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nature writing

  • A small spot of orange in the middle of the trail caught my eye. It wasn't a leaf or a berry; it was tiny and moving! As I neared the curious sight, I discovered it was a fuzzy caterpillar.
  • Despite the harsh and stark appearance, all is not lost after a wildfire. In fact, there is much to be found when you look about.
  • Let me take you on a journey. It’s just a few miles, but over that short distance we’ll be transported not only to a dramatically different landscape, but also back through hundreds of millions of years of Earth’s history.
  • The first sound we hear these early summer mornings is the prehistoric, other-worldly call of Sandhill Cranes. It rises deep from their impossibly long necks, climbs into the sky, and stretches for miles across the countryside.
  • Usually, pronghorn will dash away when they see a truck coming. However, at times they race toward me, accelerating, seemingly intent on crossing the road ahead of me.
  • This Montana prairie holds a secret. This is coulee country, a landscape peppered with gullies waiting to be explored.
  • Wind has a way of blowing in and cutting short an adventure. It can ruin a picnic. It can wreak havoc on the best-laid plans. At its worst, it can be dangerous and even deadly. But it also creates the breeze that shakes the leaves of quaking aspen. It carries the seeds of black cottonwood and the wings of Red-tailed Hawks to new destinations.
  • Most plants conduct photosynthesis and make their own food from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. Fungus flowers, however, cannot conduct photosynthesis, making them not only look bizarre but function in a bizarre manner.
  • It’s June and I’m in a dreamy meadow deep in the backcountry of Mount Rainier National Park, looking for toads. My mission: find the toads, count the toads, save the toads—in that order.
  • Crawdads have specialized cells in their exoskeletons that allow them to change color to adapt to their surroundings. The cells, called chromatophores, work to either concentrate or disperse pigment. Similar cells in chameleons and octopuses allow for a quick color change. But, for crawdads, the process is slower.