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The Bugs of Bernheim: Protective Resemblance

While crouching in a thicket during a game of hide-and-seek when I was about ten years old, I spied what appeared to be a thorn moving along the stem of a blackberry bramble. Taking a closer look, I noticed tiny legs beneath this “thorn” moving it along. I soon discovered that the wings folded over […]

The Bugs of Bernheim: Wheel Bugs – Armed Assassins

Wheel Bugs (Arilus cristatus) are armed assassins in more ways than one. They belong to the order Hemiptera (true bugs), and like other insects in this order, they have a pair of hardened forewings with clear tips that make them look like half wings. In fact, the name of this order is derived from the Greek word meaning half […]

The Bugs of Bernheim: Bugs are Worthy of our Attention

Years ago, under the direction of my four year old niece Casie, I spent 45 minutes watching a fuzzy white caterpillar munching leaves.  We watched in amazement as leaf after leaf disappeared beneath the appetite of this tiny herbivore. With her dedication to the task, Casie reminded me that bug watching deserves time and attention. In my years as a […]

Nature’s Notebook: A View from the Firetower

For the past two years, I have been privileged to be a frequent guide for visitors to the Bernheim fire tower.  It is a role that I requested soon after I started my training in Bernheim’s famed Volunteer Naturalist program.  I was fortunate to have been selected and have enjoyed every one of what is […]

A Natural Defense against Nature Deficit Disorder

We are so excited that Richard Louv is coming to Bernheim this Saturday, July 16, 2016. Louv is the author of the acclaimed book, Last Child in the Woods:Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, and other related books and articles. Many of our Bernheim Volunteer Naturalists will be on hand before, during, and after the lecture to share some of their passion […]

Vanishing Acts: Kentucky Trees of Concern – Eastern Hemlock

Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, is a graceful conifer of the southern Appalachians. With its lush evergreen foliage it is more than lovely, it is also ecologically significant. This is especially pertinent in mountain stream areas of its range, where hemlock trees play a dominant role in regulating water temperature, transpiration, and stream flow – all of […]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Slow and Steady Does It

My year of writing this blog is ending. It’s been a wonderful journey, providing me the opportunity to slow down, pay attention, and share with you some of my discoveries on this one small wooded trail. If you have joined me on this journey, along the way we have witnessed the turning of the great wheel, […]

Trails from the Bent Twig Trail: The Cycle Continues

They’re back!  The spicebush butterflies have been laying their eggs on the spicebush, Lindera benzoin and sassafras trees Sassafras albidum on the Bent Twig Trail and elsewhere. Some of those eggs have hatched into small caterpillars. Nearly a year ago, I blogged about discovering these along this trail, so it seems fitting to find them again as […]