The Outside Story Archive

  • Summer House Guests thumbnail

    Summer House Guests

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | July 10th 2017
    Perhaps the phoebe selected her nesting spot during the few days my family was away from home at the end of April. Otherwise, I can’t…

  • Starlings Aren’t Darling thumbnail

    Starlings Aren’t Darling

    by Joe Rankin | July 2nd 2017
    It’s the classic story of unintended consequences. In 1890, Eugene Schieffelin released 60 starlings in New York’s Central Park with the hope of establishing a…

  • Wintergreen thumbnail

    Wintergreen

    by Kathy Bernier | June 26th 2017
    I give a lot of tours at my 80-acre homestead, and have found that most visitors are delighted for the opportunity to connect nature with…

  • Bird Feet thumbnail

    Bird Feet

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | June 19th 2017
    As spring’s crescendo of birdsong mellows now to a steadier summer trill, I listen for melodies I don’t recognize and try to figure out which…

  • Summer Skaters thumbnail

    Summer Skaters

    by Declan McCabe | June 12th 2017
    Scanning a sunlit pond floor for crayfish, I was distracted by seven dark spots gliding in a tight formation. Six crisp oval shadows surrounded a…

  • The Fisher: Elusive, Fast and a Porcupine’s Worst Nightmare thumbnail

    The Fisher: Elusive, Fast and a Porcupine’s Worst Nightmare

    by Joe Rankin | June 5th 2017
    The “fisher cat” is neither of those things. Doesn’t fish. Isn’t a cat. In fact, a lot more of what people think they know about…

  • Twilight Singer: The Hermit Thrush thumbnail

    Twilight Singer: The Hermit Thrush

    by Susan Shea | May 29th 2017
    If you take a walk in the woods on a summer evening, you may be treated to the ethereal, flute-like song of the hermit thrush,…

  • Mammal Teeth thumbnail

    Mammal Teeth

    by Tim Traver | May 22nd 2017
    When my daughter was four, she once asked, “Do mice get cavities?” We were coming back from the dentist, so teeth were on her mind…

  • The Great Duckweed Migration thumbnail

    The Great Duckweed Migration

    by Declan McCabe | May 15th 2017
    The word ‘migration’ conjures images of vast wildebeest or pronghorn herds crossing plains in unison, or hummingbirds traversing the Gulf of Mexico. When charismatic birds…

  • A Precious Stone with Wings thumbnail

    A Precious Stone with Wings

    by Carolyn LoriƩ | May 8th 2017
    One day last spring, I pulled into a parking lot in Thetford, Vermont, and saw a flash of brilliant red. Instantly, I knew it was…

  • Wild Leeks thumbnail

    Wild Leeks

    by Virginia Barlow | May 1st 2017
    The white bulbs of wild leeks, also called ramps (especially in the south), can be eaten year round, but it’s the early leaves that are…

  • High Water and Hidden Possibility on the Soggy Edge of Spring thumbnail

    High Water and Hidden Possibility on the Soggy Edge of Spring

    by Dan Lambert | April 24th 2017
    The word has fallen out of use since the late 1800s, but you might hear its echo this time of year wherever streams carve channels…

  • Drumroll, Please thumbnail

    Drumroll, Please

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | April 17th 2017
    Trees speak many languages, their leaves whooshing in summer and trunks creaking in winter. At the onset of spring, trees become sounding boards for courtship.…

  • Return of the Missing Lynx thumbnail

    Return of the Missing Lynx

    by Susan Shea | April 10th 2017
    In the northern forest of New England, a big gray cat crouches silently in a dense thicket of fir along a snowshoe hare run. Its…

  • Woodcock Habitat thumbnail

    Woodcock Habitat

    by Elise Tillinghast | April 3rd 2017
    Every year around this time, my husband, kids and I haul out the tent blind from our garage and set it up in the field…

  • Time Travel in a Peat Bog thumbnail

    Time Travel in a Peat Bog

    by Declan McCabe | March 27th 2017
    Gutter pipes full of soggy peat show up on the bench by my office each March.  This means one thing: my colleague Peter Hope’s Saint…

  • Beaver Bird: The Adaptable Hooded Merganser thumbnail

    Beaver Bird: The Adaptable Hooded Merganser

    by Michael J. Caduto | March 20th 2017
    Imagine ten nearly round white eggs snug in a hollow tree, lined with soft feathers plucked from the mother’s breast. The hen carefully tends the…

  • Some Early Research on Climate Change and Soil thumbnail

    Some Early Research on Climate Change and Soil

    by Rachel Sargent | March 13th 2017
    For many of us, winter in the Northeast means cold temperatures and piles of snow, drifting through forests and across fields. It’s hard to imagine…

  • Foxes Active in Late Winter thumbnail

    Foxes Active in Late Winter

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | March 6th 2017
    The first time I saw the fox last February, I did a double take. It was late morning when I glanced out the window on…

  • Winter Bird Rehab thumbnail

    Winter Bird Rehab

    by Leah Burdick | February 27th 2017
    An injured barred owl sat in the back seat of a four-door sedan, staring balefully out the window at its rescuer. “I saw him on…