Nature

  • Hollow hairs keep deer warm

    Hollow hairs keep deer warm

    Keeping warm is a problem in the winter for humans and wildlife. A friend this week asked me how deer keep warm in the winter. There are various ways for the deer to stay warm. First of all, their winter coat is made of hollow hairs that trap air. This provides an insulated layer that

  • Wildlife well-suited for winter weather

    Wildlife well-suited for winter weather

    Snow, frigid temperatures, ice and strong winds are the ingredients for hard times for wildlife and humans. We experienced them all this past week and weekend. Winter is being winter. Some may wonder about the various creatures and how they each cope with these harsh conditions. Many have heavy fur coats to keep their bodies

  • Bobcat seen on park trails

    Bobcat seen on park trails

    A nice bobcat was observed on one of the park trails. It had been eating something in the snow. Snowshoe hares abound on this island, and they are regularly caught by these large cats in the Maine woods. Even though the bobcat does not have a big tail compared to some of the other cats,

  • Fickle weather welcomes winter frog

    Fickle weather welcomes winter frog

    Weather at this time of year is fickle. Two days before Christmas, my son found a green frog hopping across the road in Tremont on a rainy night. The temperature was above freezing. You do not expect to see green frogs out and about this month. These frogs normally hibernate underwater from October to March.

  • Robins may linger

    Robins may linger

    The north wind did blow, and we do have a bit of snow. You may see a robin or two about now and throughout the winter. Some may be those individuals who have lingered on from the summer; others may be Canadian robins coming to this area for an easier winter. They both look like

  • Feeders should be safely placed

    Feeders should be safely placed

    Bright colors in the snow definitely attract our attention these days. A column reader found a beautiful ruby-crowned kinglet on the snow after it had collided with a window. This doesn’t always mean instant death for the tiny creatures, but it can. Sometimes the bird ends up with a severe “headache” and/or concussion. It’s never

  • Wildlife encounter a pleasant surprise

    Wildlife encounter a pleasant surprise

    You never know when you’ll have an adventure with wildlife. A friend of mine this week was walking on a carriage road in the park when he saw a deer on the path not far ahead. My friend continued to walk slowly and quietly along, and the buck just stood there not looking. It never

  • Harlequin ducks spotted in Bar Harbor

    Harlequin ducks spotted in Bar Harbor

    Harlequin ducks visited Bar Harbor recently, not a usual place to see them. These interesting sea ducks most often appear near the wilder waters at Schoodic. A Bar Harbor resident was out about 7:30 a.m. and saw two female harlequins sitting on the beach in front of the Bar Harbor Inn. The birds fed in

  • Arctic grebes winter in Maine

    Arctic grebes winter in Maine

    A thin skim of ice covers my small pond these November mornings. Winter is creeping in on us. I have noticed that many gray squirrels have been killed as they cross our busy roads this month. They are busily preparing for winter and moving about everywhere as they store away food for the coming winter.

  • Mushroom turns inky black

    Mushroom turns inky black

    November can be full of surprises. A rather strange mushroom poked up near a reader’s house this week and identification was asked for. There are many mushrooms to be found on Mount Desert Island, but this particular one I have seen before, and I hoped I could give it a name. It came up from