• Book review,  Boomer,  wildlife

    How to Become a Birder, Without Even Trying

    Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir by Julia Zarankin is an honest, entertaining look at the author’s transformation into a bird lover while “auditioning” mid-life hobbies. She shares reflections of ten years of observing birds, yet rather than claiming expert-status, she declares herself a “lifelong beginning birder.” The book moves mostly chronologically, reflecting on her birding journey and her life. It provides an inside look at one of the most popular hobbies in America and the fervor that it brings out in dedicated birders. Many bird species are described in depth, others just enough to encourage the reader to do a quick search, to see exactly what that…

  • wildlife

    What Can Our Animal Friends Tell Us About the Weather?

    Humans have long used clues to forecast the weather. While it’s unlikely that a groundhog woken from its den in February can tell with any accuracy how long winter is going to last, it appears that some animal behaviors can provide some indication of the weather to come. A number of traditional beliefs about animals and weather are somewhat based in scientific fact. Animals have a more heightened sense of smell and hearing than humans, so they can pick up on environmental cues faster. This is why some animals seem agitated before major storms and earthquakes – they can hear them coming or feel the changes in air pressure. Cows…