The Outside Story Archive

  • Frogs Withstand Winter by Freezing thumbnail

    Frogs Withstand Winter by Freezing

    by Tii McLane | December 1st 2002
    It was a busy summer in the pond at the foot of my hill. Hundreds of wood frogs mated there. I watched their eggs hatch,…

  • Hostile Takeover in the Wetlands thumbnail

    Hostile Takeover in the Wetlands

    by Alan Pistorius | November 24th 2002
    Snip, drip. Jane Moscowitch snipped a shoulder-high phragmites down to knee height. She crouched and dripped a few drops of purple-dyed herbicide into its hollow…

  • Autumn Upside Down thumbnail

    Autumn Upside Down

    by Ted Levin | November 17th 2002
    Lake Fairlee, just in from the Connecticut River on the Vermont side, looks like a giant tadpole, its tail swung north to meet Blood Brook,…

  • The Ecology of the Hunt thumbnail

    The Ecology of the Hunt

    by Chuck Wooster | November 10th 2002
    We live surrounded by deer. They observe us as we cut wood, walk in the woods, or step out back to hang the laundry. They…

  • Mud Bug Trouble thumbnail

    Mud Bug Trouble

    by Madeline Bodin | November 3rd 2002
    I can’t stop thinking about butter sauce. I guess that’s no surprise. When we think about crayfish, if we think about them at all, it…

  • October’s Witch thumbnail

    October’s Witch

    by Virginia Barlow | October 27th 2002
    In late November, after its leaves have changed to a beautiful golden yellow and fallen to the ground, and sometimes even after they have turned…

  • Sound of the Season thumbnail

    Sound of the Season

    by Ted Levin | October 20th 2002
    In Vermont and New Hampshire, most grasslands are pastures and meadows – ephemeral plant communities that depend on people to survive. Without mowers or livestock,…

  • Poor Man’s Fertilizer thumbnail

    Poor Man’s Fertilizer

    by Tim Traver | October 13th 2002
    Remember the old adage, “snow is poor man’s fertilizer?” It turns out to be true. Snow and rain, sleet and hail, and just the dust…

  • Backstage at the Foliage Pageant thumbnail

    Backstage at the Foliage Pageant

    by Trish Hanson | October 6th 2002
    As we move into the fall season, many familiar autumn insects are likely to catch our eye. Out-of-work yellow jackets are on the prowl. The…

  • The Causes of Fall Color thumbnail

    The Causes of Fall Color

    by Ted Levin | September 29th 2002
    Autumn color comes to the foliage of Vermont and New Hampshire in early September, crescendos in mid-October, and fades by November. What causes this display…

  • Wild Mice Split the Night Shift thumbnail

    Wild Mice Split the Night Shift

    by Catherine Tudish | September 22nd 2002
    Just as we’ve always suspected, mice do work in shifts. How else could they get so much done? The two most common species of native…

  • Too Much of a Good Thing thumbnail

    Too Much of a Good Thing

    by Kathy Fallon Lambert | September 15th 2002
    Nitrogen is both friend and foe. It is essential to the growth of plants and other organisms; that’s why so many people apply nitrogen to…

  • Dragonflies on the Move thumbnail

    Dragonflies on the Move

    by Madeline Bodin | September 8th 2002
    A “swarm migration” of dragonflies is impossible to ignore – if you’re lucky enough to see one. In a swarm migration, thousands or millions of…

  • Healthy Rivers are Made in the Shade thumbnail

    Healthy Rivers are Made in the Shade

    by Stephen Long | September 1st 2002
    The health of America’s rivers has come a long way since Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River caught fire and the Connecticut River — though it never proved…

  • Mystery in the Forest thumbnail

    Mystery in the Forest

    by Madeline Bodin | August 25th 2002
    Aimee Kidder hiked up a small rise and down into a dip in the forest floor. Then again, up and down across another dip. Aimee,…

  • The Garter Snake: Commonly Seen, Uncommonly Understood thumbnail

    The Garter Snake: Commonly Seen, Uncommonly Understood

    by Alan Pistorius | August 18th 2002
    “I see a garter snake in my yard once in a while,” an editor once complained to me, “but it’s never doing anything.” It’s true…

  • Ambushed! thumbnail


    by Ted Levin | August 11th 2002
    I grew up watching Walt Disney’s true-life adventures, where exotic animals from exotic lands paraded across a suburban movie screen for hour after uninterrupted hour.…

  • What the Wildflowers Say thumbnail

    What the Wildflowers Say

    by Elizabeth Thompson | August 4th 2002
    Wildflowers, ferns, mosses, and mushrooms narrate a rich story of the woods. They provide clues about climate, they disclose long-forgotten tales of hardscrabble farms, and…

  • In the Great Blue Heronry thumbnail

    In the Great Blue Heronry

    by Madeline Bodin | July 28th 2002
    We could hear the pond before we could see it. The shrill “oak-a-ree” of red-winged blackbirds could be heard well into the surrounding forest. Closer…

  • Invasive Plants and Animals thumbnail

    Invasive Plants and Animals

    by Mary McClintock | July 21st 2002
    On a visit to the Galapagos Islands a number of years ago, I quickly became used to the daily “shoe dunk in the bucket” ritual.…