How dry we are

Drought in the fall or winter can be a subtle thing, a farmer once told me. The landscape then is typically brown. Without crops, gardens and lawns withering in the heat, the idea of a drought may not cross your mind. But let it cross your mind now, because we are dry. How dry are […]


The largest member of the crow family, the subject of an Edgar Allan Poe poem and a good Halloween decoration, ravens seem to be more and more numerous lately. I’ve spotted them in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, a place of high, forested ridges where you would expect to see or hear the dusky, large birds. […]

Roads, cars and animals, oh my!

During the past few days, I’ve spotted the following dead animals on some of the Hudson Valley’s roads: fox, rabbit, opossum, woodchuck and deer, both young and old. Save for the deer, I’m assuming the other dead animals caused almost no delay or damage for whoever was behind the wheel. Our furry and feathered friends […]

Battle of the snakes

It’s apparently a snake-eat-snake world in my yard. I stumbled upon this tangle of snakes recently and it turned out to be a milk snake eating a garter snake. The milk snake took at least two hours to consume his fellow reptile. That was the amount of time that passed from when I first found […]

DEC: How to avoid coyotes

There are no anvils or giant piles of birdseed involved, but if you need tips on how to avoid coyotes, the state Department of environmental Conservation has you covered. As the temperatures warm up and spring gets underway, the wild canines are on the move, the state warns, and some common sense will help prevent […]

Bears and robins, oh my!

Red-winged blackbirds and killdeer (along with the phoebes that nest in our yard) are some of the surer signs of spring. (Robins not so much.) Another sign that spring is upon us is the annual bear-hunting report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The agency recaps the previous year’s bear hunt, which basically takes […]