Nature Nearby

Nature Nearby: Empty nests in winter

January 10, 2014

BY FRED SEITZ — One of the revelations winter brings is the display of animal homes aloft in the trees and elsewhere.  Last winter, I reported on the seasonal show of bird and squirrel nests, but recent walks in Hyattsville reminded me of other local homebuilders and homesteaders. A walk with [read more]

Dark shadows overhead

November 18, 2013

– FRED SEITZ – A casual walk along the bike path or around Magruder Park might provide a view of a large shadow soaring overhead.  Initial inclination might prompt the viewer to remark about the “dirty, disease-carrying” buzzard.  This unfortunate and incorrect stigma is sometimes [read more]

Nature Nearby: The music of the night

September 10, 2013

BY FRED SEITZ — On a warm summer or early fall night, stepping outside fills your ears with a symphony or cacophony of nature’s free “music in the park” or even “music in your own backyard.”  Most of the concert is courtesy of male crickets and katydids calling for dates and mates. [read more]

Oh deer!

July 8, 2013

– FRED SEITZ – The white-tailed deer, the largest native mammal in the metropolitan area, has been a prominent area resident for decades. The big browsers, which stand 3 to 4 feet tall and can weigh up to 300 pounds as adults, continue to make their rounds in the parks, bike paths and [read more]

They’re BAAACK!!!!!

May 20, 2013

– FRED SEITZ – At the time of this writing, the red-eyed nymphs were just beginning to show themselves by creeping up through the soil.  By the time you read this, the molts of the youth (sloppy, like all teenagers), may be all over our trees and the male choruses may have awakened and [read more]

Edible Invaders

March 20, 2013

– FRED SEITZ – From early March through May, the edges of many local woodlands are decorated (some say defiled), by a green invader brought to Eastern North America by early settlers who needed an early spring food stock and medicinal herb to help their survival.  Garlic mustard [read more]

Nature Nearby: Masked bandits suffer loss of territory

January 15, 2013

BY FRED SEITZ — In November and December, several Hyattsville residents noticed the increased presence and occasional demise of some of Hyattsville’s cutest and cleverest burglars, raccoons. The popular view of these often pudgy (8- to 30-pound) mammals as burglars comes from their [read more]

Nature Nearby: What lies beneath

November 10, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — The Northwest Branch of the Anacostia and the nearby tributaries in Magruder Park and Hyattsville suffer from the urban insults of runoff, trash, toxic pollutants and excessive sedimentation. Despite these abuses, there is an interesting display of life in both Branch and [read more]

Nature Nearby: Of worms and men

September 10, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — Fascinating for gardeners, fishermen, Aristotle, Darwin and Edgar Allan Poe, the earthworm, an unobtrusive invertebrate, is one of our most helpful partners in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, the term worm has been applied to everything from medieval dragons to intestinal [read more]

Nature Nearby: Breaking news! A tree fell in the forest

April 10, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — When weekend winds brought down a dead pine on top of Washington Gas’ new electronic gas line box last month, it definitely made a sound, much louder than that of one hand clapping. The fallen pine, near the Crittenden Street trailhead to Magruder Park, awakened some neighbors [read more]
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