August 9, 2011 |
CANADIAN, Texas - In a muddy pile of sand where a pond once flowed in the Texas Panhandle, dead fish, their flesh already decayed and feasted on by maggots, lie with their mouths open. Nearby, deer munch on the equivalent of vegetative junk food and wild turkeys nibble on red harvester ants - certainly not their first choice for lunch. As the state struggles with the worst one-year drought in its history, entire ecosystems, from the smallest insects to the largest predators, are struggling for survival.
August 7, 2011 |
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Behind every garden is a story, and Callaway Gardens, atop the slopes of Georgia's Pine Mountain, is no different. The backstory is that Cason Callaway, a Georgia textile magnate turned gazillionaire, once said that every child should see something beautiful before he was 6 years old so he would remember it all his life. Callaway then carved out 2,500 acres from cotton farms he owned that had been eroded by poor farming practices and created Callaway Gardens, a beloved Georgia landmark threaded with woodlands, pastures, golf courses, and spectacular gardens that defy generalizations.
July 31, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - On his evening patrols at the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, the refuge's law enforcement officer sees few poachers but lots of wild pigs. Matthew Carman estimates he sees 20 pigs, sometimes more, on a typical four-hour patrol. "And I'm not looking for them," he said. Carman is one of several officials at refuges across the South who don't care for wild pigs. They're quick to point out that the animals aren't native to the continent, and they say the pigs damage ecosystems and threaten several of the species the officials are charged with protecting.
April 28, 2011
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I shop in an upscale shoe store. On the past two visits there, a middle-aged salesman kissed my wife's hand when we left. I was surprised but not offended, considering it to be nothing more than an old-fashioned expression of courtesy. The man is knowledgeable, helpful and honest. My wife, however, disagrees. She says that his gesture is forward and inappropriate and that I should resent it. Who's right? - T.R. in Houston DEAR T.R.: You are. The kiss-on-the-hand routine may be part of the man's sales technique.
November 14, 2010 |
FAIRFIELD, Pa. - When Tom Stoner thinks about his friend David L. Grove, the state wildlife conservation officer fatally shot on patrol a few miles from here Thursday night, the stories come spilling out. He recounts how Grove, 31, once found two young boys illegally using bait to hunt deer in his territory 50 miles west of Harrisburg. He apprehended them and then tracked down their father. "The father was teaching the kids to break the law," Stoner said. "David recognized that.
November 11, 2010 |
The first bald eagle was dead. The second, which lay nearby, was alive but lethargic, its legs paralyzed. Wildlife and veterinary officials immediately suspected poisoning near this Delaware farm field, and that has led to rewards totaling $4,500 for information. Officials do not believe the eagles were the target. But because eagles often eat dead animals, they can become ill or die when they eat an animal that has been poisoned. Carrion may be an easy meal for scavengers, but it can also be their last.
October 4, 2010 |
ROBINSON STREET above Lansdowne Avenue, in Overbrook, is under siege. Raccoons, among a burgeoning population of wildlife that infests much of the city, are so audacious on the street that they're trying to get in people's windows. At least that's the way it seems to worried residents. "They're looking in the window, trying to pull the screens out," said Robert Ragland, a retired homeowner on Robinson Street near Jefferson. Down the street, Helen Days said that she was astounded to see one of the creatures staring through her bedroom window.
July 12, 2010 |
Here's a novel idea for making the world a greener place: Have everyone get up close and personal with 50 local species. Could it be that simple? A matter of making friends with a few frogs and flowers, butterflies and birds? Kenn Kaufman has been pondering this since 2007, when the nationally known birder, naturalist, and author said in an interview that doing so would "profoundly change each person's sense of values, each person's sense of responsibility to the ecosystems that support all of our fellow creatures.
March 27, 2010 |
The most dangerous wild animal in Pennsylvania has caused 60 deaths and nearly 4,400 serious injuries during the last seven years; it also carries an often debilitating and sometimes fatal disease. The same menacing creature is ruining crops, destroying valuable timber, stripping the woods of seedlings, changing the very nature of forests, killing nursery stock, and ravaging the lawns, gardens and golf courses of suburban Pennsylvania. It's not the bobcat, the black bear, wild boar, or rattlesnake.
March 26, 2010 |
Troutbeck Farm is a paradise for birds, and birders - and that's by design. Bill Lucas, a stormwater engineer with a horticultural bent, and his wife, Sue, who's pure bird lady, share the Lucas family homestead in Willistown with Bill's mother and two siblings. But winged creatures rule this idyllic place, and every effort is made to attract, feed, and shelter them. "A goldfinch sitting on a coneflower . . . how pretty is that?" says Sue Lucas, a well-known bird-habitat instructor in the Philadelphia region.