Outdoors
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Q: Your column on last Sunday uses the term "red-bellied" nuthatches. My Peterson guide uses the term "red-breasted." — Joe, RoxanneA: My mistake. I was watching a red-bellied woodpecker at our suet feeder outside my office window as I was … more
Talk to any astronomer and you're likely to hear the word "magnitude." In astronomy, magnitude refers to intensity, just as it does with regard to natural phenomena, such as earthquakes or tornadoes. Magnitude measures a star's brightness. This … more
It was during the early years of the 17th century that the Italian astronomer Galileo turned his new optic tube skyward.Many people believe that Galileo invented the telescope, but this just isn't so. The optical tool most likely came from Holland … more
Raising small flocks of backyard chickens has been a trend among city dwellers for a decade or so, and putting the birds to work can be a boon to gardens. You can use them for tilling, grubbing for worms and for their manure, which makes excellent … more
"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." — Oprah WinfreyAgain, it's the time many of us make New Year resolutions, and scores of these resolutions are personal, like cut down on coffee consumption, eat less or lose … more
If you missed the Geminid meteor shower of mid-December (and most of us did because of bright moonlight), you've got another chance. Not with the Geminids, of course — they won't return until next December — but with the Quadrantid … more
Q: We watch the birds at our feeders with much pleasure. Our question is, how and where do birds sleep in this cold weather? We feel sorry for them.— Beverly, EgremontA: There really is no reason to feel sorry for them; winter songbirds are … more
Over the decades, taste has drained out of supermarket tomatoes. Harry J. Klee, a professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida, thinks he can put it back in within a couple of years.In this week's issue of the journal Science, … more
If you're looking for a celestial challenge this week, you're in luck. On the night of Friday, Feb. 10, you might want to pay close attention to the full moon as it rises in the east shortly after sunset. If you do, you will be treated to a … more
Tomorrow is the first day of spring and for gardeners the juices are flowing. Just be careful when you step outside for the juices may freeze. After a relatively mild February, I had hopes we'd have an early start to the gardening season, much as we … more
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