Local Nature

Local Nature: Think Like a Skink

Looking down, the crow spied a skink.  It swooped from its branch in a blink. The bird grabbed the skink’s tail Forcing the lizard to bail And leave the crow a wriggling link.  There is much to be admired about a fellow vertebrate as elegant as the blue-tailed skink. Or as crafty. In the Looks …

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Local Nature: Spring Comes Wrapped in a Mourning Cloak…or a White Petticoat

The signs of spring are everywhere for avid naturalists: the opening of mysterious purple and yellow pawpaw flowers; the voluptuous leaves of skunk cabbage emerging from the damp soil; the lusty singing of spring peepers from the vernal pools and ponds; wood ducks on the canal, male and female pairing up for nesting season.  But …

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Local Nature: The Winterberry Army

When the weather forecast warns of a looming polar vortex, my first concern as a naturalist is:  How will our overwintering songbirds survive this extreme event? We, like our neighbors, heed the public service advisories to keep our two dogs inside. But there is no precautionary measure for the birds that live outdoors 24/7. And …

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Local Nature: Bluebirds in Winter

Most of the birds that stick around Cabin John in winter have the dullest of plumage. Among the exceptions, there is of course the bold bon vivant, the Northern cardinal, decked out in vivid scarlet feathers. But a real treat is to see a gang of Eastern bluebirds flitting through the woods or along a …

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