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Our Home Birds

Our Home Birds

Blue Jays amidst a scattering of bird seed Birds spend the majority of their waking hours looking for food. Flying requires a lot of energy, which depends on a constant supply of sustenance. When the temperature drops and the leaves fall, many birds head south to...
Surviving Winter in Connecticut

Surviving Winter in Connecticut

Much of the natural world appears to sleep in winter. Plants go dormant, nights are long and frigid, and food becomes scarce. It can seem to be an impossibly inhospitable environment at times, but the wild creatures among us have developed many survival strategies....
Mast

Mast

White and red oak acorns from Browne Preserve collected by Chris Schipper As our deciduous trees shed their leaves each fall, they also drop an abundance of seeds in the form of acorns, nuts, and samarras. This seed crop, referred to as mast, is defined as the dry...
Wildlife Trees

Wildlife Trees

A venerable old snag at the Browne Preserve A visit to our open space preserves will reveal a number of dead, dying, or fallen trees. Deadwood is a natural phenomenon of forests as they age, or are subjected to disease, lightning strikes, and storm damage. If you...
Mushroom Kingdom

Mushroom Kingdom

False Turkey Tails, a type of Polyspore Shelf Mushroom If you are of a certain age, you probably learned in school that all life on Earth is divided into two kingdoms: plant and animal. For years, scientists following Carl Linnaeus’ lead classified fungi (mushrooms,...