Butterflies were numerous then, in summer and into the fall, when my brother and I were boys. Butterflies were common and numerous. My brother and I each had a net on a pole, a butterfly net, and we
What kind of bird is this, a friend asked, showing me a picture she had of a brown thrasher. I doubt my friend would have asked me the name of that bird many years ago. It was a common summer bird in
I saw a firefly, one firefly, early one morning, before dawn, near the end of last month. It was the first, and only, firefly I’ve seen this summer. I used to see dozens, hundreds, of fireflies every
It was late evening, after dark, and I was going to bed. But, before going to bed I decided to get a drink from the kitchen. Going through the dining room on the way to the kitchen I turned the dining
A mink bounded across the road in front of my older daughter and plunged into the marsh at the edge of our pasture a few days ago. My daughter was walking along the side of the road with our dogs when
A friend told me a few days ago that she thought I should write about a mammal. “You’ve written several articles about birds recently,” she said, “and you’ve written about the weather. How
It’s a dark and dreary winter day. The sky is gray. The temperature is below freezing by our thermometer. There’s a cold wind, I found when I went out with our dogs soon after getting up. Snow fell
Dark-eyed juncos and tree sparrows fly back and forth to the bird feeder outside my dining room window every day now, except when the wind is strong and the weather especially wintry. They’re winter
George Bird Grinnell, that’ right, George Bird, has been called “America’s Environmental Pioneer.” He had what was described as a “restless drive to save the West.” Yet he was not a westerner.
I was driving on a highway through a woodland one cloudy, cold winter day recently. Trees and brush lined the road. It was a quiet road, no critters, not even a single bird. Then, suddenly, a deer bounded
The sky is gray. The temperature is near freezing. The wind is raw and leaves are falling from the trees, coloring the ground with flecks of brown and red and yellow. It’s a dreary day, a day when
Osage orange is a thorny deciduous tree that grew in Osage Indian territory, northern Texas, southeast Oklahoma and Arkansas. The fruits are round, baseball size to softball size and rough, like oranges.
I was driving near home one cool, clear pleasant morning recently when I saw the birds. Two of them. They flew up from the side of the road, almost beside me, then across the road in front of me. The
As I drove into town one clear morning recently, looking for birds along the road as I always do, I saw fifteen birds, just fifteen; fourteen swallows perched on the power line along the road and one
My cuckoos are calling; the cuckoos in my clocks, three of them, coo-coo coo-coo coo-coo. They’re telling me it’s now noon. They don’t distinguish between day and night and give me the same signal
It’s summer time. The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the day when day and night are of equal length, has passed. Now every day is a few minutes shorter though the difference is not
There’s one house finch on the thistle seed feeder outside the window in front of my desk and a cardinal on a branch of the tree nearest the platform feeder but there are no birds on that feeder.
Robins make nests from grass and sometimes a strip of cloth or a piece of string. They line the inside with mud, molded by the female to the shape of her breast. They locate their nests on horizontal
“Turtle,” I said to my daughter when I saw one in the road ahead. My daughter, who was driving, had seen it too and was slowing the car as I spoke. There were no other cars on the road so my daughter
“I just love to hear robins sing. When I hear robins sing, I know spring is here,” a neighbor told me recently.
Our American robin, as suggested in the book Birds of America, is perhaps the most
There’s a bird house on the trunk of a tree near our back door, a screech owl bird house. My son-in-law made it and put it there for me after I saw what I thought were screech owl droppings on the
I looked out the dining room window one morning and was astounded at the sparrows; house sparrows. They covered the ground, as numerous as dead leaves in the fall. They lined every branch of the bush
One wintry morning a few days ago, a day when the sky was gray and snowy, blown by a strong cold wind, I went driving on a country road, hoping to see some wildlife activity, an uncommon bird, or maybe
A river runs through my home town, and there was a bridge across the river when I was a boy, just a block and a half from my home. I often walked to that bridge, after Mom and Dad decided I was old