Browsing Bliss Awaits You

It appears you're using Internet Explorer or an early version of Edge, which is a bit like watching a black-and-white TV with "rabbit ears." You're missing symmetry, joy and actual knowledge — not only here on my website but across the internet. I suggest you upgrade to Chrome or Firefox. You’ll discover a lot more nature, maybe even actual rabbit ears.

— Bryan

Selected Essays and Articles

Bow of a wooden canoe in the water.

Wash of the West Branch

For Northern Woodlands

Each year that we run the West Branch of the Penobscot into the big lake, I think, this will be the last time. Read on »

Bobcat tucked under a rock overhanging.

Bobcats on the Go

For Northern Woodlands

There comes a time in every mammal mother’s life when her young leave. For some, this comes in a matter of weeks, for others it might be years. As I follow bobcat tracks through snow on a mid-winter day, dispersal is on my mind. My 18-year-old son is preparing to fledge... Read on »

A woodland jumping mouse on the forest floor

Woodland Jumping Mice are Truffle Specialists

For Northern Woodlands

“Shhh,” I tell my 5-year-old son, “there are animals sleeping, right under our feet.” He presses his ear against the frozen ground, hoping to hear the slow, sleepy breath of a snoozing mammal. Read on »

A vole peeks out from its tunnel.

The Skinny on Voles

For Northern Woodlands

Bent down in an apple field searching for a lost earring, I found a different treasure: a stout mouse-like animal, with a short tail and stubby ears. It gave me one quick look, then disappeared through a maze of tunnels in the thick autumn grass. Read on »

Backyard Naturalist: Open your eyes to the animal world around you

For the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

We are kneeling in the snow on a cold winter’s day. Our mittens are off and my fourth grade students are running their fingers along the rippled paw prints of the red fox we’ve been following. Read more »

An American marten walking in snow.

The Disappearing, Reappearing American Marten

For Northern Woodlands

Some people keep lifelong birding lists. I’ve tried, but birds and I have never really hit it off. Too many colors, too many species, and I'm tone deaf, so birding by ear is completely beyond me. I do keep a lifelong weasel list. Read on »

A yellow brown spider crawling on top of snow.

Snow Spiders: Rule Breakers

For Northern Woodlands

I have always admired nature’s mutineers: animals and plants that thwart the recognized system and do their own thing. Read on »

A woman with binoculars searcing for birds on an early winter day.

Backyard Naturalist: Gifts from the Christmas bird count

For the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

I’m not a birder and in fact bird watching intimidates me. The field is filled with experts who can identify a bird by the very first breath of a whistle or chirp. Read on »

A red fox sitting in a tall meadow.

From Yips to Shrieks, Fox Talk Runs the Gamut

For Northern Woodlands

Sometimes it pays to be an insomniac. One frigid winter night, I climbed out of my restless bed and slipped outside to stand under a sky littered with stars and take in the complete silence of darkness. Read on »

An eastern gray squirrel sitting on the branch of a tree.

Nuts for Acorns

For Northern Woodlands Magazine

Tucked behind a stonewall on the edge of a hardwood forest, my six-year-old students and I spy on an Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) as it climbs out of a tree cavity and scurries down to the ground. Read on »

An artist's rendition of a wooly mammoth walking on a rocky landscape.


For Northern Woodlands Magazine

I fall in love easy. I’ve been mad about river otters and star-nosed moles, and of course the venomous short-tailed shrew. But my first love was a creature that is almost mythical, a shadow lingering on the edges of time. Read on »

A hand holding a gray tree frog.

Touched by Touch

For the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

I’m standing on the edge of Cynthia’s Pond, a beautiful swamp near the Harris Center. I have 12 kids with me, armed with nets, strainers, containers and rubber boots. On this day our buckets are teeming with our catch: dragonfly nymphs, water boatmen, an enormous giant water bug, and count­less leeches. Read on »

A trail camera photograph of a bobcat exhibiting eye-shine.

Tapestry of Light

For Northern Woodlands Magazine

I’ve taken to wandering the night lately–one of the pleasures of having a puppy. Willow, my pup, and I walk at all hours,from twilight to midnight and into the shadowy early morning. Read on »

An American river otter standing on rocks looking towards the camera.

Sliding Shenanigans

For Northern Woodlands Magazine

I have been living with an otter. He’s long and sleek, a graceful swimmer with an insatiable appetite for fish. At first he was just my boy, a chubby little toddler, happy to snuggle and follow his big sister around. Read on »

An eastern coyote in a field.

Coyotes Prepare for Winter

For Northern Woodlands Magazine

Eight years ago, my husband and I planted 128 fruit trees on a hillside, mostly apples, but the back few rows included stone fruits. Our apples began producing with gusto after only a few years. Read on »

A black and white photograph of a yound child holding an eastern red eft salamander.

Everyday Animals, Or Why Not Kiss a Worm

For Minding Nature

Let’s Be Chickadees. Pshht, pshht, pshht we call as we sit on the frozen ground so close to one another that we can feel the cold spray of our neighbor’s pshht. In the distance I had heard a few black capped chickadees and gathered the group to try our luck at calling them closer. Read on »