When is a bird a sign of Spring or not

Throughout the winter you may have your eye on some of the most well-known year-round resident Passeriformes – also known as perching birds and songbirds. These may include the Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Blue Jay. You may also observe several varieties of woodpeckers including Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, and Pileated. But there may

Rosehips and Winter Berries to Eat and Heal Thyself

“Red and green, together be seen, in the dark times of the year. Red and green, together be seen, to bring us hope and cheer.” Even though the deciduous trees have shed their leaves and the herbaceous plants have died back to their roots and/or sent out their hopes and dreams for future generations in

Gleaning and Foraging in Late Fall

If you didn’t feel it already, November marks summer’s end with the holiday Samhain (pronounced Sow-wen). This is the time of year when you bring in the last of your harvest – all that will sustain you through the dark months ahead – hopefully. What are the things you need to help you weather the

Talking Turkey: Turkeys, Turkey Vultures, and Turkey Tail Mushroom

What is in a name The word “turkey” first was applied to the large ground-dwelling American bird in England in the 1550s because it was (mis)identified with a specie of guinea fowl that came from Spain by way of North Africa, which was at the time under the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. The name “turkey” stuck

Flower Power

July and August is a perfect time to gather flowers for food. There is an abundance of wild and garden edibles. Wake up your green salad with a splash of nutrients-rich color! Make a “Flower Petal Salad.” Walk around the lawn, garden and fields, collecting such flowers as bee balm, day lily, red clover, yellow

Those Wild Masked Bandits: Raccoon, Wood Frog, Common Yellowthroat

While there are those of us struggling to get used to wearing a mask in this summer heat, there are those of the woodlands and wetlands, those who live on the edges, who wear their masks 24/7, in all seasons, and in all kinds of weather. Now, you might ask, how do they manage? Well,

White Pine and Eastern Hemlock: Two Year-round Wild Edibles

A tale of two trees If you are in the need of citrus and are unable to obtain non-local fruit such as lemons and oranges, consider a different type of grocery store – the woods. Most conifers, cone bearing trees, are edible; specifically pines, spruce, and fir. The needle-like leaves can be steeped for tea,

Of Moose and Moosewood

I think the first time I ever saw a moose in Massachusetts was when my mom and I were heading out on one of our “run-away playdates.” It was back in April 2006. Mom had arrived from New Jersey. We packed up our gear, and headed east on Route 2 towards Cape Ann, our favorite

Winter Behavior of Living Slinkys and Sliders: Weasels, Otter, and Mink

Weasels, otter, and mink, oh my! The Mustelidae is a family that includes living slinkys and sliders: the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), ermine or short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea), least weasel (Mustela nivalis), mink (Mustela vison), and river otter (Lutra canadensis). These slender, long-bodied, short-legged mammals have a distinct bounding track pattern, which can be punctuated,

Crows: Problem-solvers and Joy-finders of the Avian World

I eagerly admit that the America Crow (Corcus brachyrhynchos) is one of my most favorite birds. Lumped into the order Passeriformes with other songbirds, they form the Corvid (Corvidae) family in which they share with Ravens, Fish Crows, and Blue Jays in the Commonwealth. Crows are not only clever, they have demonstrated intelligence. They use