Outdoorosity - Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

Wildlife

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When we were growing up, my brother, sister, and I used to go outside on summer nights and try to catch fireflies. Today, watching them flash in the evening is still one of my favorite things about summer. Not long ago, while we were camping in a valley, the fireflies flashed in the trees all …

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You may have heard it in the evening or late into the night: a yip, a chattering howl, an eerie chorus that reminds you that something is wild and awake and on the move. You don’t have to live near woods or a forest to hear it; you can hear the sounds in neighborhoods, towns, …

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It’s so easy to snap a picture. You don’t even need to carry a camera – a cell phone, tablet, or iPad will do the job just fine. If you like to take photos, you’ve probably got a growing collection of pictures of friends, family, events, and selfies. But have you ever thought of capturing …

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I’m not really scared of snakes, though they sometimes surprise me by seeming to appear out of nowhere. Over the years, we’ve found a number of black snakes in our yard; they’ve been in our chicken coop, in our driveway, even in my mother-in-law’s house! There have been enough of them that we began to …

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The other day, as we were opening the door to go out, my daughter, son, and I heard something screaming in the woods up the hill behind our house. It sounded a lot like a person, and she and I became quite alarmed. It didn’t seem to bother my son at all. “Did you hear …

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Whenever I mow close to the house, I notice a number of insects moving out of the grass. Some go up towards the windows and hang on the screens. There will often be at least one or two praying mantises in the group, some large and some small. And each time, I’m amazed by these …

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We love chickens at our house – not the fried kind, but the kind that wanders around the yard clucking, squawking, and eating insects. With two dogs, we can’t have roaming chickens anymore, but there was a time our chickens could go anywhere they liked. They even roosted high in the trees at night. That …

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Have you ever had a surprise guest to a barbecue or picnic? A few years ago we had a picnic in our backyard with lots of extended family. After eating, one of the kids needed to throw something away, so I told them to bring over a large garbage can. Imagine their surprise when they …

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When I was in elementary school, I read the book Rascal and fell in love with raccoons. These clever animals are not only at home in the woods, but they are so adaptable they often take up residence in neighborhoods and cities too.  Raccoons are medium-sized mammals that are easily recognized by their black masks …

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It’s happened again in my daughter’s basement bedroom! A new visitor appeared last week – and this time I became worried too. As she went in to get ready for bed, she flicked on the light, and found a black widow crawling up the wall! We’ve seen enough black widows outside over the years to …

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We have a small terrier mix that we adopted from our local humane society about seven years ago. “Max” loves to be outdoors and often follows my son around the backyard or through a nearby field. Several times my son has commented how Max has actually made a trail through the yard, where the grass …

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We live out in the country, so whenever I’m driving home (especially at night), I am on the lookout for deer. Sometimes they are just standing by the side of the road; other times they run across the road right in front of the car. One evening as I was coming home from work, a …

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My teenage daughter has a basement bedroom, one she doesn’t want to share with either her sister home from college or creepy crawlies from outside. She is always dismayed, then, when she finds either in her room, especially a creepy crawly. And the one that bothers her is the most is the centipede. With the …

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It’s early December, and almost all the deciduous trees in our yard are bare. That makes it easier to see some feathered friends, especially cardinals with their bright red plumage. One red bird that’s difficult to spot throughout the year is the scarlet tanager. In the summer, these birds usually stay among the thick foliage …

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It’s the holiday season, which means lots sparkly lights, colorful packages, and pine cones! If you haven’t noticed them before, you’re sure to see them now – on wreaths, in baskets, as ornaments and centerpieces. But besides adding to the holiday cheer, pine cones have an important job. They protect the pine tree seeds from …

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We have had a few cold snaps already, and I’ve noticed a sharp decline in the number of insects around. So when my son and I were pulling up some vines the other day, you can image our surprise when a swarm of yellowjackets came up from the ground. We took off running as fast …

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This Thursday is Thanksgiving, which for many Americans means a table laden with food like mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, pumpkin pie, and of course, turkey. And while you may be familiar with the domestic farm-raised turkeys that often end up as part of the Thanksgiving menu, there is another kind of turkey out there …

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My seventeen-year-old is not a fan of creepy-crawly things, and she’s been working hard at keeping them out of her room. We live in an older home, so sometimes this proves to be quite a challenge. Imagine her shock and dismay to find another outdoor creature inside her space. This time, though, it wasn’t a …

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Every fall, North America’s monarch butterflies travel hundreds of miles to migrate to warmer areas.  Making the migration even more amazing, the butterflies return in the spring. They are the only butterfly species known to make this two-way migration like birds do.  Where Do They Go? Some butterflies go through the winter as larvae, pupa, …

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We love snow days at my house. Because it doesn’t snow that often, we’re outside even on bitterly cold, windy snow days. Then, when we’re just too frozen to stay out any longer, we head inside for a bowl of hot soup or chili. But have you ever wondered what the birds eat during the …

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