Tag Archives: nature

Crows are among the smartest of all the birds


We watch them and listen to their irritating call. It certainly doesn’t sound very intelligent, but crows are so intelligent it’s almost scary. Drive, walk or jog down the road without any weapon and crows won’t pay you any mind. … Continue reading

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Duckweed has many uses but brings many problems


That green stuff all over our still waters is probably not algae like most people think. It’s a floating flowering plant without stems called duckweed (Lemna sp.). Its growth rate can be phenomenal. Under good conditions duckweed can double its … Continue reading

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Sweet nectar from the southern swamps


Some time ago I wrote about black gum (Nyssa sylvatica). This week I’d like to elaborate a little about its swamp dwelling cousin, the water tupelo (Nyssa Aquatica). Along with the bald cypress, it comprises a large volume of the … Continue reading

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Hazelnuts


The holiday season is upon us again and familiar goodies abound on store shelves. Mixed nuts have always been a favorite of mine ever since I was a kid. I always enjoyed cracking them and extracting the sweet meat. Pecans, … Continue reading

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Beautyberry


Take a walk on the edge of the woods in the fall, particularly near an old cemetery or abandoned landscape. Your eyes will likely zone in on some iridescent purple to magenta berries. They encircle the stems in clusters and … Continue reading

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Mistletoe


Christmas is getting closer and bunches of mistletoe again adorn doorways. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is one that originated with the Druids. A white berry-like fruit is removed after each kiss. When all are gone kissing is … Continue reading

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Witch hazel


I was out for a drive after Hurricane Sandy and noticed the storm had speeded up the leaf drop a little. Because of that I was able to see some of the most interesting late fall flowers in the landscape. … Continue reading

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Don’t trust the birds


Recently I’ve written about some obscure brightly colored fruits many think are poisonous. Beautyberries and firethorn are edible and birds love both. Don’t let the latter fool you, because you can’t trust the birds. Now that leaves are beginning to … Continue reading

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Nutria


I’ve heard them called muskrats on steroids. They’re the kudzu of the animal world, an uncontrollable pest introduced from South America. These semi-aquatic rodents can grow to 30 pounds. In the process they eat a lot of vegetation. Many introduced … Continue reading

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Groundsel tree


Groundsel tree October to November is the time of the year when cotton bales are seen in bunches as we drive to and from work. Despite that, there’s still a lot of white out there. Large feathery shrubs dominate the … Continue reading

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