Notes from a Naturalist

November 12, 2020

What Even Is a Mushroom?

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - November 2020

"We have finally been getting some much-needed rain in Connecticut. This water plays an important role in the environment, including as the catalyst for the reproductive cycle of a mostly unseen organism: the mushroom. There is so much more to a mushroom than what you see emerging from the ground or trees. So what role do they play?" 


October 14, 2020

Can You Sense It?

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - October 2020

"October is a time of great change in nature. The northern hemisphere prepares itself for winter in a spectacular way, especially in the temperate forests of New England. When out on a hike we always have an excellent opportunity to engage the senses we were born with, but even more-so in autumn."

-Read the full article here

September 23, 2020

Planetary Show

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - September 2020

"All through my life the stars have fascinated me. Looking up on a clear night and seeing the infinite number of stars in the sky is both humbling and inspiring. It’s not only the stars that can be found in our skies: Depending on the time of year we can also see the planets with which we share our solar system."

-Read the full article here

August 27, 2020

Compass Trees

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - August 2020

"Have you ever been on a hike and lost track of where you are? Luckily we have our phones to help us find our way, but we cannot always rely on these devices — service can be poor or battery levels can be low. Luckily nature is there to help guide us, as long as we are tuned into her signs. One of these signs comes from the trees, who are reliable companions, helping us orient ourselves and find our way."

-Read the full article here

July 20, 2020

Teachings from a Praying Mantis

By Allegra Jacobs, Animal Care Coordinator - July 2020

"I’ve always thought of myself as a very spiritual person. I was raised spiritually, with a love for Earth, nature, animals, and the presence of peace and quiet. I fall back on this when times get tough, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to admit that 2020 has been a very tough year so far."  So what guidance can a praying mantis provide?"

-Read the full article here

June 15, 2020

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - June 2020

"In June it’s common to find turtles crossing the road. Unfortunately, roads are a major cause of death for turtles because of the fragmentation of habitat along with increased risk of car strikes while crossing the road. So why do turtles cross the road? It’s not just to get to the other side..."

-Read the full article here

May 15, 2020

Loving our Lawn Weeds - Broadleaf Plantain

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - May 2020

"Weed” is a word we use for a plant that is unwelcome and unwanted and perhaps grows a bit out of control. But if we can learn a little more about why they are so successful at growing and how they might benefit us, we can perhaps change our perspectives and respect these beautiful plants a little more..."

-Read the full article here

April 14, 2020

Forest Bathing

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - April 2020

"Have you taken a bath in the forest recently? A new practice originating from Japan called shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is not a physical bath with water and soap, but more of a mental and physical cleansing that arises from spending time around trees. You don’t even need to be in a forest. Just near trees. But what benefits does spending time in nature have?"

-Read the full article here

March 16, 2020

Why Do Rivers Bend?

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - March 2020

"Have you ever noticed the difference between a natural flowing river and a man-made canal? Canals move straight to their destination while rivers wind back and forth along the landscape. Humans make canals to travel the shortest amount of distance between two locations. If efficiency is so vital in ecosystems, why would nature increase the distance water has to travel to get to the ocean?"

-Read the full article here

February 10, 2020

Natural Hearts - Shapes in Nature

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - February 2020

"Sight is one of the most important senses we rely on as humans. We are good at noticing colors, patterns, and shapes. In the month of February, people tend to have love on the mind, and a popular shape to represent this is the heart. Can you find heart shapes in nature? Here are some examples of hearts in nature and how they came to be..."

-Read the full article here

January 14, 2020

What the Size of a Snowflake can tell you

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator - January 2020

"In winter we can still find beautiful moments taking place around us. One of these beautiful moments is a snowflake! Its common knowledge that each snowflake is unique, but a single snowflake can tell us a lot about what is happening in the atmosphere around and above us. Why are some snowflakes smaller than others? Why does snow sometimes fall when it’s above freezing?"

-Read the full article here

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Woodcock Nature Center

56 Deer Run Road, Wilton, CT 06897

P (203) 762-7280

F (203) 834-0062

Our mission is to connect people to the habitats, plants and animals of Southwestern CT through programs that build awareness, nurture understanding, and advance conservation. 

© Woodcock Nature Center 2019