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Not quite breaking rocks

April 22, 2018 - One of the most reliable signs that we've finally turned a corner towards real spring... not just calendar spring... is...
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A touch of yellow

April 15, 2018 - Forsythia are non-native shrubs related to olives and are mostly residents of Asia. The plant genus is named to honor Wi...
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Getting still warmer

February 24, 2017 - Remember that this is February, not, as would be nice but hardly remarkable, April. Remember that when you open the door...
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Prim and improperly early

February 23, 2017 - Warmer still today, and with the snow just about gone, it's now possible to scan the newly uncovered ground for more sig...
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Getting warmer

February 21, 2017 - Yesterday, there was quiet to greet the sun; this morning, it's chickadees giving their "pee... dee..." calls, titmice s...
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Furnace at work

February 18, 2017 - More than half-a-century ago, when I first started to study the natural world, things were neatly divided into cold-bloo...
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Golden birch

February 13, 2017 - One of these days, I keep telling myself, I am going to learn my trees, and though those days seem to come and go withou...
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First frost

October 11, 2016 - Despite the orange warnings at the Weather Channel and the "Frost Advisory" headline on the National Weather Service ale...
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Beech connection

October 08, 2016 - Where is a good field botanist when I need one? On yet another walk to the back woods to release yet another mouse trapp...
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Premier garden

June 17, 2016 - For the past few years, we've celebrated the arrival of the solstice with a road trip to Litchfield, Connecticut, the ho...
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Flowers and fish

April 24, 2016 - This has been a funny spring. After essentially a non-winter, the first warm weather arrived unnaturally early but, no s...
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Spring restart

March 22, 2016 - For the Skunk Cabbages, the flowering season is pretty much over. The striped spathes—the hoods that kept the "hot-blood...
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Maple blossom time

March 19, 2016 - Most of today was given over to writing projects and planning for renovations on the home front, but on a gray and chill...
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A fernish hint of fall

September 16, 2015 - It's still officially summer, and it still officially feels like it—during the day, at least, with temperatures in the 8...
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Wild grapes

August 25, 2015 - One of the bigger drags of my life right now is the fact that, with my wrists in such bad shape—I can barely hold my dSL...
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Still life with Jewelweed

August 20, 2015 - It was a hot, hot afternoon, but my desire to continue testing my new lens overcame my medication-induced fatigue and th...
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The real hayfever enemy

August 12, 2015 - In August, or, as it is known to the long-suffering, hay fever season, a bout of sneezing, sniffling, and other respirat...
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Rainy day cardinal

August 11, 2015 - The rain—bless you, precipitation deities—came down in buckets today, and I was mostly confined to quarters on indoor pr...
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ASAP

August 06, 2015 - There's something amazing in the early August air: the powerful perfume of Clethra alnifolia. I'm not sure there's any s...
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Pretty parasite

July 17, 2015 - I was on a mission this morning, a refreshingly chilly start to the day. My task was to document a refuge that two dear...
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Two graces

June 19, 2015 - With the wheelchair, the crutch, and anything else we could think of to enable my wife to be more or less mobile, we hea...
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Beautiful plague

June 08, 2015 - You know that it's almost summer—proper, astronomical summer—when the hedgerows and the edges of the fields go white and...
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Sweet William after rain

June 02, 2015 - The rain eased up late in the afternoon, too late for a long walk, but with a little bit of sun shining through the clou...
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Yellow flags unfurled

May 29, 2015 - One of the surest signs that May is drawing to a close is the appearance, in a bewildering array of colors, shapes, and...
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Pretty in Pinxter

May 26, 2015 - In the litany of gorgeous spring flowers, Rhododendron periclymenoides is certainly at the top of any 10 Best list. This...
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Low-rent gems

May 21, 2015 - I fell in love with Tree Peonies—a misnomer, since they don't get more than six feet high—at first sight. I can't exactl...
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Along came a spider... wort

May 19, 2015 - I awoke to one of the sweetest sounds in the world: the splash of rain. We've been in a steadily deepening drought, so I...
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Larch renewal

May 15, 2015 - The American Larch, Larix laricina, is one enigmatic evergreen. In fact, it really isn't right to call it by the same ov...
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Gone to seed

May 14, 2015 - I have to give grudging admiration to the Dandelion, that much-maligned, often poisoned, and mostly unloved weed that mo...
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Knowing jack

May 09, 2015 - One of my all-time favorite flowers started appearing in the wetlands over the past few days when an arrowhead of Arisae...
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The rising of the green

May 02, 2015 - Canada Mayflowers aren't the first green to rise out of the ground—that honor would have to belong to the Skunk Cabbage—...
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Bee-ing a mimic

April 30, 2015 - I love bee flies, and every time they start arriving—typically late April or early May—I grab my camera to try to captur...
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Shad awakening

April 29, 2015 - With my granddaughter in residence, we've been hitting the local hiking trails daily, and on our agenda today was a trek...
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Spring unrolling

April 24, 2015 - Fiddleheads, so named because they look like the tuning pegs of violins and other stringed instruments in that family, a...
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A red maple gift

April 21, 2015 - I've had my eye on the Red Maples, a.k.a., the Swamp Maples, for a couple of weeks now, and finally, my persistent in ob...
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No foolin'

April 01, 2015 - The destruction down the road will result in lots of collateral damage, but one thing I'm trying to minimize is the impa...
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Save Robin!

March 31, 2015 - I don't know who "Robin" is—a love commemorated in 1965 is well before my tenure in this neighborhood—but even if the ac...
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No holding back

March 30, 2015 - Most of the Saturday Night Snowstorm Surprise has melted, and in the white's wake, you can now see the ground. True, it'...
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Debu-aconite

March 24, 2015 - The tree murderers arrived this afternoon to begin the destruction of the doomed woodlot across the street, but they did...
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Happy spring

March 20, 2015 - In a break from a long-running tradition, the Westerly Morris Men, a local dance troupe, couldn't make the trek up Lante...
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Great floral expectations

March 17, 2015 - With every little bit of new warmth—and there have been a few episodes—you can start to see that, yes indeed, there is s...
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Tracks in sharp focus

March 17, 2015 - The identity of the track maker is easy to determine: cloven hooves in the middle of the woods, and no telltale odor of...
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A touch of fog

March 11, 2015 - It never went below freezing last night—something of a first for the winter—and in response to the relative warmth, the...
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Unfurling

March 10, 2015 - The snow is still deep. I continue to need to use snowshoes to get to the compost pile. I've yet to swear off long under...
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Here's to you, Potter!

March 08, 2015 - With the sun starting to disappear behind the forecasted rain clouds, I took off my snowshoes and walked back to my car.
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Ice garden

February 28, 2015 - I managed to get out alone today for a brief jaunt, and I came home with a harvest of interesting images: a Winter Wren...
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A genuine survivor

February 21, 2015 - I love this tree, an ancient birch sculpted by decades of exposure to wind, rain, snow, cold, warmth, birds, and bugs. I...
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Surprise, it's spring

February 18, 2015 - It wasn't too beastly cold today, but it was a shopping and errand day, so I didn't have much time to do anything more t...
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Keeping afloat

February 13, 2015 - It was clear and cold to start the day, with a low of 1 above at daybreak and then a slow climb out of single digits. I...
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Shadow play

February 04, 2015 - The storm is past, and it's cold, still, and dazzling. There's at least a foot of snow on the ground, so getting anywher...
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Holly on ice

February 03, 2015 - The Groundhog's Day storm actually had a name, Linus, and it also had a bad, bad attitude, since, instead of blessing us...
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Encouragement

February 01, 2015 - There's at least a foot of snow on the ground, and there's more—maybe plenty more—if the offing tomorrow, so, even thoug...
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Vanishing Lycopodium

January 26, 2015 - The much-ballyhooed nor'easter, code-named Juno, started hissing snow around nine this morning, but for the first six ho...
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Tattered flags

January 23, 2015 - Things are supposed to go rapidly downhill later today, as a winter storm dubbed Iola is, according to the Weather Chann...
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Hidden excavation

January 22, 2015 - I've been hiking the first of the doomed fields and forest—the real estate to my west—continuously this winter, if for n...
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Let's twist again

January 20, 2015 - It's too early to be thinking about summer, but when I spotted this tightly-coiled grapevine leaning against a shrub, I...
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A lot of gall

January 18, 2015 - If you spend any time hiking through overgrown, weedy fields after the frosts have laid claim to most of the leaves, you...
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Recession in progress

January 13, 2015 - There may, or may not be, a genuine thaw in the offing, but after the warmer weather and rain of recent days, the modest...
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The tough stick around

January 06, 2015 - With the recent, but rapidly disappearing, spell of warmth we've had, at least a few of the earliest bloomers have stirr...
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2015's first flowers

January 02, 2015 - More than a month ago—28 November 2014, to be exact—I wrote the following about these shooting-star blooms after they'd...
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And so it begins

January 01, 2015 - My plan, hatched when I actually managed to stay up long enough to watch the ball drop in Times Square and sing a chorus...
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Into the mist

December 03, 2014 - Bad timing is rarely a good thing, but today it all worked out. I had headed to the dump around 11, with the intention o...
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The perfect tree

November 30, 2014 - A garden center we know and love sent us a notice about a great sale they were having on Fraser Firs, whose splendidly a...
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Snow on cyclamens

November 28, 2014 - It got grayer and colder yesterday as we headed towards dusk, and it started raining again. As we were finishing dessert...
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Instead of food photos

November 27, 2014 - If I were in keeping with the times, I would have taken lots of pictures of our Thanksgiving feast—the one that this yea...
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Forest by Monet

November 26, 2014 - I am not now, nor have I ever been, an experimental photographer. I don't even like to do simple things like changing ey...
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Lilies to be

November 22, 2014 - Last summer, the countryside was full of exquisite wild lilies of the Day, Canada, Turk's Cap, Wood, and Tiger persuasio...
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High times for Ginkgo leaves

November 15, 2014 - The Ginkgo, an Asian tree now found worldwide, including our area, is one of the most easily recognizable of the planet'...
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First snow of the season

November 14, 2014 - Overnight, the temperature plummeted from relatively warm to the upper 20s, and as the cold front, the calling card of t...
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Tis the season... sigh

November 13, 2014 - When I spotted this Christmas bulb dangling from a thin maple limb, my first thought was horror, as in, "Isn't it too ea...
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Almost endgame

November 12, 2014 - Sometimes, to gain perspective, you really need to use that proverbial wide-angle lens instead of the usual viewing tool...
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Autumn gold

November 10, 2014 - Larch trees are among our most beautiful and beautifully strange evergreens. Actually, that last name— evergreen, which...
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Dry weather pine

November 09, 2014 - There are easier places to live than in the upper reaches of a local rock pile known as Lantern Hill. I try to climb thi...
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Genuine rain

November 06, 2014 - It really rained today—not a sprinkle but an actual, steady, all-day precipitation. To be sure, it wasn't a downpour; in...
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Blowin' in the wind

November 05, 2014 - For my left-of-center comrades, the election went badly... very badly. It was sad enough when Texas Republican and clima...
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Hope and change?

November 04, 2014 - Today is election day, and while the campaign leading up to it has been the most vile I've experienced in the four-plus-...
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The seedy part of town

November 03, 2014 - Today was column day, and, with the weather quite cool and windy, it not going to be much of a trekking day. Still, afte...
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Abscission benefits

November 02, 2014 - Yesterday, the theme was misty-day leaves; today, with the storm past, but the wind still blowing and the temperature dr...
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Nor'easter sans downpour

November 01, 2014 - I don't know why I had high hopes for this storm. Maybe, at heart, I'm a precipitation optimist; maybe I'm just delusion...
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At long last persimmons

October 29, 2014 - At least a dozen years ago, we put in a number of fruit trees in the hope of establishing a mini-orchard. It was a noble...
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Sleeping marsh

October 28, 2014 - On a delightfully warm, Indian Summer afternoon, my path brought me to the boardwalk at the Henne preserve, and there, I...
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A ridge picnic

October 25, 2014 - I don't normally include more than one picture in each post, but I had to make an exception here, a story about a walk I...
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A berry for cold times

October 24, 2014 - My walking expeditions often take me by the edges of fresh-water wetlands—OK, they sometimes take me past said edges and...
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The witch flowers start appearing

October 23, 2014 - We're about halfway through foliage season, but some tree groups, the maples, birches, and hickories in particular, are...
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The last of the garden flowers

October 22, 2014 - Over the years, I tried growing plants touted as Hardy Cyclamens a number of times, and every time, they failed to meet...
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First frost

October 20, 2014 - Not long after the sun went down yesterday, I decided to check the Weather Channel to get a handle on just how cold it w...
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The last hawk... weeds

October 19, 2014 - After a morning—and a chilly one at that—outside with my granddaughter, we came in from raking leaves and I headed off t...
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Early witches

October 17, 2014 - One of the prettiest trees on display during the autumn color extravaganza is the Witch-hazel, a ubiquitous hardwood tha...
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Stem fall

October 16, 2014 - Among our hardwood trees, the hickories are first group to drop their leaves. They turn a soft yellow—nothing dramatic,...
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All gussied up

October 09, 2014 - After way too long an absence—almost two months—I hauled myself back to my natural history "home-away-from-home": the Th...
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The hunt for Spies

October 05, 2014 - With the sun out, the day warm, and our daughter-in-law and granddaughter in tow, my wife and I drove north to Rhode Isl...
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Overlooked beast

October 04, 2014 - How have I missed this creature, clearly a watchful but benign troll, all these months? The guardian has been in plain s...
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Leaves, current and future

October 02, 2014 - Fall color is arriving early this October, and many of the first-turning trees are already dropping their leaves. The ca...
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Love letters on a beech

October 01, 2014 - The weather has turned blissfully murky, and while there have been a few showers, we've yet to have the heavy, steady do...
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The color show begins

September 29, 2014 - The title of this post is actually not quite accurate because, if you include the straw color of the Hay-scented Ferns,...
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Roadside seediness

September 26, 2014 - The rain gods doled out a little gift last night, and when today dawned with a sharper, less summery chill, there was ab...
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Exciting discovery

September 23, 2014 - I could fill post after post with images and impressions of the time I spent in the field with the Andrews Foray partici...
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After the harvest

September 14, 2014 - A day or two ago, the view from this house's back and side windows was solid green: nothing but corn. But the silage cut...
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Somber season

September 12, 2014 - I spotted these Birch leaves not too far from home, and I've seen similar collections of deciduous-trees-turning-color-u...
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The colorful dagger

September 10, 2014 - In Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America —the best book imaginable on the subject—University of Connecticut author...
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Ready to fly

September 09, 2014 - I've been seeing a lot of dandelion-like seed heads in recent days, and many of the plants that use an airborne strategy...
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Just follow your nose

September 07, 2014 - I apparently have a very sensitive nose, and while I don't think I could parlay the ability to discern minute difference...
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Punk flies

September 05, 2014 - The first genuine summer weather is upon us, with temperatures approaching 90 and humidity levels in that neighborhood....
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Take two Turtleheads and see me...

September 03, 2014 - Turtlehead, which gets its common and Latin names—the latter is Chelone glabra —from the resemblance its blossoms bear t...
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Time and change

August 30, 2014 - This was a bike-trek day, and one of my favorite stops en route is by a meditation garden created and maintained by the...
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The beginning of the end

August 29, 2014 - While my fern identification skills are not too good, they are improving, and this is a species I know pretty well. Hay-...
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In a patch of Jewelweed

August 26, 2014 - In 1991, University of Vermont physiological ecologist Bernd Heinrich published In a Patch of Fireweed, a splendid memoi...
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Poke-ing along

August 25, 2014 - Poke is truly a noxious weed with the capacity to absolutely overrun an area. I should know: one of my self-appointed ta...
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Butterfly bush as advertised

August 24, 2014 - Butterfly bush is supposed to be a floriferous lepidopteran magnet, and in the plant ads and, no doubt, at White Flower...
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Deadly delights

August 21, 2014 - It wasn't that my "voyage of discovery" today wasn't filled with the usual intriguing finds, but my trek to Ell Pond yes...
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Harbinger plant

August 20, 2014 - One of the fixtures in the newspaper column I've been writing weekly since February 1978 is a constant searching for har...
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Hurricane Duck

August 14, 2014 - If this were a screenshot from the Weather Channel website, it would be accompanied by lurid red and black letters and f...
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