Articles by: Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Columnist
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  • Nature: Sighting possible, but not likely 

    Nature: Sighting possible, but not likely 

    The ever–changing landscape with flowers and trees is now quite magical! A few short weeks ago, a favorite walk of mine took me by white violets, sundew and wild strawberries. They gradually faded away and now cotton grass, goldenrods, pickerelweed and steeplebush dominate the scene. Asters will soon add their beauty to the mix and the many goldenrods will take us into fall. Yellow tansy and white Queen Anne’s Lace flower along many roadsides.  Local ponds

  • Nature: Fulmars can drink that drop

    Nature: Fulmars can drink that drop

    Native Americans called this “the month when the berries are ripe” and so it is.  Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and raspberries are ready for the picking. Asters are in full bloom and so is steeple bush. This lovely flower has soft pink blossoms at the top of the stem branch. Garden heliotrope dominates the scene along the road with its large half rounded white to pale pink flowering heads.

  • Nature: The riddle of the sphinx 

    Nature: The riddle of the sphinx 

    Young ravens call loudly in my woods these days. Their raucous voices are begging their parents for food even though they are no longer baby birds. Nesting ravens are noisy, but I like them a lot. They are smart birds. Their jet–black feathers are beautiful, and they have great personalities and love a little fun. Ravens are larger than

  • Nature: Who cooks for you all? 

    Nature: Who cooks for you all? 

    Pickerelweed is now blooming in my pond. This attractive plant grows right in the water and is very easy to identify. The colorful violet blue flowers are densely clustered, and blooming begins from the bottom up. Although each blossom lasts but a single day, the gradual succession of blossoms goes on uninterrupted for months and the production

  • Nature: Happy bees playing vetch 

    Nature: Happy bees playing vetch 

    Wildflowers flourish in the summer and it is a treat to walk anywhere on this island if you stay aware of your surroundings. From June into August, I love to look for and find purple vetch. The purple flowers of this creeping vine–like plant will attract your attention from local fields where they are part of the wild

  • Nature: Either eiders or orchids, both are interesting sights

    Nature: Either eiders or orchids, both are interesting sights

    The flowers in July are overwhelming! Orchids are in bloom and well worth searching for. Since they grow in bogs, you may get your feet wet or need to be in a canoe or kayak. Friends have sent me nice photos of Calopogon, also called grass pink. You usually can find it in the bogs on this island in June, July and August.  The blossoms of Calopogon look as if they

  • Nature: Unusual bird spotted on the island 

    Nature: Unusual bird spotted on the island 

    ‘Summertime, and the living is easy…’ so goes a favorite song of mine, and so it should be, although this year ‘of the virus’ may be an exception. Wildlife is busy, however, and flowers bloom right on schedule, adding beauty everywhere. Although orchids do not come to mind when you first think of Maine, we have several

  • Nature: Summer ‘springs the world anew’ 

    Nature: Summer ‘springs the world anew’ 

    ‘Sumer is icumen in…’ So says an anonymous English poet, in an 800-year-old song, thought to be one of the oldest songs ever written. All around us, it is easy to tell that we have shifted from spring to summer. Wildlife families are busy raising their young. Sounds of birds are nice to hear these days, and just this last week, snapping turtles laying eggs have been seen all over

  • Nature: When in balance, it all works fine

    Nature: When in balance, it all works fine

    Nature happenings this month are many, for it is the time for plants and animals to reproduce in the many different forms nature has given them to do so. Birds are especially vocal now as the males sing their love songs to their lady loves, and frogs and toads trill, croak or do whatever nature has provided them in declaring their love. As a wonderful

  • Nature: Ducks create flap on Jordan Pond

    Nature: Ducks create flap on Jordan Pond

    Wildflowers are appearing in woods and fields all over our island. In just a walk up my long driveway in Bass Harbor, bordered by woods and a few small vernal pools, I noted blue–eyed grass, star flower, yellow pond lilies (spadderdock), white violets, wild strawberries and several ferns. Those of you on the Bar Harbor side of MDI see wildflowers and blooming shrubs about a week or more ahead