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May 17, 2017 - Genuine heat made its presence known today, so, naturally, I decided to visit the warmest, least sheltered place, outsid...
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Early May... fly

April 12, 2017 - "Summer" arrived out of nowhere, and the temperature quickly leapt into the 70s with abundant sunshine, garden flowers a...
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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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Larch, renewed

May 02, 2016 - It sure didn't feel like May this morning, with a 40-ish chill in the gray air and, OMG!—hey, I might now be at full ret...
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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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Super supertelephoto

April 22, 2016 - I am always one to count my blessings, but some days feature more of them to count than others. So it was that when I he...
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Fire fighting practice

April 21, 2016 - It's a rare day that I don't get outside, camera in hand, to walk and chronicle at least one facet of the natural world,...
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Entombed moss

April 06, 2016 - The morning started off ridiculously cold—19 at the low ebb, and if my record-keeping was better, it would probably have...
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Iced spice

April 05, 2016 - Winter Storm Ursula bid us a fond farewell—OK, I was fond of the chance to get in a few more laps around my cross-countr...
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Spicy

April 03, 2016 - The overnight rain turned to snow towards daybreak, and when I looked outside, there was a haze of white on the leaf lit...
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Sunbathing serpent

March 30, 2016 - Today's sunny but chilly trek was a combination of toil and pleasure. The work part involved assessing the management ne...
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Home improvements

March 25, 2016 - I've heard rumors about the return of the Osprey all week, but this gray and raw afternoon, I finally spotted the first...
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Courtship dance

March 23, 2016 - It was a wonderfully warm day, and though I spent much of it indoors writing—virtuous me—I did eventually decide that I'...
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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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A touch of blizzard

March 21, 2016 - Last night, the forecast for the first full day of spring included a lurid "Winter Storm Warning" and there was a defini...
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Spring business

March 20, 2016 - On my to-do list was a crack-of-dawn trek up Lantern Hill with a group of celebrants who would watch the Westerly Morris...
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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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The lure of sap

February 25, 2016 - The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is one of the silliest avian common names on the planet, and, in truth, it is actually some...
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A change in the wind

February 11, 2016 - As a photographer, I'm always on the lookout for interesting light; as a naturalist, I'm forever looking for signs of im...
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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 newcomer

June 18, 2015 - This is a Red-spotted Purple butterfly, and one of the first of these beauties to put in an appearance. I discovered it...
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Dot-tailed redux

June 12, 2015 - Today was dump day, and that usually means a reward: a trek up Lantern Hill, the trailhead of which is just down the hil...
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The graduate

June 11, 2015 - My wife was still hurting from her fall. I was still exhausted from caregiving and a brutal month of deadline work. It w...
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The first fritillary

June 10, 2015 - The first bellflowers of the year have opened in the meadow across the street, and where there are campanulas, there wil...
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The next generation

June 09, 2015 - I was trekking across the athletic fields at our local high school when I saw what, at a distance, looked like a log on...
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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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Hovering

June 07, 2015 - One of these days I will, I resolve, get good, really good, with the hover flies. But that day hasn't arrived yet, and i...
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On the trail

June 06, 2015 - Most of my daily walks are done solo. It's not that I'm anti-social, it's just a matter of scheduling. Essentially, I hi...
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Dark jewel

June 05, 2015 - This is not the first of the Ebony Jewelwing damselflies to pay us a visit—they've been on the wing, the dark wing, for...
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Natural laundry

June 04, 2015 - One of the best known songs from the classic musical South Pacific features the line about washing "that man out of my h...
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Almost adult

June 03, 2015 - Blue Dasher dragonflies are common as dirt around here, and they just might be our most abundant species, with Pondhawks...
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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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Solomon's-seal, true and false

June 01, 2015 - Something amazing happened overnight: after the US Drought Monitor had tipped our region quickly into the Moderate Droug...
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Fading glory

May 31, 2015 - It was warm, almost hot this afternoon, and after my granddaughter and daughter-in-law headed back north, I piled my plu...
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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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Dot, dot, dot-tails

May 28, 2015 - After several years on the hunt, odonates have become something of an obsession... a magnificent and productive one, to...
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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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For Memorial Day

May 25, 2015 - We always "march" to the town's Memorial Day parade, which traditionally kicks off at 10 in the morning and involves alm...
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Fishy tradition

May 24, 2015 - Between putting together a rhubarb-strawberry-ginger crisp and trying to get all my camera gear in good shape for an aft...
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Babies at the nursery

May 23, 2015 - I had to head to the supermarket this afternoon, but before I made it over there, I stopped at the Henne refuge for a qu...
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A genuine pearl

May 22, 2015 - The Phyciodes group of butterflies—a.k.a., the Crescents—are found mostly south and west of us, but one species, the Pea...
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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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Damsel undistressed

May 17, 2015 - I have been looking for damselflies, those more-slender cousins of dragonflies, for about a week, and this morning, the...
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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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Out of the canopy

May 14, 2015 - Red-eyed Vireos are among the noisiest of singers, drawing constant attention to themselves with a sweet song that is us...
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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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Bluebird of nastiness

May 13, 2015 - So there I was, atop Babcock Ridge, my camera in one hand, my homemade parabolic microphone rig in the other. It was abo...
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Oriole at last

May 11, 2015 - I was walking by the millpond, en route to my daily obsession—checking the natural world for the appearance of odonates—...
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Elfin identified... I think

May 11, 2015 - I went back to the Bell Cedar Swamp refuge in the early afternoon to try to spot more odonates, but, except for one quic...
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Blazing ferns

May 10, 2015 - Sadly, neither I nor my wife have living mothers to honor on what would be their day, so, since my wife basically loathe...
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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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Lepidopteran punctuation

May 05, 2015 - I thought today would be the first dragonfly day, and I headed out to the Henne preserve hopeful of coming home with the...
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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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Splendid singer

April 28, 2015 - Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are among the smallest songbirds in our cast of avian characters, and they're one of the hardest...
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Time-honored tadpole tradition

April 27, 2015 - The Wood Frog tadpoles started hatching a couple of days ago, but most of them are still sticking pretty close to their...
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The real Gary

April 26, 2015 - Like just about every little kid I run into, my granddaughter is absolutely in love with the characters of the SpongeBob...
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Billing

April 25, 2015 - The "great blue wave" of Tree Swallows arrived later than usual this year—no doubt, because of the intense and late-depa...
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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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Gray, gray day

April 23, 2015 - The weather turned from blue and gorgeous to gray and grim with cold rain and maybe even a bit of hail and snow in the f...
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Gnat nightmare

April 22, 2015 - Today was Earth Day, the wonderful holiday for naturalists and conservationists everywhere, and my day for celebrating b...
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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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On the arbutus trail

April 20, 2015 - The bloom season for an exquisite wildflower known as the Trailing Arbutus is a tricky thing to time, but after a few ye...
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Reptile's return

April 13, 2015 - On visits to Henne, I've been scanning the air for signs of returning migrant birds and the water for signs of resurrect...
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Hot frog on ice

April 08, 2015 - It was raining off and on, but that, of course, didn't bother the frogs... or the naturalist, so, as soon as I had all t...
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Big macs

April 07, 2015 - The first Spotted Salamanders, a.k.a. "macs"—a reference to their Latin name, Ambystoma maculatum —came out on the night...
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The "Jesus" bugs

April 05, 2015 - The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John recount the well-known story of Jesus walking on the water. It's a miracle, of co...
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First lepidopteran on the wing

April 05, 2015 - Easter, of course, is the time of resurrection, but regardless of your religious beliefs or lack thereof, spring is most...
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Not quite impossible

April 03, 2015 - For the naturalist, the nature guide, and the photographer, Spring Peepers are impossible amphibians. Oh, they exist......
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X-rated

April 02, 2015 - I heard the first Wood Frogs yesterday afternoon—a chorus that many people mistake for the mutterings of annoyed ducks—b...
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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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A dash of color

March 29, 2015 - Who could'a thunk it? asked singer-songwriter Greg Brown. He wasn't, of course, talking about winter, but that immortal...
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Almost floatable

March 25, 2015 - The weather continues to trend towards warming, and the snow is steadily losing its hold on the landscape. The major hol...
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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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Killdeer arrival

March 22, 2015 - Right after my now-five-year-old granddaughter departed, I tried to assuage my sadness with a long walk. Most of Ultima'...
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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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Welcome home, RSH

March 13, 2015 - Spring began today at a little past 10:30 in the morning when a sharp shriek pierced the walls of my house. To be sure,...
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