American Red Squirrel

Over the past few months, I have made friends with a couple of red squirrels. Well, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration. It is closer to the truth to say that we have learned to coexist on this little plot of land. The red squirrel is one of the smaller tree squirrels.... Continue Reading →

Sit Spot Haiku

This week’s sit spot haiku: As the sun risesThe neighborhood comes aliveRejoice in bird song! What is the sit spot? A sit spot is a foundational practice for many people who are looking to develop a deeper connection to the natural world. The sit spot is a place where you can go and be with... Continue Reading →

The Common Grackle

I think the common grackle is anything but common. It is a medium sized black bird with yellow eyes. These birds are slightly larger than your common blackbird, at about 12 inches long, with a tapered bill and a glossy metallic look to their feathers.  Photo: cwatts/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) Grackles are omnivorous birds and often... Continue Reading →

Black-Capped Chickadee

The Black-Capped Chickadee is a small songbird common to the Northern United States and Southern Canada. Its characteristic black cap and throat with white cheek makes it fairly easy to recognize. The Chickadee, who feeds on seeds, insects and spiders, can often be seen sharing its space with other small birds such as the Nuthatches... Continue Reading →

Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv

I first became aware of Richard Louv's work when I read Last Child in The Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, (2008). In this book, Louv explores the emerging research on the beneficial impacts of nature on the well-being of children. Louv suggests that a lack of nature connection in the lives of children... Continue Reading →

Sit spot challenge – sky

I have recently embarked on a 30 day sit spot challenge. The sit spot, for those that aren't aware, is a location that you can easily get to and be with nature. All the guidance that I have heard about the sit spot is that it shouldn't be more than a 5 minute walk from... Continue Reading →

NW Investigates: Phytoncides

Resources: Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing LiWalk in the woods for wellness: Health benefits of forestsForest Therapy Association of the AmericasPhytoncides: The Science Behind Forest Bathing BenefitsJapanese “forest medicine” is the science of using nature to heal yourself—wherever you are

Observations and Investigation-Marcescence

Nature connection practitioners often talk about the art of questioning as a key to developing a greater understanding of the natural world.  This week my investigation started as I walked past an American Beech tree with its crinkled brown leaves dangling from otherwise barren branches. I hadn’t really investigated this phenomenon before, and as I... Continue Reading →

American Beech – ID Sheet

Common Name: American Beech Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia Other Names: North American Beech Identification: Smooth gray bark50-70 feet tall with rounded crownAlternate leave growthLeaves are elliptical, single toothed, and dark greenLeaves often stay on the tree during the winter Habitat: Grows in mix hardwood forestFound in moist or loamy soilsGrows in coastal areas and up... Continue Reading →

Pileated Woodpecker – ID Sheet

Common Name: Pileated Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus Other Names: Identification: Large Woodpecker with a mostly black body (About the size of a crow)White wing liningsHead has a prominent red crest and capWhite face and neck stripesRed moustache stripe and gray bill (male)Black moustache stripe and cap (female) Habitat: Found in mature forests and border... Continue Reading →

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