Amphibians: Wood Frog

Photo of Wood Frog and acorn cap

When Jenny and I paused on a walk in the woods last weekend to arrange some fallen leaves, I noticed a small, tan-colored frog in the leaf litter nearby. The dark face mask confirmed he/she was a Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus). After taking a few photos of him beside an acorn cap, I gently placed him on the leaf art. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to add a living accent to our ephemeral arrangement. Continue reading

Not Just Any Goose: Canada Goose

Photo of Canada Goose

Prior to the mid-1900s, there were no resident Canada Geese in New England. But the introduction programs of various wildlife agencies quickly changed that (this article explores why these transplanted geese didn’t migrate north to breed). It’s now common knowledge that large numbers of Canada Geese live here year-round. That said, vast numbers of Canada Geese do annually migrate to and from their breeding grounds in the north. Continue reading

Quiz #123: Bird

To whom do the following brown feathers belong?

Photo of Quiz #123: Bird

Click here for the answer.

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Foraging Wild Fruit: Feathery False Solomon’s-seal

Photo of Feathery False Solomon's-seal

While scouting around for acorns last weekend, I was briefly distracted by clusters of red fruit resting on the leaf litter. Scanning the area, I noticed some of the clusters were off the ground, on the ends of arching stems with alternately arranged, parallel-veined leaves. In New England, this combination of fall field marks can be none other than Feathery False Solomon’s-seal (Maianthemum racemosum)*. Recalling that the ripe fruit of this species is edible, I picked a few clusters to bring home. Continue reading

Words of Wisdom: Jon Turk

Photo of Fallen Leaf Art

“I hope that everybody has some activity that gives their body so much joy that it can tell the mind to shut up.  And then the mind finds itself on vacation, without the perceived need to output a lot of silly chatter.  And lo and behold, when the output spigot is turned off, uncensored input flows in [...]”

— Jon Turk, The Raven’s Gift: A scientist, a shaman, and their remarkable journey through the Siberian wilderness (2010), p. 151

My chatter-stopping autumn activities include birding, basket-making, wild food foraging, and, yesterday, making fallen leaf art with my partner Jenny (see above).

What sorts of activities work for you?