Category Archives: Bill’s Notes

Signs of Fall 4: Prairie Dogs (another keystone species)!

(Click here to listen to a audio version of this blog!) This past summer Deborah and I had the pleasure of going for a walk with my daughter and her husband along a beautiful hiking trail that followed the Cache … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 3: Keystones in our Biotic Communities

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) A “keystone species” is a species that has a large influence on the other species within its biotic community. It is often defined in terms of loss: “if this … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 2: Week of the Canids!

(Click here if you would like to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Last week I had three encounters with wild canids down on the Roaring Run Trail! The first was Monday morning: I was out for an … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 1: Fresh Kill Landfill

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog) A landfill is an ancient and terribly simple technology. Wherever people exist, they generate a variety of wastes that they then pile up on the edge of their living … Continue reading

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Signs of Summer 13: Hiding Extreme Disturbances

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) The first Europeans to see eastern North America were overwhelmed by the extreme “tree-ness” of the place. Gigantic white pines and hemlocks, immense oaks and chestnuts, and a staggering … Continue reading

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Signs of Summer 12: The End of Summer

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) The deer have kept their fawns well out of sight for most of the summer. Up until two weeks ago we had only gotten glimpses of them down at … Continue reading

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Signs of Summer 11: Summer Algal Blooms

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) News reports in mid-July of this year talked about the likelihood of another algal bloom in Lake Erie this summer. This is becoming an annual event that poses serious … Continue reading

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Signs of Summer 10: Aging and Life Spans

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) In a scene in the 1977 movie “Annie Hall,” Tony Roberts climbs into his convertible with Woody Allen and carefully zips up the body and hood of his protective … Continue reading

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Signs of Summer 9: More on Coffee

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Coffee is, to me, one of the glorious aspects of life and living. The small trees and bushy shrubs of the genus Coffea yield “cherries” (red to purple, pulpy … Continue reading

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Signs of Summer 8: Among Hemlock Trees

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog) I am standing in the middle of an old growth hemlock stand that is tucked away off a hiking trail in Laurel Hill State Park. This four acre plot … Continue reading

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