Tag Archives: barbara mackay

Rosy maple moth: contender for the cutest moth award
The Outside Story
August 30, 2018

Rosy maple moth: contender for the cutest moth award

By Barbara Mackay

The church service was about to begin when some breathless kids pulled me out of my seat to “come see this awesome, pretty, pink-and-yellow, fuzzy baby moth!” on the Sunday school door. It was a rosy maple moth, Dryocampa rubicunda, notable for…

American goldfinch: a common bird with uncommon habits
Column
July 27, 2017

American goldfinch: a common bird with uncommon habits

By Barbara Mackay

I love the fact that there is always something new to observe in nature. Take goldfinches, for example. I have often watched them devour milkweed seeds from an acrobatic, upside-down position. Recently, I spotted several bright yellow males perched atop dandelion stems,…

The Outside Story
The Outside Story
May 7, 2015

The Outside Story

Vernal pools: Hatch, grow and get out

By Barbara Mackay

Three things happened this week: bluebirds and tree swallows returned, my road was graded, and the red maple buds popped. It’s time to search for vernal pools.

Vernal pools are small…

The Outside Story: Would a woolly bear tell a lie?
Column
October 22, 2014

The Outside Story: Would a woolly bear tell a lie?

By Barbara Mackay

Autumn is coming to a close. The brilliant fall foliage is past peak, if not already layered in the compost bin. The last geese are honking their way toward winter homes. Predictions are proffered (sometimes cheerfully, mostly not) for how…