Tag Archive | Environment

Saving Wild Orchids

Saving Wild Orchids

Out in eastern Long Island, New York, one summer’s day a colleague and I visited a bog surrounded by dunes to determine the health of the habitat. As we approached the area we noticed pinkish/purple flowers growing throughout the bog amongst bulrushes, sedges and wild grasses. At the fen, we discovered the flowers were part […]

Plums by the Beach

My favorite shrub of beach environments is the beach plum. I always look forward to its prolific blooms of five-petaled white flowers in the spring. Once pollinated by bees and other pollinators, it produces lots of fruit that are green at first, but by the end of the summer the fruit ripen into a deep-purple […]

Hunting for the Elusive Pyxie

Hunting for the Elusive Pyxie

In the spring of 1976, I drove two miles on dirt roads to a remote area of Connetquot River State Park Preserve in New York where I was a biologist. The purpose of my trip was to rediscover a rare plant called Pyxie Moss (Pyxadanthera barbulata). Despite its name and looks, the plant is not […]

The “Warm-blooded” Plant

The “Warm-blooded” Plant

  It is March and the wetlands in the northeast U.S. are still frozen. The landscape is gray with leafless trees and shrubs. The ground is covered with decaying leaves, pockets of ice and in some places snow. Yet for as bleak as this environment looks, the first sign of spring appears. Flower heads of […]

Cultivating a Future Naturalist

“Hi! Hi!”, I hear my 16-month-old granddaughter say excitedly in our Florida room. Wondering who she was talking to, I look into the room to see her face to face with a young eastern gray squirrel that climbed on the window ledge to peer into our house. The squirrel seemed as enchanted to see my […]

Bounty on the Beach!

    Sitting on the shore in Cocoa Beach Florida, my senses take in the sights and sounds of the Atlantic Coast. Today strong northeast winds cause an angry sea. Waves crash on the sandy beach drowning out the sounds of children playing on the beach. The wave outflow forms a swash of water that carries […]

Nature’s Clean-up Crew

We would not be very happy if we lived with the stench of rotting carcasses of dead wildlife. Although many people find these birds repulsive, turkey vultures ensure that we live in a world devoid of nasty odors.  These vultures have a keen sense of smell and acute eyesight that enables these large birds to […]