Naturalist/Nature Watching

Black fly season, which runs from about Memorial Day to mid-June in the North Country, scares off a lot of people. And who could blame folks for not wanting to be surrounded by swarms of blood-sucking bugs? But this is also prime time for viewing alpine flowers and other harbingers of summer, so Nicky Pizzo,…

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While staying at Joe Dodge Lodge, I explored the woods beside the beaver pond across the road. Deep snow earlier that week revealed recent animal activity— red squirrel middens, snowshoe hare scat, and wind-blown otter tracks along shore. I set up 2 wildlife cameras to see what might venture by overnight.   In the morning I set…

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Spring officially starts on March 20, but New Englanders know the season really begins when the maple syrup starts flowing. And we know when that is because the region explodes with events, tastings, and tours, which are almost universally family-friendly. Here are some of the best resources to find a sugarhouse or a maple sugaring event near you,…

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Beaver dams get a bad rap. Sure, they can be a nuisance, wreaking havoc on roads, cellars, and culverts across the Northeast and inspiring officials to extend beaver-trapping season and install beaver-proof pipes to drain flooded areas. But the busy rodents and the ponds they create are also cleaning our waterways and protecting fish that live…

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Did the February school vacation week creep up on your family? It might feel like we just had a break, what with having three snow days and a weekend right in a row, but next week, there are five days kids have off and parents need to fill them with things to do. For those…

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You might not know it, but deer and moose aren’t the only antlered giants roaming the Northeast. Elk can still be found in north-central Pennsylvania. The 1,000 or so elk currently living in the state aren’t descended from native, pre-Colonial herds. Overhunting wiped out the Eastern elk by the 1870s, according to Jeremy Banfield, a…

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As the holidays quickly approach, many of us are shopping around for presents for the kids in our lives. Books are always my first choice as gifts, but I also like to give unusual games, activities, and experiences. These five picks are at the top of my gift-giving list. L.L. Bean Outdoor School For the…

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As the days get shorter, the leaves start falling, and winter gets closer, it becomes easier to spot wildlife. For owl fans, the bare trees make it easier to catch sight of the majestic birds’ silhouettes, though patience is a necessary requirement when out looking for owls. It helps to go with an expert, who knows…

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Since 1876, volunteers have been central to AMC’s mission of understanding, enjoying, and protecting the landscape and trails of the Northeast. So, when research and education staff created Mountain Watch in 2003, AMC was confident volunteers would step up. In the 13 years since its founding, Mountain Watch has benefited from the passion and commitment…

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While many of us are enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, Northeastern black bears will be finishing up their own autumn feasts before bedding down for the winter. After entering their dens in late November or early December (if food is abundant), or as early as October (if food is scarce), black bears in our region usually hibernate…

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