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Outdoors

  • Grosbeaks, syrup lovers appreciate box elder

    One of the few deciduous trees native to this area is the box elder, Acer negundo, also known as the ash-leaved maple. It is an interesting tree that has made its way all across the Great Plains with a little help from mankind.

    People brought this tree to their early homesteads and planted it in yards as windbreaks around their homes. It is still found in many yards and along many plains water courses.

  • February brings colorful finches to feeders

    February looms ahead, the last really winter month with little to offer except more sunshine and Valentine’s Day. This is not to say that March will be spring for it is the month when we receive our greatest snowfall. Its only redeeming grace is that it has nice spring-like days between snow storms, robins begin to sing their evening song, the days are longer and there is a definite feeling that spring is coming, even though we may be clobbered with two feet of snow the next day.

  • Snow, cold, books and snowberries

    Light snows and bitter cold weather have been the trend in January. It is the kind of weather that makes me want to curl up by the fireplace and read. Since this is the kind of weather we have had for over a month, I should be caught up with my reading, but I’m not.

    There are just so many good new books out that I can’t find enough time. However, there are a few books I’ve read or have read about lately that I fell many readers of this column may find interesting.

  • Starlings are more interesting than people think

    Nearly every winter just after a snow storm, people call me to ask about a beautiful bird at their feeder. It is described in several ways, but usually along the lines that it is mostly black with a lot of purple and green on it, and its whole body is spattered with white stars. When I tell them it sounds like a starling, almost without exception, they reply, “Why, no, it’s not a starling. It’s beautiful.”

  • Cold weather brings out unusual winter birds

    As the holidays finally came to a close, a brief winter storm left about five inches of snow on the ground around the yard. It also brought bitter cold weather with temperatures way below zero.
    However, this is not surprising since January is usually our coldest month. Winter is here. It is the one month that I would gladly leave this area for someplace warmer.

  • Kinnikinnick, and winter in the woods

    Reprinted from Dec. 19, 2007

     

    Winter seems to have settled in with a fairly stable blanket of white. However, it is not too deep for walking in most of our area, and all but the back roads are fairly passable. This makes it possible for most anyone to get out to see what winter has in store.

  • Weasel sighting was among bird count highlights

     

     

    The Christmas Bird Count is over. Sunday, Dec. 19, was a pleasant day as CBC days go.

  • Christmas Bird Count is this weekend

    When wondering what was new in Our Evergreen World that I could write about this week, I discovered three noteworthy items.

     

    Christmas Bird Count on Sunday

    First and foremost is that Sunday, Dec. 19, is the 2010 Christmas Bird Count. This international event is sponsored locally by Evergreen Audubon.

  • Bobcats on the increase here, but lynx live further north

    Ever since I wrote about seeing a bobcat several years ago, I have had a good number of reports about them and about lynx being seen in the area.

    Bobcats, yes. They seem to have increased in the area or at least are being seen more frequently. Lynx? I don’t think so. The Canada lynx is a close relative of the bobcat but is a bigger animal. It was at one time known in this area but is believed to be extinct here in recent years.

  • Full-moon walks are full of adventure

    Reprinted from Dec. 5, 2007

     

    I hope all of you were able to enjoy the three beautiful nights of Nov. 23, 24 and 25. They were the night before the full moon, the night of the full moon and the night after.

    It is seldom that we have three crystal-clear nights in a row at the time of the full moon.