Nature Nearby: Nature’s winter forecaster?

November 15, 2017

BY FRED SEITZ — Walking down the street on a mild October afternoon, my wife and I encountered one of winter’s most famous and visible harbingers, a banded woolly bear caterpillar (aka woolly worm or fuzzy worm). Pyrrharctia isabella is the caterpillar, or larval form, of the Isabella tiger [read more]

Nature Nearby: The fungus among us

September 20, 2017

BY FRED SEITZ — The extensive rain in the past few months has raised the visibility of one of the most adaptive, diverse and mysterious organisms: fungus. A walk in the woods will reveal fungi from the familiar toadstools, to various shelf-type fungi on trees and logs, to some brilliant [read more]

My Two Cents: A river of humanity converges in Hyattsville

July 25, 2016

BY BEN SIMASEK — Today, I took a bike ride on the trail along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River, which features some beautiful park land. I stopped on a footbridge, listened to the water trickling 20 feet beneath me and the birds chirping above, and watched the colors of the fading sun [read more]

Nature Nearby: Time to hop into Spring

March 15, 2014

BY FRED SEITZ — Valentine’s Day has passed without the usual love songs from the swamp.  Spring is a bit slow in coming this year and the chorus of spring peepers that normally sings in late January or early February has been silent, due to the frozen ground.  Soon, however, we should hear [read more]

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]

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]

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]

Nature Nearby: Squab a la Pepco

February 8, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — West Hyattsville Metro riders may want to note that their journey from station to street takes them beneath about a hundred of nature’s most revered and reviled avians. Perching on the nearby power lines is a longtime flock of rock doves, also known as pigeons. Taken for [read more]
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