Archives for The Nature of Phenology

The Nature of Phenology 3/28/20: Crocuses

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Crocuses are a collection of thirty or so species and a plethora of hybrids all in the scientific genus Crocus in the iris family. While crocuses seem quite at home here in New England and across the northern tier of the United States, they are, like so many of us, far from their ancestral roots.

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

The Nature of Phenology 3/21/20: Red-winged Blackbirds

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Like the first spring sighting of a robin or the first blooming dandelion of the year, red-winged blackbirds can inspire the phenology observers in all of us. Males return ahead of the females to determine their territory and belt their characteristic radio static “conk-la-ree” calls from marshes throughout Maine.

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

The Nature of Phenology 3/14/20: Chipmunks

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

There are twenty five species of chipmunks in the world, and all but one species is found in North America. The chipmunk species we have here in Maine is the eastern chipmunk, the biggest of all the chipmunks at up to eleven inches long and no heavier than a D-battery. February to April is the first of chipmunks’ two breeding seasons, so you may see them running around in pairs or making their characteristic “chipping” calls now.

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

The Nature of Phenology 3/7/20: Sumac

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Highbush cranberries with their outrageously bitter and sour berries are one such fruit that will linger long into February, but it would appear that the dry fuzzy berries of sumac win as the least desirable and longest storing fruit of summer past, despite the fact that for us humans, sumac berries make a refreshing summer drink just as soon as they are ripe.

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

The Nature of Phenology 2/29/20: Partridges in Winter

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Most folks across the ruffed grouse’s range know them by that name, though if you have spent any time talking about wildlife in Maine, you likely know them by their colloquial name: partridges. Whatever you call them, partridges are chunky ground birds about the size and shape of a small chicken, but draped in the mottled gray, brown, red, and tan trappings of a wild bird.

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

The Nature of Phenology 2/22/20: Golden-crowned Kinglets

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Kinglets are decidedly tiny birds. At only three inches long from tip of beak to tip of tail, most of their bulk is made up of near weightless feathers. When placed on a scale, they weigh in at just four to eight grams—the weight of just two pennies.

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

The Nature of Phenology 2/15/20: Red Foxes Breeding

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

While we may struggle to see a red fox year-round, their smell this time of year provides a big clue to their whereabouts.

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

The Nature of Phenology 2/8/20: Winter Photosynthesis

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Light is used as the energy source for plants to put together carbon dioxide and water into simple and complex carbohydrates like sugars (food now), starches (food later), and cellulose (which serve as building materials). And the byproduct of all this labor is oxygen.

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