Natural history

Another installment in Things One Finds Under Rotting Logs. It still surprises me that I lived for decades, including a long childhood (not yet complete) spent thoroughly exploring the yard and neighborhood and its more secretive non-human denizens, before I…

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As I mentioned, on Saturday I participated in the North American Migration Count, in which individual counties are scoured by teams of birders each year on the second Saturday in May to produce a “snapshot” of spring bird migration. I…

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The Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius) is a handsome small butterfly, but not outstanding; it is easily confused with other orangey species such as coppers or skippers. But this unassuming insect, no larger than a man’s thumbnail, is unique in North American…

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Today, at dawn, I went out in the field to open my nets and heard the unique and exuberant R2D2-like song of the Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis). They were back from their southern winter vacations. As a banding intern in…

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It’s been a few years since I’ve walked down near the floodplain in early spring and turned over logs to look for Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). The other day I did just that, and was pleased to find one of…

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“Mounting toward the upland again, I pause reverently as the hush and stillness of twilight come upon the woods. It is the sweetest, ripest hour of the day. And as the hermit’s evening hymn goes up from the deep solitude…

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