Tag Archives: meghan mccarthy mcphaul

The Outside Story
May 3, 2018

Mute swans, beautiful but harmful

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

The big white birds paddling gracefully across a Massachusetts pond last November surprised me. I’d grown up in the town I was visiting and had never seen swans there, although my friend assured me they were resident birds. The only mute…

Spring: raccoons and other mischieveous critters
The Outside Story
March 30, 2018

Spring: raccoons and other mischieveous critters

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

Often, during my forays into the woods behind our house, I wonder who might be occupying the holes carved into tree trunks by time and nature. The barred owls I hear hoo-hoo-hoo-hooing, maybe, or the chittering red squirrels. And, chances are,…

The Outside Story
January 4, 2018

Quaking Aspen: capturing winter light

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

Near the house where I lived during my Colorado years, there was a trail that wove through a sprawling grove of perfect quaking aspen trees. In spring, the soft green of emerging leaves was one of the first signs of warming…

Summer House Guests
Column
July 13, 2017

Summer House Guests

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

Perhaps the phoebe selected her nesting spot during the few days my family was away from home at the end of April. Otherwise, I can’t quite figure her decision to build a nest atop the back porch light, right next to…

The evolution of bird feet
Column
June 21, 2017

The evolution of bird feet

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

As spring’s crescendo of birdsong mellows now to a steadier summer trill, I listen for melodies I don’t recognize and try to figure out which birds are singing. I look through binoculars at their feathers, the color variations along head and…

All about antlers
Column
February 8, 2017

All about antlers

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

A few autumns ago, one of the frequent visitors to our gone-wild apple orchard was a lopsided, one-point buck. We often see does and young, antlerless deer in the field, and by the end of each fall we’re able to identify…

Mink in the middle
Column
January 25, 2017

Mink in the middle

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

If the river otter is the most aquatic member of the mustelid family and weasels represent the terrestrial branch of the clan, the American mink is the adept middle child, taking advantage of its adaptations both in the water and on…

The Outside Story: Karner blues make a comeback
The Outside Story
June 30, 2016

The Outside Story: Karner blues make a comeback

 

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

The Karner blue, New Hampshire’s state butterfly, is a wisp of a thing, a tiny fluttering of silvery-blue wings. Unless you happen to be wandering through a pine barren or black-oak savannah, however, you’re unlikely to spot one. Even then,…