Plant Identification

One of the earliest signs of spring is the Eastern skunk cabbage pushing up through thin ice and snow-covered ground. This remarkable plant actually produces heat as it grows. Look for it in early March while walking near swampy areas in woodlands or near creeks and ponds. Sniff Around Skunk cabbage gets its name from…

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For kids who like nature, science, treasure hunts, and maybe even a little friendly competition, a BioBlitz is an ideal activity, one in which a whole family or even a school can participate. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a BioBlitz is essentially a 24-hour program to find and identify as many species of plants,…

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I’ve written a fair bit about fall foliage, including the best resources for finding peak foliage; how to take great foliage photos, especially with a polarizing filter; and how to find better foliage using a geologic map. Over the course of researching these articles, I often got distracted deep into the underlying science of what…

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Three large black walnut trees stand in a perfect line, parallel to the side of a home in Wenham, Mass. An old rope swing dangles from a lofty branch. The owner says her kids sometimes bounce on the swing to dislodge walnuts from high above. Hundreds of the nuts litter the lawn. Russ Cohen kicks…

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Bring your family to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts for bountiful summer wildflowers, rambling hikes and bicycle rides, and real dinosaur footprints that will fascinate young T. rex fans. Here are four suggestions for your next outdoor getaway. Ice Glen and Laura’s Tower in Stockbridge, Mass. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne called Ice Glen, which is just…

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Join Nicky Pizzo, an AMC senior naturalist and program manager, on a nature walk around AMC’s Cardigan Lodge and up to the summit of Mount Cardigan, in southern New Hampshire. Watch more videos from the Nature Walk series and browse all AMC videos on YouTube.  

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When spring arrives after a Northeast winter, seeing colorful wildflowers poking out of the newly thawed earth can be a joyful experience. So put away your heavy boots, hang up your winter coat, and try any of these spring nature walks. Wildflowers appear earlier in some locations than in others. These hikes are listed chronologically,…

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Whether on a neighborhood walk or a mountain hike, children often notice and enjoy the local plants. You can expand their horizons—and your own—beyond the usual pine cones and birch bark by learning about these fascinating flora of the Northeast: From exploding puffballs and Velcro-like burdock to carnivorous sundews and pitcher plants, they’re sure to…

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Just scoop some water from a pond, and you’ve got the start of some fun summer science projects. The classic activity of closely examining pond water to see what’s living there, sometimes called “ponding,” combines two kid favorites: getting wet and playing detective. It’s also an easy, hands-on way for kids to start understanding the importance…

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Join AMC Research Assistant Mac Griffin on a nature walk to explore the flora near AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. Learn more about White Mountains flora and fauna in AMC’s Nature Guide to the Northern Forest, and the AMC Field Guide to New England Alpine Summits. View other videos in this…

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