Showing posts from April, 2014

Juncos by Kate Crowley

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley In the last two weeks we’ve seen a “changing of the guard” in our front yard.  Gone are the big flocks of blue jays and chickadees and in their place we have a very large flock of Dark eyed juncos - the so called ‘snowbirds’.  We have also seen robins, a grackle, eastern phoebe, and purple finches, but they have mostly been transitory.  The juncos have settled in for the time being, spending all day foraging on all the spilled corn and seeds that piled up in the layers of snow.  Members of the sparrow family, they are flighty little birds, wearing somber grey feathers.  In reference to its nickname, its plumage has been described as “leaden skies above, snow below”. The males have a dark grey head and neck; while the back and tail feathers are a slate color (they are also known as Slate-colored juncos).  Females tend to be more of a brownish grey on their back. Both genders have pale pink bills, a dark brown eye and white bellies; their only bit of extravaganc…

Earth Day - Kate Crowley

GOING NATURE’S WAY By Kate Crowley On April 22nd we will celebrate the 44th anniversary of Earth Day.  But what does that mean?  An entire generation has been born and grown to adulthood since that day, and to them it may be a bit of history as blurry as the Vietnam War, which was still being waged in 1970.  I imagine there are people who believe this event was created by a bunch of flower child hippies, when it fact it was Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson who is considered the founder of Earth Day.  Oh how times change.  Previously, Nelson had been known as the “Conservation Governor” in Wisconsin because of his policies that brought about change in the Department of Natural Resources, initiated a Youth Conservation Corps with a thousand new ‘green’ jobs and worked to improve and expand the state parks and wilderness areas. When he got to Congress Nelson continued his crusade with stunning results, however it was not his fellow congressmen who made this happen to begin with.  In fact h…