Articles by: Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Columnist
Send any questions or observations to [email protected] or call 244-3742.
  • Nature: Creepers spiral upward, leaves gently fall 

    Nature: Creepers spiral upward, leaves gently fall 

    Fall is a fickle month with warm, lovely days mixed in with chilly to frigid winds, colorful leaves and then fallen leaves. Carefree summer days are mostly gone, but there are still lots of things to see and enjoy in nature. A golden plover surprised some expert birders this past week at Hadley Point. This beach is a good birding area. This island has many

  • Nature: Let it be 

    Nature: Let it be 

    Signs of fall are everywhere these lovely days and we should all try to get out and enjoy them however we can do so. Staghorn sumacs are bright red as well as the abundant poison ivy and Virginia creepers in some areas. Just remember that little rhyme, “leaves of three, let it be,” in order to avoid touching poison ivy. Virginia creeper has five leaves. Pay attention before you touch the

  • Nature: Cheerful birds whistle for thistle 

    Nature: Cheerful birds whistle for thistle 

    Hawk flights in September over this island can be spectacular. Regularly this month, hawk watchers climb the local mountains and find their favorite spots from which to watch this amazing migration. Take a picnic lunch in your pack and spend the day on one of the local mountains. Cadillac is one favorite spot and Beech Mountain is another good

  • Nature: Late summer’s vibrant color pallet 

    Nature: Late summer’s vibrant color pallet 

    Cotton grass, lavender and white asters decorate the edges of my driveway now. Late summer and fall flowers give us lots of color before winter arrives. Asters are so beautiful and there are many kinds to find. My favorite is the New England aster with its deep purple blooms. There are a couple of spots in Tremont where they put on a special display along

  • Nature: Tree surgeons and cleanup crews 

    Nature: Tree surgeons and cleanup crews 

    Just seeing a pileated woodpecker is exciting. Usually I have seen them in their swooping flight or tapping away at a tree excavating for insects that they can hear. They do not do exploratory surgery for they have excellent hearing and know there are insects in the wood and they just drill in to get them. I have watched birds for many

  • Nature: Subtle changes of summer’s end 

    Nature: Subtle changes of summer’s end 

    September is here once again, but it still feels like summer. There are so many wonderful happenings with wildlife and flowering plants on this island and in the sea around us still to enjoy.  Shorebird migration is on, and any time you are out and about near the coast you should be watching for the passing birds headed southward. Greater yellowlegs were

  • Nature: Don’t squeeze the Charmin! 

    Nature: Don’t squeeze the Charmin! 

    Two snowy egrets were seen at Thompson Island this past week. These lovely egrets come to visit MDI every year and are a nice sight to behold. They are regularly seen in Florida and other southern states, but here in Maine, they are special visitors. They are the white heron with golden slippers – bright yellow feet on their black legs. All egrets

  • Nature: Fisher family featured on Facebook 

    Nature: Fisher family featured on Facebook 

    The ‘dog days of August’ is not an expression you hear too often these days, but they were words that came to my mind this past week as temperatures became uncomfortable. Birds sing less frequently in August. Dragonflies become very noticeable this month and they can be quite fascinating to see flying about.  I have a small pond on my property and it’s great fun watching