Nature

  • Buffleheads due any day

    Buffleheads due any day

    Fall colors on this island get better every day. It is nature’s grand show before another Maine winter. Birding enthusiasts watch local harbors for the buffleheads and other northern ducks that come here to spend the winter months. Buffleheads are due “any day now,” as the lyrics of a popular song I play with a

  • Redpolls arriving soon

    Redpolls arriving soon

    “Why don’t I have lots of birds at my feeder now?” and “What happened to the birds?” are two questions I have had numerous times recently. My thinking on this now is that there is plenty of wild, natural food for them and no need for them to spend time at a feeder. When the

  • Asters are roadside stars

    Asters are roadside stars

    In the past couple of weeks, I have been traveling in Newfoundland and enjoying the fantastic scenery there, the wonderful wildlife that abounds everywhere and the friendly people who live there. Only in my lifetime have roads been built all over the island, so traveling around the country is easy. Roadside flowers were profuse and

  • Ovenbird named for nests

    Ovenbird named for nests

    A neighbor called to tell me of an interesting bird he watched feeding on his lawn. It was an ovenbird, that bird whose call sounds as if it is saying “teacher, Teacher TEACHER!” Each time, the word is pronounced louder. There is no doubt about recognizing this birds’ call. Ovenbirds belong to the warbler group

  • Cottongrass calls to mind cottontails

    Cottongrass calls to mind cottontails

    Tussock cottongrass thrives in one spot alongside my driveway, and its white cottony tops make an interesting scene. It is a perennial herb of wetlands, and you can see it in many places on this island. There is no problem recognizing it, for the white tufts on the end of the stems look just like

  • Yellow garden spider interesting, useful

    Yellow garden spider interesting, useful

    Most birds start their families in the spring, but the colorful yellow-and-black goldfinches we so enjoy sometimes wait even into September to start their families. This is probably because the young are fed largely on semidigested seeds that the parents regurgitate directly into their mouths. Earlier in the season, there would not be enough seeds

  • Painted ladies spied in Bar Harbor

    Painted ladies spied in Bar Harbor

    You just never know when Mother Nature’s going to surprise you with something interesting. In front of one of my favorite small stores in Bar Harbor this week, I saw in their flower garden numerous painted lady butterflies sitting on the flowers. It was a feast for the eyes and would have made photographers very

  • Glasswort a tasty treat

    Glasswort a tasty treat

    We are just about to step over into September, when we start looking for a bit of color to appear in our native trees. The event brings many travelers to New England and especially this island. Now is a good time to walk the shoreline of our island and take note of what is going

  • Spider webs are functional, beautiful

    Spider webs are functional, beautiful

    Early one morning, I discovered numerous spider webs on the dewy grass, making interesting patterns. The webs looked like very fine, lacy handkerchiefs spread out to dry on the grass. It was hard to see the creature that had made this unique “trap,” but I could see the little funnel-shaped portion where it was hiding.

  • Avian chorus sings along

    Avian chorus sings along

    “All God’s critters got a place in the choir, Some sing low, some sing higher, Some sing out loud on the telephone wire, And some just clap their hands, or paws or anything they got now … .” This children’s song came to mind at the traditional sunset service on Somes Sound Sunday. The people