Florida State Parks – Lake Jackson Archeological Mounds

Sun streamed through the wide canopy of huge Live Oaks growing in front of the historic remains at Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park. The trees were some of the largest oaks I had seen in a long time, but even they were dwarfed by the earthen temple mounds rising behind them. Read the rest…

10000 Birds – Birding Florida Caverns State Park

Florida Caverns State Park is known for one, quite obvious thing: the caverns. It’s not surprising – they’re amazing and the park staff have done a fabulous job facilitating tours – but the park is also known for birding opportunities. This fall, I stopped at Florida Caverns with two friends who had never visited before….

Birding Maine – Birding Knight’s Pond Preserve

Knight’s Pond has been a staple of my childhood since my family moved back to Southern Maine when I was 12. Shallow, with an outcropping of marsh vegetation in the center, Knight’s Pond freezes into the perfect skating pond every winter. Why have I never liked rink skating? Because swooshing perfect loops around Knight’s Pond was always…

Florida State Parks – St. George Island

St. George Island State Park sits at the edge of Apalachicola Bay, a barrier island separating the brackish water of the estuary from the salty Gulf of Mexico. As I drove through the entrance gates, life seemed to erupt everywhere I looked. Beginning on the Gulf of Mexico beach, I followed dozens of shorebirds as…

Duke Nicholas School – Dreaming of a White (but Sandy) Christmas

Growing up in Maine, I often experienced the classic, snow globe-esque Christmas seen in movies and television shows. After opening presents, my siblings and I would pull on our snow pants and coats and head out into a world of white, building the always-popular snowman or taking an ice-skating spin around a local pond. Since…

Nat Geo – In Conclusion

It has been a few months since I returned from my last expedition to the Maine North Woods. Since then, President Obama has announced the creation of the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, encompassing more than 87,000 acres adjacent to Baxter State Park. This impressive conservation area adds habitat protection and connectivity for…

Florida State Parks – Collier-Seminole State Park

The afternoon light had already begun to dim as I set foot on the Royal Palm Nature Trail near the Collier-Seminole State Park boat launch. I have become used to the pine and scrub vegetation of the Florida Panhandle, so the trees and bushes bordering the gravel trail and boardwalk seemed absolutely tropical. Upon researching…

Nat Geo – Two Days at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) was designated in 1984 and encompasses 1,600 acres of coastal…

Duke Nicholas School – Three Books to Add to Your Holiday Wish List

We are all smack-dab in the middle of the gift-giving season, and I personally think there are few presents as enjoyable as a really good book. For all those ecologists, managers, and practitioners out there, here are three books that should absolutely be on your list! I have recently read all three, and together they…

Birding Maine – Christmas Bird Counts

In the 1800’s, Americans would celebrate the Christmas holiday by heading to the fields and woods with their guns, killing as many  birds as they possibly could in order to “win” the competition with their friends and neighbors. Read the rest at the Bangor Daily News!

Florida State Parks – O’Leno

The Santa Fe river reflected the blue sky and green canopy above like a mirror, its current only creating the faintest of ripples as water moved leisurely downstream. O’Leno State Park was relatively quiet in the afternoon heat, a faint buzz of insects providing the only background noise under the quiet crunch of my hiking…