Mid-Winter Thaw

By Mary Beth Pottratz The Nature Notes sign in the Visitor Center says that the first hornedlarks have arrived. I listen to their calls on the Merlin Bird ID app on my phone to be sure I could recognize them! My usual buddies flit throughout the grounds this afternoon: White-breasted nuthatches, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals,…

Hunkering Down

By Greg Lecker Just after I arrive a fellow bird alerted me to a large red-tailed hawk in the oak trees above the Frog Hollow and the Maple Syrup House. It is fairly easy to spot its large form and color – and two other coal black forms offer clues. They are crows that are…

Early Signs of Spring

By Mary Beth Pottratz The sun shines so dimly that it casts no shadow.Tree tops are frosted white from fog at the entrance to the Arboretum. Several Downy woodpeckers flit up tree branches and peck for their breakfast. Chickadees make their contact chirps and call “Chicka-dee-dee-dee.” One gives ist springtime “Fee-bee” call, the first I…

January Thaw

By Boak Wiesner What a weekend! Shirtsleeve weather almost as warm air from the South is delivered to us via the leading edge of a low pressure system. I recall that just two years ago this past week the Governor called off school due to the cold. How things change! With so little snow cover,…