather Seed The Birds. We’ve created a backyard that entices all […]

December 26, 2017