Tag Archive | Nature Story

The Tasty Fern

The Tasty Fern

One summer day, when I was walking along a wetland trail in New York, I was about to cross a small spring fed brook, when I happened across a muskrat. I stopped dead in my tracks to observe it without frightening the muskrat away. It walked up to a four-foot tall royal fern and proceeded […]

The Aromatic Fern

The Aromatic Fern

Your sense of smell can be helpful in identifying plant species. Wintergreen plants smell just like wintergreen life savers. Many of the mint species have minty odors and garlic mustard, a weedy herb, smells like garlic. The hay-scented fern has a distinctive aroma of freshly cut hay when crushed or bruised. It is an intricately […]

The Robin of the Butterfly World

It is early April and even though the weather is still chilly, today is a warm spring day. As I walk into the pine barren woodlands in a park on Long Island in New York, I see nothing but a gray landscape made of leafless oak trees and various heaths. Slate colored juncos (sparrow sized […]

A Wetland Violet

A Wetland Violet

Walking through the red maple/black gum freshwater wetlands along the Connetquot River in New York, I see small blue-violet plants on moss hummocks, on the exposed root balls from blown over trees and along the edges of creeks and small streams. As I bend down to get a closer look, I see hairless heart-shaped leaves […]

One of New York’s Rarest Plants

One of New York’s Rarest Plants

When I worked in Connetquot River State Park Preserve in New York, I was charged with the monitoring its rare plants and animals. Each spring I traveled a little over a mile into the preserve to look for the rare coastal blue violet. The park had the only population of this violet in all of […]

Roses are Red, Violets are…

Roses are Red, Violets are…

It is spring in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, a perfect time to find violets of many different species. During a recent visit to my daughter’s house in Maryland, I was amazed at how ubiquitous the common blue violet was in her neighborhood. Lawns were dotted with the blue blossoms of the common blue violet. These […]

Beautiful Blue Jays

Beautiful Blue Jays

One of my fondest memories as a 10-year-old child was seeing these brightly colored birds in the wild when my family moved to a rural area from a suburban post World War II development where rows of cape cod houses and strip malls took the place of potato farmland. I was accustomed to seeing the […]