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reflection

Buffleheads in Winter

Buffleheads have returned for the winter, down from the boreal forests of the north where they breed. These birds are monogamous and often return to the same wintering area. Buffleheads breed on small lakes and ponds in the boreal forest. In winter, the Bufflehead is most often found in coastal... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, reflection

If It Weren't for Birds

If it weren't for birds, how many of us would take notice of the natural world? Birds are all around us. In our back yards or driving across country, most of the animals we see are birds. Many draw attention with their songs. Some birds hunt on the wing, and you'll see one if you watch the sky.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction, reflection

Chickadees at Dawn

Chickadees and nuthatches swirl in small chattering flocks in the first light, to drink dew from the cups of leaves. Birds are gifted, as Henry Beston wrote, "with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Peace in Wild Places

Wendell Berry wrote: When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests... Where do you go to rest and renew yourself in nature? Where do you come into the peace of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

The Mystique of the Albatross

Since Samuel Coleridge published The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, we've associated albatrosses (like this Black-browed Albatross ) with the superstition that shooting one would bring misfortune. With a wingspan of up to 12 feet, albatrosses are among the world's largest seabirds. They come ashore... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth, reflection

Tony Angell, on a Feeding Frenzy of Gulls

Naturalist, sculptor, and illustrator Tony Angell writes: "It was early summer and I looked across the open sea. Its surface gently heaved, suggesting the presence of some great being stirring within. ... In the bay below, a gang of a hundred gulls swirled, surged, and plunged into a herring ball... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

The Real Story

Birds make their momentous journeys across the continents, navigating by ancient codes and intelligences. The equinoxes proceed to find their balance of day and night. As Rachel Carson wrote: "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, music, reflection

Tony Angell Reflects on Nature

Tony Angell, gazing on Puget Sound, writes: "From the beach below, that evocative perfume of the sea, decaying kelp, is wafted up on the breeze... Near the shore, disputing kingfishers rattle in their mercenary manner, chasing one another... Behind me, in the woods, a Cooper's hawk chants and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Tony Angell on the Raven

Tony Angell reflects: "It's a cloudless summer day as I listen to ravens behind me in the woods. There's an endless repertoire of croaks, krawks, barks, yelps, and yodels. Other ravens across the bay respond in kind, and I imagine that this is a day of poetry and perhaps a few jokes shared... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Autumnal Equinox

Today marks the mid-point between June's longest day and December's shortest day. We may hardly notice, but ancient cultures closely watched the changes in the sun's daily patterns. One legend from the Andes of South America held that only the giant Andean Condor (like the one pictured here),... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

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