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Category 'Nature'

Barrow’s Goldeneyes

Common on the West coast but rare in the East, there are just 250 Barrow’s goldeneyes in Maine. They spend their winters here, feeding in open waters near the coast, and summer in Arctic breeding grounds. Continue reading

Bumblebees in Autumn

Early in autumn and late in the afternoon, when grasses and flowers gone to seed glow under a strong low sun, bumblebees gather on goldenrods and aster. Continue reading

A Bed-Stuy Wilderness

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Recently I read of a neighborhood group who dedicated themselves to restoring their local outdoor space, a stretch of weedy canal-side land kept blissfully free from further development by pollution. They were, explained the article, making ecological improvements. Before-and-after photographs showed volunteers tromping on tall grasses and plants, and later tending to a few Home Depot-style outdoor shrubs planted in a barren bank of mulch. Continue reading

The Improbable Bee

How does a bee find a flower? Perhaps, if it lives in a hive, another bee tells it where to go, but even that first bee needs to find the flower, and anyways most bees are solitary. Continue reading

Thoughts on Taxidermy, Fashion & Bighorn Sheep

Seen on the G train: A bookish young hipster bringing home the taxidermied head of a bighorn ram. Continue reading

Autumn, Trees

Of all the insights contained in the genomes of these trees, the feel of a fall day is not among them. Continue reading

September 11, Fall Migration and Occupy Wall Street

On my way to Ground Zero on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, I stopped for a slice a pizza and to clear my head. The previous week had been a somber one; every anniversary recalls the past, but some make you reflect on what’s happened since, and a cloud hung over the intervening years. The nation felt like a different, far darker place than before that fateful morning. Continue reading

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Red-Bellied Woodpecker 1