Greenery in the Winter Woods

On this Winter Solstice, the forests are now colored in various shades of tan and brown here in southern Connecticut. But here and there are patches of green. Whether they signify rebirth, a new life, immortality, or peace, plants that are still green have played an important role in almost every holiday celebration, particularly duringContinue reading “Greenery in the Winter Woods”

They May Be Dragonflies, but They Certainly Ain’t Draggin’

It’s mid-October. The Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum) are on fire this year, with deep oranges and ruby reds. You might think that most of our migrant birds have all gone by now, but that’s not true. Among others, I have been seeing flocks of Yellow-rumped Warblers (Setophaga coronata) feeding on the berries of Spicebush (LinderaContinue reading “They May Be Dragonflies, but They Certainly Ain’t Draggin’”

While You Were Sleeping

Thousands are flying through the night now. As the dog days of summer hit Connecticut, complete with heat waves full of hot, humid weather, drought, and nights filled with the raucous, sharp, three- or four-syllabled buzzing of the Common Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia), you might not usually think of birds flying south. But they are. ThisContinue reading “While You Were Sleeping”

Holding a Piece of Connecticut’s Tropical Sea Floor

If you could go back 500 million years in northwestern Connecticut, you would be standing at the eastern edge of the Proto-North American continent and along the shoreline of a tropical ocean. What a difference! Today the diversity of plants in this area is astonishing, largely because of the bedrock below. When most of usContinue reading “Holding a Piece of Connecticut’s Tropical Sea Floor”

These Shrubs are the Cat’s Meow

The catkins of the shrub Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) flower in early April along the edges of wetlands and wet meadows in southern Connecticut. On a damp, early spring day these flowers on bare stems light up the landscape like a collection of bright stars in a dark sky. The fuzzy, silvery catkins look likeContinue reading “These Shrubs are the Cat’s Meow”