Field Guide

  Permanent ponds are scattered across the highest elevation ridges and ravines in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. All of these ponds are accessible by hiking trails, and many feature AMC overnight facilities nearby. The best known of these high-mountain ponds are Lakes of the Clouds and Hermit Lake on Mount Washington, Star Lake on the…

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While it’s not uncommon for residents throughout the Northeast to report bear sightings in their neighborhood, spotting a bear during the winter season might raise a few questions. Black bears typically hibernate from mid-December to the end of March or beginning of April, sustained on the stored-up energy in their bodies until the warm spring…

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Each fall, legions of winter tick larvae lie in wait on leaves and branches. At that stage, the bloodsucking arachnids are the size of a pencil tip. Once grown, they’re ¼ inch long and a combination of brown and creamy beige; the pattern varies by sex. Those familiar with dog ticks will see the resemblance….

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  Winter is here, and with it, a certain stillness. Birds’ spring and summer songs are on hiatus and many have migrated beyond Appalachian Mountain Club’s region. Yet plenty remain; flying, foraging, flocking, and communicating with distinct calls. While not as mellifluous as their songs, the birds’ winter language is yours for the hearing—and recording….

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  Released from factories, powerplants, and vehicles, toxic particles and chemicals can have detrimental effects on both human health and the environment—yet it wasn’t until 1970 that the United States started regulating how much of these pollutants can be emitted into the atmosphere. Today, scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of air pollution,…

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  Fifty years ago, Congress passed arguably the most important environmental and public health legislation to date: the Clean Air Act (CAA). By setting emissions standards for vehicles and industrial factories, the act has removed harmful, airborne pollutants in and around cities, as well as improved the air high above sea level. Georgia Murray, AMC’s…

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One of every three bites of food we eat comes from a plant that was pollinated by something. Despite their size, pollinators—those tiny bees, birds, bats, and insects that aid in the reproduction of plants by carrying pollen from one flower to another—are vital to the success of a healthy ecosystem. “We’ve come to a…

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  Seeing animals in the wild is thrilling. Whether you’ve spotted a common merganser hen swimming with her ducklings trailing behind, a five-lined skink basking on a rock, or—if you’re lucky—an ambling moose in the woods, you know that the encounter is a rarity. Experts encourage tracking for its own sake—even if the animal itself…

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Visitors leaving the eastern Pennsylvania wilderness could find they’ve picked up a hitchhiker—or 20. A large swath of the state, from the Poconos to Philadelphia, has since 2017 been under quarantine for the spotted Pennsylvania lanternfly—an invasive, plant-hopping bug that threatens $14 billion worth of crops and hardwoods in the Keystone State. As researchers work…

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A red-tailed hawk with a bullet to its wing. A bobcat hit by a car. A toad with a wounded leg. Patients like these are often admitted in serious pain, according to Dr. Florina Tseng, director of the Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center in North Grafton, Mass. Determining pain levels…

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