Category Archives: Nature Notes

17.49 | Nature Notes (Dec 3-9)

Photo of Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl | Biddeford Pool, ME | 3 Dec 2017

Highlights of the Week

Jenny and I saw a Snowy Owl hunting alertly from rooftops along Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool.

At the Saco Heath, countless reddish-brown leafy clumps of Leatherleaf are ready for winter.

Our first significant snow (~6") fell on the second half of Saturday.

Wild Edible of the Week

Prior to dinner most days, I enjoyed a bitter cup of Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) leaf tea, often mixed with leaves of Stinging Nettle and Lemon-balm (Melissa officinalis), all of which were purchased dried.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Sketch the winter form of a familiar herbaceous plant (e.g., Common Mullein, Common Burdock, Common St. John’s-wort).


Patreon button

My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!

17.48 | Nature Notes (Nov 26 – Dec 2)

Photo of Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher | Biddeford, ME | 28 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

On Tuesday, I observed a Long-billed Dowitcher, a White-rumped Sandpiper, and 3 Red Knots along the Basket Island Causeway.

On Friday, I photographed a Killdeer, a Wilson's Snipe, and a Dickcissel continuing at a horse farm in Kennebunkport.

And several days this week, I noticed Striped Skunk tracks in the sand at Hills Beach in Biddeford.

Wild Edible of the Week

I gathered and ate wild Cranberries from a patch that Jenny and I stumbled upon in late September.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Observe the sky for 30 minutes before/during/after sunset.


Patreon button

My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!

17.47 | Nature Notes (Nov 19-25)

Photo of Orange Sulphur
Orange Sulphur | Biddeford Pool, ME | 24 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

On Tuesday, an unexpected flock of 10 Red Crossbills flew over me at a horse farm in Kennebunkport. Other farm observations this week: Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, Wilson's Snipe, a late Killdeer, and 3 American Pipits.

On Friday, a surprisingly late Orange Sulphur butterfly fluttered along Ocean Avenue in Biddeford Pool, periodically stopping to feed on Common Dandelion blossoms.

Saturday morning, I twitched a rare Yellow-throated Warbler (FOY) at the Sanford Lagoons.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate some Soft-shell Clams (Mya arenaria) purchased from a local seafood counter.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Locate 3 abandoned bird nests in deciduous trees/shrubs.


Patreon button

My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!

17.46 | Nature Notes (Nov 12-18)

Photo of American Mink
American Mink | Biddeford, ME | 17 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

The first snow of the season fell Monday night into Tuesday.

I spied an American Mink at the edge of a salt marsh in Biddeford.

I twitched two male Hooded Warblers and an "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler (a Lifer subspecies) at Southpoint Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate a wild fruit jello made with Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruit juice (from fruits I foraged/froze in September) and a bit of raw honey.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Visit a patch of clubmoss (family Lycopodiaceae, e.g., Flat-branched Tree-clubmoss and Southern Ground-cedar).


Patreon button

My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!

17.45 | Nature Notes (Nov 5-11)

Photo of frost-edged Fucus
Frosty Seaweed | Biddeford, ME | 11 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

A hard freeze Wednesday into Thursday marked the start of the white season here in southern Maine.

Strong northwest winds on Friday stripped many leaves from Oak trees.

On Saturday afternoon in Biddeford Pool, I spotted a Snowy Owl at South Point and an Eastern Coyote crossing Mile Stretch Road.

Wild Edible of the Week

I foraged Ocean Quahogs -- sold as Mahogany Clams -- from a local seafood counter.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Find an evergreen fern (e.g., Christmas Fern, Evergreen Wood Fern, Rock Polypody).


Patreon button

My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!