Category: Out in the Woods

Wood Frogs

The duck-like barking sounds of the wood frog are usually the first to be heard by our singing amphibians, as they call out to their mates from their vernal pool breeding sites.   Wood frogs are found in all types of forests, preferring damp…

The Lady Slipper

Probably Maine’s best known orchid, these beauties make their home in many parts of The McKeon Reserve. Maine has four species of Lady Slippers; Pink, Yellow, Showy, and Ram’s Head. Two of these are rare in Maine: the Showy and the Ram’s Head. The…

States of Dormancy

Hibernation, torpor, diapause, aestivation, and brumation Dormancy refers to the state of reduced activity that many organisms enter when exposed, or anticipate exposure, to environmental stress. During the dormant phase, energy is conserved within the organism by reducing metabolic activities. Chemical changes may also…

Subnivean Zone

See those slithery, tunnel-like and bumpy shapes on top of the snow? You are witness to the creatures of…The Subnivean Zone! There are many ways that animals handle Winter’s cold. Some actually rely on the snow of winter for survival. Here’s how they do…

World Wetlands Day

Today February 2, is World Wetlands Day. Take a moment to reflect on the value of wetlands and how we can harness the natural power of this ecosystem to turn the tide on climate change.  Cleansed and enriched by the Red Maple-Sensitive Fern and…

ROCKS & STONE WALLS

The oldest stone wall in New England was built in 1607 near the Kennebec River north of Portland. Most of them were built between 1775 and 1825, a time when massive deforestation made way for farms, tillage revealed the glacially deposited stones, and there…

Bug Die-Off

When’s the last time you accidentally swallowed a bug?  When the last time you noticed a “Bug Deflector” on the front of a car’s hood?…or a “Cleans Bugs!” label on the jug of your windshield washer? Does it all seem like a distant memory?……

LIGHT POLLUTION

On the first night of an Outward Bound camping trip, a teenager was found staring up to the skies…with tearful eyes. She had never before seen the stars and hadn’t realized the awesome beauty above her all those years. She was from an urban…

The Beaver’s Keystone Activities

The activities of Beaver mold a landscape more than any other creature except man. Beavers perform unique and crucial roles within an ecosystem…functions that would be substantially different or nonexistent without them. Being a Keystone Species, many other species’ existence actually rely on the…

The Ladybug

  The name “ladybug” was coined by European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began eating their crops. After ladybugs came and wiped out the invading insects, the farmers named them “beetle of Our Lady.” This eventually was shortened to “lady…