Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Calendar of Seasonal Festivals

I remember the Celtic agricultural festival days every year on In Season.  I like agricultural calendars because they focus on Earth-based rhythms, which works for a gardener like me. We humans use a mish-mash of ways to mark the cycle of seasons and the passage of days. We use solar, lunar, astronomical, meteorological and climatological reference points. Probably every…

Dark-eyed Junco

Winter Feeder Birds: Identifying Little Gray Birds

During winter there are several species of little gray birds that frequent the buffet at our feeders. Chickadees live in my neighborhood all year long. Philadelphia is one of those place where the Carolina Chickadee and the Black-capped Chickadee mix. I can never tell the species apart and have stop trying. When birders around here…

icy twig

Winter Nature Photography Tips

Winter photography presents its own special challenges. When the land is covered with a coating of snow and ice outlines branches,  the outdoors are transformed into a magical place. As the snow falls, beautiful snapshots are at every turn. Squirrels nibbling seeds. Birds happily gathered around feeders and the beauty of snow-laden branches. Lately, it…

snowdrops

Imbolc and the first signs of spring

Imbolc is a Celtic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly celebrated on 1 or 2 February (or 12 February, according to the Old Calendar) in the northern hemisphere and 1 August in the southern hemisphere. These dates fall halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Imbolc is usually celebrated when the…

Nudibranchs defend themselves with their food

This is one of those, “too cool for words” natural phenomenons. Sea slugs (nudibranchs) are cute and lovable and their “stealing stingers” to protect themselves is a tough girl move. Read all about it in this reblogged post from the blog, Tough Little Birds.

Shamrock Orbweaver Spider ? (Araneus trifolium) dangling from a thread in my garden

Bugs, Spiders Keep NYC Clean by Eating Garbage

  Yes, bugs can make your skin crawl but they do have their functions. In New York City bugs consume tons of garbage tossed on the streets by New Yorkers. I bet bugs, spiders, cockroaches, etc, do they same in other places, too. Read this article, Bugs, Spiders Keep NYC Clean by Eating Garbage to learn more.

dried pinto beans Photo by Scott Bauer. Courtesy (USDA.gov), a winter food

Seasonal Foods for Winter

Living In Season means living in harmony and balance. Eating food in season helps to accomplish that goal. I created this chart of winter seasonal foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat and fish to help me eat seasonally and locally. I decided to share it with you because I couldn’t find a comprehensive chart on the…

Snowy Owl (courtesy USFWS)

Species on the move: Snowy Owl : BirdCast

This time last winter, Snowy Owls irrupted across the northern U.S., particularly the east and Midwest including Philadelphia. And biologists took the chance to outfit the birds with tracking devices. You can read about the surprising things they learned via Species on the move: Snowy Owl : BirdCast. “As of mid-November, snowy owls had been…