Mallard breeding behavior may create a whole new kind of duck

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul Robert McCloskey’s “Make way for Ducklings” is one of my favorite childhood books. I loved the way Mr. and Mrs. Mallard interacted, their seemingly endless search for the perfect nesting place, the description of classic Boston neighborhoods, and the whimsical names of their eight ducklings. Not until I started reading the… Read More »

A slow start for snapping turtles

A slow start for snapping turtles

by Brett Amy Thelan One moonless May evening, my husband and I walked down to our local pond, flashlights in hand, to look for toads. We were delighted to discover hundreds of them, floating, darting and jockeying for position in an explosion of courtship. Their surround-sound trills left our ears ringing. The toads were frenzied,… Read More »

Emerald ash borers eat their way through Vermont’s ash tree population

Emerald ash borers eat their way through Vermont’s ash tree population

Jim Fuller, a former park ranger at Vermont’s Grand Isle State Park, described this interaction with a tourist from New Jersey after he confiscated their out-of-state firewood. Ranger Jim: “We are trying to keep the forests clear of invasive insects.” Tourist, as beetle fell from firewood: “You mean like that one there?” In this instance,… Read More »

April’s warmth and rain triggers nighttime march of the salamanders

April’s warmth and rain triggers nighttime march of the salamanders

By Brett Amy Thelen There’s a myth environmental educators like to tell, and it goes something like this: After every long northern winter, spring returns. Days lengthen, temperatures rise, the snowpack slowly disappears, and one afternoon, it begins to rain – a soaking, 45-degree rain that continues well into the night. On that one big… Read More »