Articles by: Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

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  • Nature: Otters and tide pools

    There is nothing more fun loving than a family of otters. A column reader got to see and hear four of them swimming along by a local harbor near shore. She sent me a nice photo of them. Otters love the water and are often seen swimming about or even sitting on a dock drying

  • Nature: Birds, insects begin migrations

    When September arrives a wee bit of color starts to show on a few trees. It is but a hint of the ‘show’ to come quite soon. Apple trees are laden with fruit everywhere and mountain ash trees are aflame with clusters of orange berries. Hawk flights over Mount Desert Island this month are spectacular

  • Nature Heron visitors

    Nature Heron visitors

    A yellow-crowned night heron is being seen regularly these days in Norwood Cove in Southwest Harbor. This is considered a rare visitor here on MDI and then only in late summer when it does come to visit. Night herons always have sort of a ‘hunched over’ appearance as they fish patiently near quiet waters. There

  • Bugs and Big Heads

    Earlier in the summer season midges, gnats, no-seeums, and mosquitoes and black flies all too familiar when you are outside. Conditions in August are usually better. Midges are like mosquitoes without the beak and they do not bite. Sometimes at the edge of a pond you see them swarming in large numbers as they look

  • Nature: For the birds

    My e-mail frequently has photos of plants and wildlife attached for identification. Some I recognize right away and others often send me on a search and I often seek help from ‘my expert’ friends. Just recently I received a photo of a flower taken in the Long Pond area. It turned out to be an

  • When to help, when not to

    Daisies, valerian, vetch, wild azaleas, hawkweeds: The list goes on and on as new blooms “step on the stage” this month. Monarch butterflies are feasting in local fields and a nice sight to see. Their favorite food is milkweed. A baby bat was discovered in an island attic this week and the owner wondered what

  • Butterflies, moths clearly differ

    Butterflies, moths clearly differ

    You never know when nature is going to surprise you with a special treat as you go out and about woods and fields. Just outside a friend’s house on a flowering rhododendron, they discovered abundant tiger swallowtail butterflies. These gorgeous butterflies are very colorful, and their color can vary sometimes, although, locally these lovely butterflies

  • Iris roots contain toxin

    Iris roots contain toxin

    Wild iris is blooming at the edges of my pond. This lovely wildflower looks much like those found in gardens. Its Latin name is Iris versicolor. Watch for patches of this lovely wildflower now growing in wet fields, woods and island ponds. The flowers are purple and marked with white and yellow. They have conspicuous

  • Porcupine flees from bobcat growl

    Porcupine flees from bobcat growl

    A friend of mine was looking out her window this past week and suddenly saw a porcupine running out of the woods at high speed, at least it was high speed for this usually slow-moving creature. Every once in awhile, it would look back and then kept going in a rush across the wide lawn

  • Prime time for plumage

    Prime time for plumage

    The song of a hermit thrush is like none other and very special as the day ends. You hear its lovely song far more often than you see the bird itself. Hermit thrushes are very shy birds living in both deciduous and evergreen forests. They seem to crave privacy. The hermit thrush slightly resembles the