While many birds gather in flocks during March, preparing for or engaging in migration, and others begin to congregate at favored nesting sites, a few species usually turn up alone as they move through the American Heartland. In my experience,...Show More Summary
As I drove across the Glaciated Plain of Illinois this morning, a linear flock of double-crested cormorants passed overhead, on their way to breeding grounds farther north. After wintering on southern lakes or along the Gulf Coast, the...Show More Summary
Plantlife are working to restore small pools of our culture...
Greeted by brilliant sunshine, warm air and the purple haze of henbit on many of the barren fields, I made a quick trip through Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area this morning. Bird sightings were generally unremarkable, including the usual...Show More Summary
Start surveying your garden butterflies this spring, and provide invaluable data to help the delicate visitors to your patch.
A year ago I was asked to join the host of artists, writers, scientists, and students who have contributed to Penn State’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center’s Long-term Ecological Reflections Project (LTERP). Begun ten years ago under the auspices of Dr. Ian Marshall of Penn State Altoona’s Environmental Studies Program, the hope is to continue such […]
Though I have been more interested in the evolution and dispersal of our species than in my own family's genealogy, I decided to investigate the Alsace-Lorraine region along the France-Germany border, an area from which my paternal grandfather's family had immigrated. Show More Summary
On this cool, misty morning in central Missouri, the first tide of blue-winged teal had arrived at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, on the Missouri River floodplain. Common summer residents across much of North America, these small, attractive...Show More Summary
After a week of mild, sunny weather and a single episode of heavy rain, color has returned to the landscape of central Missouri. The grays and browns of winter are giving way to greening lawns and flowering plants. Among the early spring...Show More Summary
On a rainy spring night with temperatures sufficiently warm and ice melted from the ponds and ground we go to The Pool. We hope we have picked the right night and will be able to meet up with our old friends. We are not disappointed. Spotted Salamander Jefferson / Blue-Spotted Complex Leopard Frog Wood Frog […]
In the course of reading The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf (see Getting to know Humboldt), I have come to learn the important role that Alexander von Humboldt played in the field of ecology, theretofore an unacknowledged science. Show More Summary
Immersed as we are in the current Presidential race (or simply binge-watching House of Cards), most of us develop a negative image of career politicians (see The Nature of Politics). Unfortunately, as much as we are loathe to admit it,...Show More Summary
Members of the Class Cephalopoda within the Phyla Mollusca, about 300 species of octopus are found in Temperate and Tropical seas across the globe. Having first evolved during the Carboniferous Period (some 300 million years ago), they...Show More Summary
As the storm system that brought rain and mountain snows to California dips southeastward, a deep atmospheric trough and upper level low are developing across the Western U.S. Ahead of this system, warm, moist air is moving northward...Show More Summary
Here in Missouri, killdeer are permanent residents, upland sandpipers and American woodcocks are summer residents and common snipe are winter residents. Other shorebirds are migrants, passing through the State on their way between northern...Show More Summary
Attempting to read outside yesterday morning, my efforts failed once again. While the sunny, cool weather had coaxed me onto the deck, it also invigorated our local avian residents. Most conspicuous were the Carolina wrens.As if dueling for attention, several of these vocal birds repeatedly called from various corners of the property. Show More Summary