My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

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Visiting My Neighbors Spider

Garden Spider
Writing Spider

The past week I have found every reason in the book to head over to my neighbor’s house to chat. First day was to discuss how his holiday went . . . . second day was to talk about work things . . . . third day was about the Yankee game that I could hear in the background . . . . ect . . . . but the truth is that all I really wanted to do is to check how his Garden Spider was doing! (is that bad??) These are without a doubt my all time favorite spiders!! (more…)

A Day for Monarchs

monarch pair

a monarch pair doing . . . you know what they are doing!

Recently I have sought after changing my “custom header” to a new monarch picture! I have found it very hard to find that ideal snapshot due to the strange shape the header needs to be!! So, after work I was off to Red House Lake in search of some monarch butterflies!


red eft

When it rains the Red-Efts come out!

Unwanted Visitor at the SWAT site!

Juv Downy Woodpecker

A very light colored juvenile Downy Woodpecker

We had a wonderful day banding birds over at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station today. We had a family visit who has been camping here in the park for a very long time, two couples from buffalo make it down, Young Naturalist C (who was the Banding Assistant for the day) and her sister Young Naturalist E visit the banding station. But, you ask, “who was the unwanted visitor??”!! I will get to it . . . . I promise!! (more…)

Summer Begins . . . . . .

Summer Begins . . . .

….. at 2:06pm today!! It is officially the longest day of the year!! YEAH!!! This is when most of the birds are focused on their nestlings, days will start to get shorter, young will be fledging their nest, and second broods will be starting up again soon. We find us humans pulling out the flip flops and go straight to the pools (or beaches)!


Turning 10 isn’t easy for a cat!

Phoebe ignoring me

I can remember the day at the SPCA when we found Phoebe sitting alone in a cage! She was the size of my palm of my hand and such a loveable little kitten! I mostly remember her large eyes and very fluffy hair. Of course, coming from the SPCA she had the repertory pneumonia and very sick. The Vets said that if she had been brought to the veterinary clinic a day or two later that she probably would not have survived (she was that sick). I remember sitting in her “sick cat room” and watching the first reports about Princess Dianna crashing in the tunnel. From that point we have always consider Phoebe as a princess in the honor of Princess Dianna!! (more…)

Wonderful Visit!

Large Sugar Maple in the Older Growth Forest

Today NatureWoman (Pam) came out to visit me here in Allegany State Park and check out the big basin area (our older growth forest). After spending a few hours with the big trees, we visited many of the other “Allegany” tourist spots.  We had a hard time taking pictures due to it raining every time we got out of the vehicles; we still had a blast chit chatting together! (more…)

Allegany State Park Geobash 2

Group Photo

This weekend we had the second annual Allegany State Park Geobash! I am soooo tired but wanted to post a few photos from this wonderful Geocaching Event.

Sunny Day kids playing with chalk (more…)

Happy Mothers Day

Pink Lady Slippers 

Pink Lady Slipper

Happy Mothers Day mom and to all other mothers that visit my blog!

This is your day!

Robin Chicks Hatched!!

American Robin

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) builds their nest in shrubs, trees forks or any sufficient ledge that they find. The nest is built with grasses, string and then stuck together by mud. They will line the nest with very fine grasses. Adults will not start incubating the nest until all the eggs have been laid (normally 3 or 4 eggs). They will sit on the eggs for about 12-14 days and nestlings will leave the nest in about 14-16 days. Weather pending the American Robin have anywhere from 2 to 3 broods throughout the year. This video clips below is very long (look out dial-up people) but shows the numerous efforts by both the male and females Robins while raising their young. (more…)

Cats Request that I ….

Phoebe Sleeping

…. do some house cleaning and brush them!!

Just another Saturday

Spring Beauty

Today I cleaned out all of my Northern Saw-whet Owl boxes that I have here in the park. Hint to everyone, don’t accidentally delete your GPS coordinates or make sure you write them down somewhere before clicking “delete”. I have three boxes that I couldn’t seem to relocate and my luck is that they probably have a bird nesting in them. (more…)

With Deepest Sympathy


Thinking of you and your family with sympathy and friendship at this time of loss.

Eastern Comma WC

A military salute to Pam’s father who recently passed away this weekend. Pam, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you! It will be hard for a while but slowly it will get easier for you. I promise!! Don’t forget you have all of us blogging friends who are here for you in this time of need and every one of us would be happy to help!

Happy Dyngus Day!

Happy Dyngus Day

I am not polish but this is another one of my favorite holidays that falls on the Monday after Easter Sunday! This is a day where the lady hits the guy with Pussy Willows and the guy then squirts the lady with a water squirt gun (many different versions of the holiday and this is the version I know). This is also the time that if the man is too stubborn for asking the big questions that this is the day where the lady can ask (for example marriage, relationship, etc….). For more info on the tradition of Dyngus Day go to Dyngus Buffalo and a story by NPR.



Veery eggs

Happy Easter everyone!! This is a photo of a Veery Nest from many years ago!

Sping Animals are Fun to Watch

This time of the year I find myself bombarded with things to write about but very little time to actually do the writing. I will try to focus on some important things instead of every little encounter that I had. Yesterday morning the Eastern Bluebirds were actively singing around my bluebird box and I am soo pleased to have them around. Not sure how I am going to accomplish this but I am currently trying to come up with a plan on getting some video of these guys for the blog. While working on the computer in my office there was a wonderful little song coming through my window. I had to think for a few second “who is this bird” and then it hit me “Brown Creeper”. The Brown Creeper is a common little brown bird which is rarely seen but commonly heard singing in the springtime. (more…)


Depending on where you live in the world, March 20th or March 21st is your official Equinox with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. To celebrate this important “natural” holiday you can make many wonderful camping style treats for your Equinox party. The dessert called “DIRT” is one of my favorites:


3 pkgs of instant vanilla pudding *

4 ½ cups milk *

1 u oz pkg Cream Cheese (room temperature)

1 carton Cool Whip (room temperature)

1 pkg Oreo Cookies (frozen)

Gummy Worms

Mix vanilla pudding, milk and cream cheese together. Fold in cool whip. Chop cookies in blender or food processor. Layer (starting with cookies and ending with cookies) one of cookies, then pudding mix, then cookies, etc. Top with Gummy Worms.

*1 large pudding and 3 cups milk can be substituted.

It is always good to see dirt after a long winter. I figured this Dirt Dessert would be right up everyone’s alley. Don’t forget your gummy worms!! Happy Equinox and I have a ton of things to write about but very little time to get it posted. I am trying to get ready for my Eastern Bird Banding Association conference at Cape Cod this weekend (well leaving on Thursday). Lets hope that the big “Salamander Migration Night” doesn’t happen while I am at the Cod! 

BTW: Had my first Fox Sparrow of the year today!!  CHECK!

Going back to my roots!

Great Indian Hornbill

I remember back when I started college that one of my professors was telling me “your life is like a tree … but it is up to you to decide which branch of the tree to sit on …. some branches might break …. you might get a little bored sitting on some branches ….. some branches might hold you strong forever …. but it is up to you to decide where to sit!”. Looking back to my past, I now seem to better understand his points that he was trying to get across to me. (more…)

What is a Naturalist?

Photo of a visit to Costa Rica by an old friend and great naturalist.

What is a naturalist? If he makes systematic observations, keeps careful records, and tries to interpret them, he is certainly a scientist, yet he differs profoundly from other scientist, even from other biologist. Many a scientist is never happier than when he can bring into his laboratory whatever phenomenon he is investigating, isolate it, and study it under controlled conditions. His triumph is to summarize his observations in a neat graph or a mathematical formula. He lives in middle-class comfort like any other professional man. To the true naturalist, the concrete experience of living things in their natural setting is at least as precious as any generalization or “law” that he can derive from his observations. To gain this experience, he is willing to endure discomforts and privations in far places. (more…)

Sorry Mom; it is true your cat is a potty cat!

my biggest fan

My Phoebe (princess) enjoying my slide shows during a practice run.


This evening I caught the princess coming out of the bathroom with wet feet! Went over to the toilet and found the seat all wet! What does this mean? I have a potty cat princess? I have been suspicious of this for a while now and finally caught her in the act! She use to only be a tub cat!

…. ugg


You are my valentine ...

Roger Tory Peterson Institute has a blog

Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has just taken a big step into the blog world. I was lucky to watch the development of this blog over the past few months and proud for the opportunity to announce this to my nature blogging friends!! So be sure to add this site to your blog roll (or RSS feed) or you might miss something essential to the study of nature!

Roger Tory Peterson Institute

If you’re not familiar with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI), they have been named in honor of America’s preeminent naturalist of the twentieth century (Roger Tory Peterson)!! The Institute is based in Jamestown, NY which is also the birthplace of Dr. Peterson (and just around the corner from where I live). To hear more about the many programs, exhibits, special events or even their numerous collections, visit the blog at .

Can-Am Dog Sled Race in Allegany State Park

Dogsled Race

Today the Canadian-American Dog Sledders had one of their annual dog sled races here in Allegany State Park, NY. It is so much fun watching the team of dogs work together in reaching the finish line. Below are some photos from the day and then a video clip as requested.

Dogsled Race

Dogsled Race


Hey, I just hit 10,000 views here on Mon@rch’s Nature Blog! At the same time everyone’s favorite libriarian Jennimi is back to view number 1!! She just started hosting her own blog site at and needs to get her numbers back up again! Drop by and say hello.