• Nature: Newts can remain teenagers for years

    February is living up to its reputation for fickle weather — cold, warm, clear, snowy, rainy, sunny and icy roads. Fat robins usually arrive from the south this month and feed on rosehips. Geese gather together at the Trenton Bridge. Red-spotted newts may appear in minnow traps. Newts are interesting little salamanders but not so

  • Grebe antics are fun to watch

    The weather has been frigid this week, and ponds are covered with ice. In spite of cold temperatures, life goes on and many island residents would be very surprised at the activity beneath the ice. Ice fishermen and skaters have been surprised at times to see a painted turtle swimming by under their boots. The

  • Squirrels and eagles and shrikes, oh my!

    It gave me great pleasure to hear from several column readers that they got to see flying squirrels at their feeders this week after reading my column. They had no idea that these appealing mammals were visiting them regularly until they turned the lights on outside and watched them glide into the feeders and enjoy

  • Nature: Red squirrels can eat poisonous mushrooms

    Even though our deciduous trees look stark and naked now, they are certainly not dead! Even in the summer they have already begun their next year’s leaves and flowers. These are miniaturized and hidden in the scale-covered buds. In late summer the trees keep these incipient leaves and flowers from growing. At the same time,

  • Nature Angry squirrel stamps its feet

    The daily search for food to sustain life sometimes makes animals do strange things. A friend this week watched a crow dragging a dead squirrel it had found on the road up into a tree. Very often, as any driver knows, crows are seen on the road tearing apart and sometimes eating road kill. Especially

  • Nature: Sorting out the woodpeckers

    A unique visitor has been appearing in Manset recently in the form of a red-headed woodpecker. These birds are not at all common here. We do have several resident woodpeckers on Mount Desert Island which live here year-round. They are the downy woodpecker, the hairy woodpecker, the pileated woodpecker and the rare three-toed woodpecker and