Winter Reading Recommendations

February 2021by Linda Martinson “Everything is connected, absolutely everything.” Sm’hayetsk Teresa Ryan, forest ecologist, The Mother Tree Project I read dozens of books last year running the gamut from Ben Okri’s poetry (oh my!) to “Code Girls,” a surprising book about the brilliant, dogged women who accomplished most of the critical code-breaking efforts that helped … More

Walkingsticks and More

August 2020 by Linda Martinson We had an exciting surprise one fine August morning: a walkingstick on our car door handle. They are not uncommon but they are rarely seen, mainly because they are shy and generally nocturnal and most active between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Also, imagine how well camouflaged they are on … More

Mid-summer Musings

July 2020by Linda Martinson Following up with salamanders: I’ve tried a few times, but I haven’t been able to find any salamanders in the evening to train my blue light flashlight on them to see their psychedelic colors. I checked with a bonafide biologist who (even better) was a camp counselor for a few summers … More

Bats in the News

by Linda MartinsonApril 2020 Bats are in the news these days as the natural hosts of the virus SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19. Hundreds of coronaviruses have been found in several bat and bird species, and sometimes they are the source of a particular zoonotic disease that can jump from animals to humans. These zoonotic diseases, … More

It Was a Mountain Laurel Spring

It Was a Mountain Laurel Spring by Linda Martinson  More likely it was due to favorable spring weather with lots of rain rather than to synchronous flower production, but all the mountain laurels in the area bloomed profusely this spring and the display was one of stunning beauty during May and June. Banks of mountain … More

Fraser Magnolia Trees: Ancient Botanical Relics

May/June 2019    by Linda Martinson          Every year in May, the big magnolia tree behind our house in the woods surprises us almost overnight with several stately blossoms glowing like candles against large dark green leaves.    Our tree is a Fraser Magnolia (Magnolia fraseri), sometimes called a mountain magnolia, and … More


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