Nature is red in tooth and claw. That paraphrase of the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson came to mind when I saw the sharp-shinned hawk make a pass at the birds around my feeders. The hawk’s presence can usually be assumed when the smaller birds scatter wildly, some of them taking refuge in the dense, multi-stemmed deutzia shrub near the feeders.
Firewood looks harmless, but it can harbor the emerald ash borer, a devastating forest pest. Hunters are urged not to move firewood to and from their camps. Instead, buy firewood locally and burn it all before returning home.
The literary naturalist Loren Eiseley described the way vegetation reveals its secrets in the fall and winter, when the lush growth of summer is reduced to the freeze-tolerant mechanical parts of stems, bark, wood, leaves, fruits and seeds.
A horror story was the last thing I expected when I recently picked up "By a Thousand Fires," an antique book about Ernest Thompson Seaton. But there it was, creepy and gross enough for a Hollywood thriller.