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Spring Changes

Spring has finally arrived with a vengeance in Appalachia. I haven't posted in almost a year, mostly posting on Facebook. Today was different and I felt like I needed to return to my old friend, my nature blog. The Blood Root photo above and the Large Flowered Trillium below were taken a few weeks ago. Show More Summary

Avocets at Eagle Bluffs

A dozen American avocets graced Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area this morning, feeding in a shallow pool with blue-winged teal, American coot and a host of shorebirds. Having wintered along the Gulf Coast or in Florida, they are headed for ephemeral wetlands, alkaline lakes and prairie ponds across the High Plains. Show More Summary

The California Cascades

According to the USGS, there are more than 500 volcanic vents in California. The great majority of these are located in the northernmost portion of the State where the southern end of the Cascade Range extends across the Oregon border. Show More Summary

The Nuthatch Warbler

When you're warbler hunting and a nuthatch catches your eye, look again! Black-and-white warblers are often mistaken for nuthatches due to their habit of creeping along tree trunks and large limbs, searching the bark for insects, spiders and their larvae. Show More Summary

The Missouri Plateau

The Missouri Plateau is an unglaciated region of the Great Plains of North America, extending from central Montana and northeast Wyoming across western portions of North and South Dakota. Bounded by glaciated plains to its north andShow More Summary

Backyard Safaris

Our property in Columbia, Missouri, is of modest size but has enough variety of foliage and landscape to attract an interesting diversity of creatures. Raccoons, opossums, cottontails, squirrels, field mice, shrews, moles and occasional white-tailed deer are among the mammalian residents and visitors. Show More Summary

Prince & Ecuadorans

A few days ago, upon learning of the tragic earthquake in Ecuador, I tuned into our "most reliable" cable news network to get the details. Unfortunately, they were waiting for a news conference with Donald Trump; worse yet, they have...Show More Summary

A Grove of Warblers

On my tour of Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area this morning, the expected mix of birds was found. Blue-winged teal were abundant, joined by lesser numbers of northern shovelers, American coot, gadwall, wood ducks and mallards. Shorebirds...Show More Summary

Beautiful but Deadly

Over the past week, several clumps of star-of-bethlehem have appeared in our flower beds and along our wood border. Also known as grass lilies, these beautiful immigrants are native to Eurasia; they escaped cultivation in North America...Show More Summary

The Best Birding Month

Most birders across central latitudes of North America would likely agree that April is the best birding month of the year. While migrant swans, geese and cranes move through in February and March, the waterfowl migration is peaking as April begins. Show More Summary

Deluge in Houston

The ongoing deluge in Houston, Texas, is the product of a stalled cold front in East Texas and a "blocking high" over the eastern U.S. The latter dome of high pressure has caused the cold front to become stationary and, at the same time, is funneling a plume of Gulf moisture into the area. Show More Summary

Ecuador's Subduction Earthquake

A massive earthquake struck the Ecuador coast, northwest of Quito, yesterday evening. Triggered by pressure release between the South American and Nazca Plates, the magnitude 7.8 quake was 20 times more powerful than the most recentShow More Summary

Calling all zombies!

This photo has nothing to do with the subject of my post, but.... cute kitty! So!A couple of friends on FB have been lamenting the demise of our blogs. We all seem to mostly agree that, coupled with life changes or varying degrees of...Show More Summary


I feel so rusty at this, so awkward. It’s not so much because actually doing it feels funny, but more because of the contrast between how unfamiliar it feels to be here, and how entirely natural it used to feel. It’s like returning to anything, I suppose. Show More Summary


Considering all the time I've spent in Florida the last couple years, you'd think I'd have seen a snowy plover by now, right? Well, I FINALLY got my life snowy at the end of last year when we spent Christmastime at Cape San Blas on the...Show More Summary

The Kyushu Earthquake

The islands of Japan sit at the convergence of four major tectonic plates: the Eurasian, North American, Pacific and Philippine Plates. Throughout most of their history, the Pacific Plate was moving northwestward, bringing in terranes...Show More Summary

Mid-Day Nature Walk

In general, mid-day nature walks are not very productive during the warmer months, especially if you hope to encounter a good variety of wildlife. But when you're locked out of the house and your spouse is not due home for two hours,...Show More Summary

First Warbler!

Attempting to read on the back deck this afternoon, I looked up to see the first migrant warbler of the season, flitting about, high in a neighbor's tree. Don't ask me what it was.I immediately knew it was not one of the yellow-rumped warblers that winter in our area; they are somewhat larger and more methodical in their feeding habits. Show More Summary

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