Articles by: Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Ruth Grierson

Columnist
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  • Nature: English sparrows drive out native birds

    There were surprises in the wood pile this week! Some family members discovered some interesting inhabitants one day. Several redbelly snakes have apparently been calling this pile their home or at least a refuge. We have only five species of snakes living here and three species of turtles because of our colder temperatures in the

  • Nature: Grosbeaks come in many varieties

    Notices of new arrivals have almost come to me daily this month. Now IS a great time to watch the birds for they are in their breeding plumage and easiest to recognize. A handsome Blue Grosbeak visited a feeder of some friends this past week in Tremont. I suspect that the Rose Breasted Grosbeak is

  • Nature: Prime time for warbler watching

    Nature: Prime time for warbler watching

    Frogs and salamanders are very active now. Even in mid-afternoon. One day I was able to watch many frogs actively engaged in courtship and mating rituals in a small vernal pool next to the road. The peepers and wood frogs have been singing their love songs and the females have come from far and near

  • Nature: Treasures underfoot

    Peepers are getting louder these spring nights and their chorus will swell to mighty heights as the evenings are warmer. It is my favorite sound to hear after a long winter. This little frog has a mighty voice! Take time to listen as they and the wood frogs call in island pools and ponds. A

  • Nature Spring: peepers have sticky toes

    Nature Spring: peepers have sticky toes

    In spite of these unnecessary late snow storms and wintry weather, nature moves along in the spring schedule. Migrants are returning. Winter wrens are singing lustily in the Maine woods. More will be heard as we move on in April. The wren, a very small bird, is quite like a feathered ping-pong ball, bouncing about

  • Nature: Phoebe sings its own name

    This is the season for love songs in the bird world! Friends told me of hearing a wren singing outside their house and just this week they heard a phoebe’s call. Migrants are returning and getting ready to nest. Listen to all the sounds of spring. Woodpeckers calling and tapping on whatever surface suits them

  • Nature: Squirrel boom led to more owls

    Barred owls seem to be abundant this year. There are many reports in Maine of this owl’s appearance. One sighting recently was especially interesting; it showed a barred owl trying to get to a caged bird in someone’s house. According to the experts the increase in owls is due to the unusual abundance of squirrels

  • Nature: Animal friendships

    Friends are important to all men and beasts and the different friendships formed are sometimes astounding! A friend told me about his pigs and a flock of mallards at his farm near Blue Hill. Every morning his dozen or so pigs eagerly look forward to breakfast and every morning a flock of wild mallard ducks

  • Nature: Voles can run 12-minute miles

    Nature: Voles can run 12-minute miles

    March came in like a lion and has been roaring ever since. In spite of the snow, ice and cold temperatures there is a change in the air when you go outside. Nature is stirring. Woodcocks are doing their courtship rituals and sky dancing. Great horned owls are nesting. The female often has to sit