Archives for The Nature of Phenology

The Nature of Phenology 5/23/20: Rhodora

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

It is hard to miss this shrub this time of year. If you see a large splash of bright pink in wet or disturbed areas, like roadsides or bogs right now, you can be pretty confident that it’s rhodora.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 5/16/20: Hobblebush

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Large clusters of hobblebush flowers can be found now. Not only do hobblebush flowers trick pollinators into landing on them, but the plants really do trip walking animals and careless hikers more than your average shrub—hence the name hobblebush.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 5/9/20: Nighthawks

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Common nighthawks are part of the nightjar family, which includes whippoorwills. Birds in this family are all a bit strange-looking, with flat heads, stunted bills, short necks, big eyes, and feathery whiskers—a generally mousy appearance. These long distance migrants, which may have spent the winter somewhere between Mexico and Argentina, are one of our last migrating birds to return in the spring, so they are a clear reminder that summer is near.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 5/2/20: Horsetails

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Field horsetail, known by botanists as Equisetum arvense, shares a rough resemblance to a young pine tree—green in color overall and somewhat like a bottle brush in shape. These ancient plants are easy to notice now as they are just starting to emerge from wet fields and ditches.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 4/25/20: Coltsfoot

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

At first glance, coltsfoot flowers resemble dandelions. These two members of the Asteraceae family share the characteristic of having flower heads comprised of many individual flowers.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 4/18/20 Alewives: Enriching our Communities (Part 2)

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Last week we learned about the resounding success of alewife restoration efforts across the region due to dam removals and installation of better fish passage. Such efforts have resulted in tremendous revivals of alewife runs, such as on the mighty Penobscot River which just last year had a run of over 2.1 million fish. This increase in fish is not only a big win for conservation work and for that species in particular, but also represents an enriching in our whole community: fish, local ecosystems, and humans included.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 4/11/20: Alewives: A Success Story (Part 1)

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Perhaps there has been no greater contemporary environmental success story in New England than that of one silvery springtime fish that is at this moment ascending the rapids, runs, and falls of our waterways as they head to their ancestral spawning grounds: alewives. This will be part one of a two-part series exploring these fish and the conservation work that brought them back.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.

The Nature of Phenology 4/4/20: Spring Birds to Listen For

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

In today’s episode, I will share some bird songs to be listening for now. If you’re a practiced birder-by-ear, stay tuned for some opportunities to quiz yourself; if you’re new to the birding-by-ear world, you might grab a piece of paper and writing utensil to take a few notes.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at thenatureofphenology.wordpress.com.