Nature

  • Good to talk about Cuba, birds

    Good to talk about Cuba, birds

    SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Michael Good will give a talk about birding in Cuba at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m. Good will chart his travels in Cuba through the birds that live there and at the same time give us a glimpse of life in the old Cuba before

  • Snow protects some, confounds others

    Snow protects some, confounds others

    January is the beginning of a new year for all of us here on this Maine island. The weather can be harsh, and snow soon may blanket the ground to fit our expectations of a Maine winter. It really is important to many creatures that it does snow soon. Balmy, sunny days and bare ground

  • Rare red-headed woodpecker returns

    Rare red-headed woodpecker returns

    A slim skim of ice comes and goes on my pond these wavering December days. Spring seems to have returned some days, and then winter quickly grips us with cold, snowy hands. Animals such as the ermines living here are always happy when it snows, for they have a white pelage now. A Maine winter

  • Porcupine quills quite a thrill

    Porcupine quills quite a thrill

    Porcupine quills were stuck into the base of a tree in my neighbor’s yard, and seeing them prompted my friend to write to me. My guess is that some enemy of the prickly mammal frightened the porcupine, and there was some sort of altercation. No other signs of a fight were present. The sharp quills

  • Otters are natural entertainers

    Otters are natural entertainers

    Several young otters made themselves at home on the dock in Mount Desert this past week according to the photos I received from friends on Facebook. This is not the first time I have received friendly otter reports from the towns of Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor. A summer or two ago, I heard about

  • Watch for the pink-breasted redpoll

    Watch for the pink-breasted redpoll

    December has arrived once again, and feathered visitors keep feeders busy. Redpolls should arrive and stay through the first part of April. They come with the snowflakes and leave when spring approaches. This small bird is about the size of a chipping sparrow, is darkly streaked, grayish brown and has white wing bars. The breast

  • Goshawk caught in the act

    Nature dramas occur in the flash of a moment sometimes but can be memorable. A reader sent me a photo of a handsome hawk standing over a dead crow it had just caught. An identification request was made for the kind of hawk it was. The bird had been ‘caught in the act’. With a

  • Local wildlife predict foul weather

    Local wildlife predict foul weather

    We humans listen to the radio, watch the computer and/or the TV for weather news and try to be prepared. It was interesting for me to hear recently that frogs near a friend’s house in Trenton moved into the basement the evening before the storm last week, and on the afternoon before the storm, a

  • 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