Cat(bird) Stevens

Summer can’t be far away when the Gray Catbird returns to Massachusetts.

Walking by a thicket at the Audubon this morning, I was surprised to hear so many different birds near me. But actually, the various calls were coming from just this ONE bird, who was eyeing me from a a nearby bush-the Catbird.

At home, we usually see the Catbird in our yard in early May. We have named him “Cat Stevens”, since he has an amazing repertoire, and he entertains us endlessly. I have tried whistling the first few bars of “Morning Has Broken”, hoping he would join me in a duet. So far, I have not been successful.

It’s a Wild World….


Our Island Home

From New Atlas:
“The Cassini mission to the Saturnian system is drawing to a close, but the spacecraft still had enough pluck to send a postcard back to its home planet featuring a image of Earth shot from between Saturn’s rings. Cassini took the picture on April 12, when it was 870 million mi (1.4 billion k) away from Earth.

NASA released the photo yesterday. While it’s impossible to tell from such a distance, the space agency says that the southern Atlantic Ocean was facing Saturn when the photo was snapped.”

A facebook friend reminded me of this quote from the Book of Common Prayer, which is so appropriate for Earth Day 2017:
“At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.”



The first graders at my school just completed an interdisciplinary study of habitats. After learning about different types, they each chose one animal to research and wrote a non-fiction book featuring that animal. Their books included a table of contents, a number of chapters, illustrations and diagrams. They were quick to notice that the non-fiction children’s books they read often included a riddle, puzzle, poem or game. It wasn’t long before those elements began appearing in their books, as well.

The young authors wrote about koalas, rabbits, pandas, tigers and other intriguing creatures with enthusiasm and concentration. They even created artworks that placed their animals in the correct habitat. These are hanging proudly in our hallway.

In these difficult times, it gives me hope to observe their love and excitement for caring for our environment. Happy Earth Day, indeed!



Every Spring, I look forward to seeing the field of daffodils at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. The flowers are just coming into full bloom. They brightened up this cloudy, cool day!




Quabbin Reservoir

“Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930s by the construction of two huge earthen dams, the reservoir is fed by the three branches of the Swift River, and seasonally by the Ware River. Quabbin’s water covers 39 square miles, is 18 miles long and has 181 miles of shoreline. When full, Quabbin holds 412 billion gallons of water.

The New Salem and Enfield lookouts offer magnificent views of the reservoir. In order to flood the vast area of the Swift River Valley in the 1930s, the entire population of four towns had to be relocated. Hundreds of homes, businesses, a state highway, a railroad line, and 34 cemeteries were also moved or dismantled. Over 6,000 graves were relocated from the Valley to Quabbin Park Cemetery.”

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