April showers bring more than May flowers, and birds aren’t the only creatures producing fantastic choruses in the springtime. While birders will set their alarms for 5:00am in order to catch the rainbow of spring migrants arriving in Vermont, herpetologists – that is, aficionados of amphibians and reptiles – will spend the wee hours of the night up to their knees in muck and water to glimpse the bizarre courtships of frogs and salamanders.
by Danielle Owczarski
I am standing on a deserted public beach in Burlington, VT, situated west of the bike path and the Burlington Electric Department. My husband and I, dog in tow and cameras in hand, are in pursuit of stories told by the natural world; those neglected by people behind weatherproofed door jams. During the winter months, protected by the shelter of my apartment, I cannot tune out the arctic breeze whooshing against my door. I imagine the biting wind flowing through my veins, breathing life into my limbs, pushing me to be a part of the world beyond my warm, snug box. Once outside, the indoor fog in my mind lifts and my periphery expands initiating a new awareness. I enter the natural world to feel alive. Continue reading
by Audrey Clark
My stepbrother lounged in front of the television watching a reality TV show about mining in Alaska. I sat on the couch, facing away from the television, drinking tea and reading a book on visionary scientists.
After a while, I started to wonder what my stepbrother wondered about.
“What questions do you have about nature?”
Then, in an outpouring I wouldn’t expect from a non-naturalist, let alone one who was watching TV:
“Can plants feel pain? How does a woodpecker not get a concussion? How do you tell how old a tree is without cutting it down? How long does it take ants to build an ant hill? Where does honey come from? Like what part of the bee? What’s the best way to survive a bear attack? Can animals get sick from drinking bad water like we can? Why do monkeys have better immune systems?”
In honor of my stepbrother, here are my best attempts at answering these questions: Continue reading