Nature

  • Nature: Sea colander grows in winter

    November brings to Mount Desert Island a struggling mixture of summer and winter moods. Frosty mornings contrast with afternoons so warm you may hear a peeper hopelessly calling for a mate! Nature is winding down but as we know quite well there is always something of interest going on in the out-of doors. Watch these

  • Skunks and the food web

    Among the many wild mammals living on Mount Desert Island is the well known and most misunderstood skunk. Their only defense against an enemy is to use their powerful scent glands. Skunks can’t run very fast, and they are not good fighters. Spraying the well known scent from glands near the tail is their only

  • Nature: Thousands of birds on the wing

    Slow down for the thousands of migratory birds passing over this island now. You no doubt have noticed all the small birds flying up from the sides of the island roads recently. These are migratory juncos, song sparrows, fox sparrows, chipping sparrows, and palm warblers. Coming along Route 102-A through Seawall and on into Bass

  • Nature: Myths about wooly bears

    Buffleheads are back on MDI! A small flock was seen this week in Bar Harbor near Bar Island. These birds are right on schedule after nesting and raising their young far to the north. Most of the wintering buffleheads left here at the end of April or first part of May. These just seen in

  • No photosynthesis for Indian pipe plant

    Fall is creeping in slowly and dramatically with its brilliant colors and late blooming flowers. Take time to enjoy it and get out on the trails or drive along the roads to find something interesting. Some friends out on a hike recently found an odd looking plant which they later discovered to be beech drops.

  • Nature: Hawk migration on display

    During the fall migration many hawk watchers gather on Beech Mountain. Because MDI is on a flight-line that thousands of birds use to fly south each year, it is well worth visiting the high spots on this island where you can watch the “show.” The National Park has rangers posted at some of these to

  • Nature: Otters and tide pools

    There is nothing more fun loving than a family of otters. A column reader got to see and hear four of them swimming along by a local harbor near shore. She sent me a nice photo of them. Otters love the water and are often seen swimming about or even sitting on a dock drying

  • Nature Heron visitors

    Nature Heron visitors

    A yellow-crowned night heron is being seen regularly these days in Norwood Cove in Southwest Harbor. This is considered a rare visitor here on MDI and then only in late summer when it does come to visit. Night herons always have sort of a ‘hunched over’ appearance as they fish patiently near quiet waters. There

  • Bugs and Big Heads

    Earlier in the summer season midges, gnats, no-seeums, and mosquitoes and black flies all too familiar when you are outside. Conditions in August are usually better. Midges are like mosquitoes without the beak and they do not bite. Sometimes at the edge of a pond you see them swarming in large numbers as they look