The Water-Ouzel

A story by John Muir John Muir’s favorite bird was the ‘ Water-Ouzel’, better known nowadays as the American Dipper, to which he devoted an entire chapter of his book The Mountains of California, published in 1894. The dipper is also my favorite bird of forested mountain streams, so I created this audio-visual reading of Muir’s […]

National Orchid Day

 Celebrate Orchids on April 16th Contrary to popular belief, wild orchids are not confined to the wet and steamy tropics but are found from Patagonia to the Arctic Circle. I’ve been lucky to see native orchids throughout the US, from Alaska to Florida, but also in Mexico, the Caribbean, Honduras, and Borneo. I’ve created this […]

Tips on Identifying Warblers

Identifying Those Pesky Warblers! Includes a downloadable Warbler Identification Infographic and a step-by-step video on how to sketch warblers. One of the most challenging bird families to identify are the Parulidae; known as wood-warblers or simply warblers. Many, like the Yellow-rumped Warbler flit about high in the canopy for which birders acquire ‘warbler neck’ from straining upwards […]

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin​​​​​​​

Celebrate Charles Darwin’s Birthday Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who forever changed our view of life on earth, was born on February 12, 1809. Like Darwin, I was a shy and quiet child, with an insatiable curiosity for the natural world, spending my childhood collecting grasshoppers, fireflies and crawdads in the meadows and rivers of […]

The Industrious Beaver

A story I wrote while conducting research in the Colorado Rockies Each evening at dusk I take a stroll to burn off dinner in hopes of having room for dessert. Tonight I crossed a bridge over the East River and followed a tributary upstream. I soon happened upon a small pond, then a larger pond, and […]

Spooky Nature Facts: The Darlingtonia Midge

The Darlingtonia Midge & Its Murderous Accomplice Who would believe that an insect and an insect-eating plant could have a mutually beneficial relationship?  Surprisingly, that’s exactly the case in the unlikely union between the mosquito-like midge and the carnivorous California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica), which is found in serpentine seeps in northern California and Oregon. […]