Nature

  • Snow buntings swirl like snowflakes

    Snow buntings swirl like snowflakes

    A lone snow bunting arrived this past week and is being seen as it visits an island feeder regularly with other seed-eating birds. Snow buntings usually travel in flocks, but this one seems to be traveling alone. When I was in Newfoundland in June, I saw large flocks of these mostly white snow buntings feeding

  • Wild weather leaves wildlife unfazed

    Wild weather leaves wildlife unfazed

    A cold wind did blow, and we did see snow on the weekend, the first real storm of the fall and winter season. It was a chilly, wintry and icy scene for wildlife and humans. Everyone rejoiced when the power came back on. As humans, we had thoughts of shovels, boots, grippers, candles, flashlights and

  • Rare yellow-headed blackbird visits MDI

    Rare yellow-headed blackbird visits MDI

    A yellow-headed blackbird was sitting on the lawn near one of the large hotels in Bar Harbor this past week when one of our resident expert birders was passing by. This bird is rarely seen here. According to the National Park checklist for Birds of Acadia National Park, it has been seen less than five

  • Birds are gobbling up mountain ash berries

    Birds are gobbling up mountain ash berries

    Both resident and migrant birds seem to be gorging themselves with the abundant wild fruit all over this island this week. Hardly a berry is left on mountain ash trees. Mountain ash trees usually are not more than 15-20 feet tall and grow all over Mount Desert Island. Look for the red-orange colorful clusters of

  • The hairy woodpecker has a ‘sweet beak’

    The hairy woodpecker has a ‘sweet beak’

    Wildlife is not always predictable and certainly doesn’t always go ‘by the book’. A column reader told me about an interesting observation this week. She still has her hummingbird feeder out even though most hummingbirds have left for the south. She was very surprised to see a hairy woodpecker dipping its beak into the sweet

  • The aster is a star in autumn

    The aster is a star in autumn

    As I walked to the beach this week, I passed close to shoulder-high, white flat-topped asters growing next to the narrow path. Only an occasional smaller violet aster added color to the scene. When summer is about half over, this aster comes into bloom, and they are with us even into October. Specimens can be

  • Not such an itsy bitsy spider!

    You just never know when you’re going to have a wildlife encounter. A friend of mine was enjoying a moment on his porch when he noticed movement on the wall nearby. He turned to look, and there was a very large spider looking at him. He snapped a photo and sent it to me. He

  • Dragonflies seem to be everywhere

    As I left my porch one day this week, I felt as if I had stepped into a fast paced quidditch match at Hogwarts! The air was filled with large dragonflies up and down, around and about in the air everywhere around me. I expected to see the golden snitch at any moment. The dragonflies

  • The spider preys and is prey

    An interesting mini-drama took place outside one of my windows this week. I happened to noticed a medium-sized dragonfly flapping its wings but not going anywhere. It had flown into a spider web and was caught on the tippy edge of both wings on one side. The spider was a few inches away watching. Whenever