Category Archives: Bill’s Notes

Signs of Winter 2: Plastics, Plastics Everywhere

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Almost four years ago the World Economic Forum published a report entitled “The New Plastics Economy” (January, 2016). The report listed four extremely disturbing points about plastics in our … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 1: Natural History of a Black Cherry Tree!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Imagine that it’s late spring and we are standing on the North Country Trail in the Allegheny National Forest. In front of us is a large black cherry tree. … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 11: Can We Talk to Plants?

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) We humans are a successful species in large part because of our ability and willingness to communicate. We try to “talk” to each other via a wide variety of … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 10: Anthropomorphizing in the Woods!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Peter Wohlleben is a German forester. He published an extremely popular book three years ago entitled The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate- Discoveries From … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 9: Natural History of a White Oak

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) (I wrote an initial draft of this essay during my 2007 Penn State sabbatical. I think that the trees described here are still standing along the Penn State New … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 8: Let’s All Fall Behind!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Last weekend we changed back over to Standard Time. This “fall behind” change in our clocks does nothing to alter the total amount of sunlight we get in a … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 7: More on Bees!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) In the April 1, 2019 issue of Penn State News a new, on-line tool developed by Penn State researchers was unveiled. This tool, called “Beescape,” will enable beekeepers to … Continue reading

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Signs of Fall 5: Life Overhead and Under Foot

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Every summer I spend quite a few hours scrubbing away the algae that grows in the warm water of my birdbath. My assumption is that the algal spores and … Continue reading

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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 6: Ecological Premonitions!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) There are many amazing things about living systems that are both observable and explainable. One aspect of nature, though, that probably isn’t really explainable, involves organisms like oak trees … Continue reading

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