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reflection

Dawn Song - Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson: "The Birds begun at Four o'clock..." As the first rays of sunlight fill the trees on a spring morning, a symphony of birdsong erupts. As early morning light extinguishes the stars, male birds begin to belt out their songs. One of the magical gifts of spring is the dawn song.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection, vocalization

Living Alone on Earth

September 2007 - The last 40 years have witnessed the dramatic decline of many common American birds, including Boreal Chickadees, like this one. New York Times essayist Verlyn Klinkenborg writes, "...we seem determined to discover whether we can live alone on earth. Harvard biologist, E.O.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

We Draw Strength from Nature

A Bald Eagle that was feeding on the ground suddenly rises up. With two powerful strokes, its massive wings carry it high into a tree, where it lands and looks down. Nature is impersonal, but we feel a connection, don't we? How can we not draw strength from wild creatures we admire? read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

John Burroughs

John Burroughs was probably the most popular nature writer of the late 19th Century. Many consider Burroughs the founder of the modern nature essay. Yet Burroughs wrote not about nature on a grand scale, but about glimpses of nature close to home. He preferred to walk his own backyard woods - on... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, 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

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