Another Uninvited Guest

My house does a pretty good job of keeping outside critters outside. Mice have chewed away the edges of the rubber strips along the garage doors and gained access there, but thankfully they've never managed to make it from the garage into the house. Stink bugs somehow find access points through my home's foundation. Of… Continue reading Another Uninvited Guest

The Natural World Taps Me on the Shoulder

When stress starts accumulating, when my headaches worsen and the frustrations of daily living become challenging to bear, I spend even more time in nature. Being out in the forest, surrounded by the natural world, always, unfailingly, settles and soothes me. After several days earlier this month of forced hiding indoors to avoid hazardous levels… Continue reading The Natural World Taps Me on the Shoulder

Naturalism: The Birds Have Left

The bird has flown its nest and it is free to fly the skies of the world. The birds are gone. Well, most of the songbirds, anyway. I’m surprised how sad this makes me. This is the first summer I’ve taken an interest in any migratory birds other than the tree swallows who nest in… Continue reading Naturalism: The Birds Have Left

Altruism

Animal sentience is generally defined as the ability to feel, perceive, be conscious, or to experience subjectivity. The word “sentience” comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means “to feel.” The RSPCA Australia (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Knowledge Base website has a good definition that’s easily understood: Animal sentience is… Continue reading Altruism

Herding Ravens

Virtually all of the seasonal birds - the song birds - have departed for destinations south for the remainder of the year. I've been feeling their absence more intensely than I ever anticipated. More on that in an upcoming post. The remaining birds are those who fly these skies year round: mostly red-tailed hawks, magpies,… Continue reading Herding Ravens

Counting the Pack

During a recent trail run I watched Conall do something I’ve seen him do before, but this time, in a flash of insight, it took on greater meaning. I had an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly, a behavior I’d observed without much thought was shown in a much broader and important context. Reflecting on memories of similar… Continue reading Counting the Pack

Symbiosis: Ravens and Wolves

The raven story I share here actually happened two years ago, on July 17, 2018, but it describes a fairly common experience for me when I’m out in the forest with my dogs. Every time we’re shadowed by ravens, I vow to research the relationship between ravens and wolves when I get home. And then… Continue reading Symbiosis: Ravens and Wolves

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Great Horned Owl

Great horned owls are making a comeback in my neighborhood. At least, I hope they are. I wrote last summer about my dog Conall briefly catching an owlet in his mouth in July of 2016 (it survived). I also described two encounters, several years ago, with great horned owls in the forest. I used to… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Great Horned Owl

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Deer

White-tailed deer are a regular feature in my world. Living very close to a national forest boundary, they often cross my lot in small groups as they move from one section of forest to another. Spring and autumn are their busy times, but they're around all summer. If my dogs notice them, they'll woof at… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Deer

Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

I’m not a “birder.” Haven’t been in the past, am not now, and…well, maybe at some point in the future I will be. I do like birds, but I’m not patient enough to be a birder. A birder is, by definition, a bird watcher. Someone dedicated to bird watching. I’m an observer. Amused by birds,… Continue reading Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots