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

A Nutty Fall: Eating Acorns

Oaks have cycles as to when they produce acorns and this will turn out to be a mast year with loads of acorns falling from the trees. Interestingly enough, this is also looking like it’ll be a mast year for apples as I have been watching turkeys in the orchards consuming the drops, so get

Rosa Rugosa: Take Time to Smell and Eat the Roses

Ah, summer! As the days heat up delightful floral scents permeate the air. And some of the most delicious scents are coming from roses. My favorite is the beach rose (Rosa rugosa), a squat, deciduous shrub standing 3-6 feet tall, in the family Rosaceae, having dark green leaves, and flowers ranging in color from white

Legacy: Wild Edibles and Gardens You Leave Behind

Sometimes when I think about the old ones who have gone before us, I consider what they’ve left behind – stone walls meandering through the woods, apple trees with forests growing up around them, juniper bushes in the old fields, maples trees like sentinels lining backcountry roads, unruly flower beds that have taken on a

Culture does not exist without Nature

Humans are Part of Nature On a scientific level I think many of us humans have come to recognize that we are part of Nature; that we exist only because the circumstances meet the needs of oxygen-based lifeforms. But on so many other levels we consider Nature separate – either wilderness to protect from us

What the Wild Ones Left Behind in the Snow

The first Saturday in March has proven to be perfect tracking weather. The snow is firm enough so that lighter animals (i.e., non-humans) are not punching through too deeply, but just enough to leave clear prints. One can see the clear X in the four-digit print of the red fox and the five-digit prints of

Raptors in Love

Raucous Raptors As I traversed the slippery driveway to the mailbox on the night of February 15th I heard the distinct hooting of one of the resident Barred Owls. Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo; hoo-hoo-hoo-hoowah-wah. Ah, and so it has begun. The nightly serenating has commenced as the male woos his lady. Courtship takes place in February and behavior