Cowbirds of the bee world

I was teaching a group of scientists and students how to collect bees last week (they loved it; collecting bees is just fun).  One of the scientists was an ornithologist and he was a little aloof to the whole thing…until I told him about the cowbirds of the bee world.  The cuckoo bees! “But I […]

Nature red in tooth and…awwwww…

We found this little baby squirrel in one of my research plots, far from any tree.  At this time of the year, my plants are just barely germinating, so the plot is essentially a 2 x 2m square of bare ground.  I have no idea how the baby squirrel got there, but it was clearly […]

Despair, by Billy Collins

This is a fun little poem, I thought. Despair So much gloom and doubt in our poetry— flowers wilting on the table, the self regarding itself in a watery mirror, Dead leaves cover the ground, the wind moans in the chimney, and the tendrils of the yew tree inch toward the coffin. I wonder what […]

Are you Mocking me?

I love mockingbirds…these guys can remember hundreds of songs and sounds. My aunt always says a really good birder will be able to identify all the birds in the neighborhood just by listening to a mockingbird for ten minutes. I usually figure out a mockingbird is around when I have the following thought process…”that’s a […]

An egg-ceptionally difficult photo

I’m gonna have a post just for this one photo…because it was one of the most difficult photos I’ve ever taken! Not that this is a spectacular photo, but I had to first climb 50ft into a sugar maple, then drop down on a rope between a fork in two branches, tie myself in with […]