Nature Blog Network The Moth and Me I and the Bird eBird Circus of the Spineless
September 2020
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Member of:

Society for Ecological Restoration Ecological Society of America Delmarva Ornithological Society

Out of Hibernation!

Today I want to share with you a fascinating story from Science Daily on how the invasive reed Phragmites australis manages to suppress other wetland plants by taking advantage of the biochemical activities of native plant roots and native microbes in the soil. […]


Critical Moment for Conservation on Farmland

In short, the Farm Services Agency is accepting public comments on the environmental impact of two possible policy alternatives for the Conservation Reserve Program, an important mechanism for protection of wildlife habitat and biodiversity on working farms. At the same time that biofuels are threatening to reduce CRP acreage via economic competition, FSA is considering (see Alternative 2 below) reducing the CRP acreage enrollment cap from 32 million acres (the cap authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill) to 24 million acres, a full 25% reduction. […]


New Eagle Regulations: Misunderstood?

A recent New York Times piece on the new US Fish and Wildlife Service Bald and Golden Eagle regulations made the rounds on Twitter last week.  The reception of the new rule among birders and nature bloggers seemed to be negative, but I remain puzzled as to why the birding community would […]


Southern Spiders #2: The Green Lynx

Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) Family: Oxyopidae

Lynx spiders (family Oxyopidae) are some of my favorites.  They’re big, charismatic, and colorful.  The family is a distinctive one with only 3 genera and 18 species in North America.  Lynx spiders have prominent, long, straight spines on the legs, and a characteristic hexagonal arrangement of the […]


Southern Spiders #1

The Lined Orbweaver is a common spider that is widespread throughout the eastern United States. In the southeast, it is especially abundant in grassy pond pine (Pinus serotina) savannas like the one shown below. […]


Knocking Out Knapweed

Another July has come and gone, but not all of the fireworks are over.  The striking pink display of spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos, is still going strong in rangelands and old fields and along highways and railroad grades across the country.  Native to Europe, spotted knapweed was introduced accidentally to North America […]


Pennsylvania Passes Prescribed Burning Act

Many ecological communities in Pennsylvania (including native grasslands, oak-hickory forests, and serpentine barrens) depend on periodic fires to maintain their plant community composition and structure.  In an even wider range of habitats, fire can be a tool to help combat invasion by non-native plant species.  But conducting prescribed burns on private land has been […]


Ivory-billed Woodpecker Film Opens

It’s been more than four years since I left Arkansas, Ivory-billed Woodpecker T-shirt in hand, just days after the news of the rediscovery of the species broke in the national media.  During five months in the swamps over the winter and spring of 2004-2005, I had really gotten to know the Big Woods.  Lately […]


Take Me to the River

I’m headed to the Catskills to enjoy the woods and the river for a few days.  Last year I did a lot of botanizing, mothing, and bee photography.  Hopefully this year will be even better!

Fishing in the Catskills



Biofuels and Habitat Loss

Renewable.  Sustainable.  Green.

All of these buzzwords make us feel good about our progress toward mainstreaming alternative energy sources.  We need to power an increasingly energy-hungry world in the face of global climate change, and we all know that fossil fuels are not the solution.

What often gets lost in the excitement surrounding “green” […]