When I was a child, growing up in northern Westchester County, we would romp through the woods, lay in the high grasses, roll down the hills, and wander through the brush all day long, and never see a single tick. Today, you can barely walk from the house to the mailbox without finding one or two clinging to your clothing. Searching the dogs after every walk has become a routine that everyone performs by habit now. It’s a routine, of course, which is pretty much fruitless, as a Black-legged Tick nymph is so small it’s almost impossible to spot on a dog … or a human.
I hope, however, that you can still listen for the birdsong. Stand in the crisp, clear, cold, with your eyes closed, for just a moment, and open your heart. Hear the distant trill, the chirrup, and the warble, and know from the depths of your soul that you are hearing the promise of spring.
This year’s wildlife season brings many challenges to wildlife rescue centers and rehabilitators. The COVID-19 situation, with social distancing and limited gatherings, has meant that many wildlife centers have lost a key source of their donation income. At New York Wildlife Rescue, the organization I work with, the educational programs have had to be put on hold, and that means that a large percentage of their donations have dried up. There are many other wild animal rescue organizations, and individual rehabbers, in the same situation.
Forwarding a link to a post on New York Wildlife Rescue Center’s website. They can use your help right now. via COVID-19 and Difficult Times
Everyone knows I love birds. I’ve been a bird-watcher since early childhood. Some of my favorite early memories involve lying in my Aunt Sis’s hammock as she taught me all about the birds that visited her feeders. I am now so fortunate to live in a place where I am surrounded by miles of natural habitat. From my vantage point, with all of the wonderful species I see every day, I would never have guessed that nearly 3 billion birds have disappeared from North America since the 1970s.
Wherefore Art Thou, Wasps? Perhaps it’s a rather odd pastime, but all summer, my family has been observing a small group of common paper wasps that made a nest between the inner glass and the outer screen of our kitchen window. We’ve kept the window closed so we can observe them without them getting into…