Archives for The Nature of Phenology

The Nature of Phenology 10/24/20: Spawning Brook Trout

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Come fall, the brook trout don their spawning colors and all colors become more rich and vivid and their flanks blaze with fiery red. For a fish that needs to stay camouflaged to both avoid predators and ambush unsuspecting fish, mice, and insects, these colors may seem gaudy and outrageous. That is, until you understand their native range.

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

The Nature of Phenology 10/17/20: Deer Changing Coats

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

That first crisp, cool breeze that hits us in late August has us scrambling for that favorite soft, warm layer we haven’t needed since early June. We also start turning to warmer, more unctuous meals as fall increases its grip. Likewise, deer engage in a diet and costume change.

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

The Nature of Phenology 10/10/20: October Blueberry Barrens

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Blueberry barrens in the fall seem to trick the brain—causing us to blink extra, rub our eyes, and reach out to touch the plants to confirm that such a sight is possible.

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

The Nature of Phenology 10/3/20: Rose Hips

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

“Invasion over,” is how my college dendrology professor characterized the non-native Rosa rugosa’s status. Beach rose is actually native to northeastern China, Japan, Korea, and southeastern Siberia. Despite all the damage beach rose has caused on the native dunes and beaches of the New England Coast, it has also bestowed upon us two great gifts.

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

The Nature of Phenology 9/26/20: Jack-in-the-pulpit fruiting

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Jack-in-the-pulpit’s single flower is mostly green and shaped like a pitcher. This odd structure is actually a modified leaf, called a spathe, which surrounds and forms a hood over the internal flower structure called a spadix. Evidently, whoever named the plant thought that the whole contraption looked something akin to a preacher ready to give his Sunday sermon to passers-by, but I will freely admit that I find that image to be a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

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

The Nature of Phenology 9/19/20: Yellow Jackets

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

“Yellow jacket” is the name for a group of stinging insects that includes many different species and a couple genera in North America. With food sources decreasing as the growing season winds down matched with yellow jacket colonies at the peak of their annual populations, we are left with lots of stinging insects desperate for food. A perceived threat to yellow jacket nests can quickly inspire the residents to come out with their stingers blazing.

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

The Nature of Phenology 9/12/20: Toads Burrowing

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

With the encroachment of winter and being cold blooded, all of our amphibians get a bit creative with how they make it through the cold season. Toads get digging. Starting roughly in September, they will back themselves into the soil and use their powerful hind legs to excavate a burrow.

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

The Nature of Phenology 9/5/20: Mullein

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Mullein, scientifically known as Verbascum thapsus, is not native to North America, though it is now considered naturalized as it has been here for more than 200 years. When Europeans came to North America in search of a better life, long before the Revolutionary War, their packing list included the seeds of mullein.

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