Inside the Map

Play as you learn. Learn as you play.

Coyote pups in the woods!

Coyote pups in the woods!

Look closely at the photo Molly Hale, Wildlife Biologist at Conservation Works in Northhampton MA sent me of a coyote pup. She came across a den site and wrote this, “There were at least three and the others were scuttled off by mama before I could get my camera out. But this one was a little behind the curve, or maybe had been sleeping, so didn’t go off with the others. They were so cute–still wobbly on the feet, little tails about 6″ long with only short fuzzy hair. I’m thinking coyote rather than fox now because they were under a log, not in a burrow, and because of the lack of black on the front legs.
They were at the edge of an acre-size impenetrable shrub/vine tangle–just the kind of place people would never go!”


Check out a recent piece I wrote on Wildflowers!


Pine Cone at Coon Mountain

Pine Cone at Coon Mountain

The photo was taken by Arlo Halloran, Westport Central School, Grade 6. He is one of the students in my Patterns in Nature class this spring.

Mink tracks on Lake Champlain

Watching a mink on the frozen lake.

Watching a mink on the frozen lake.

This group had a beautiful hike on the frozen lake yesterday.  We stopped to look at a mink who was hiding in a crevice on the shore.  The ice was full of incredible patterns but was too bumpy to skate on the NY shoreline.

The mink had been out on the ice when the temperture was warm.  Beautiful frozen tracks.

The mink had been out on the ice when the temperature was warm on Sunday. Beautiful frozen tracks.

Winter seed heads

These seeds of Virgin’s Bower were glowing in the winter sunlight.  A beautiful vine at all times of year.

Seeds of Virgin's Bower

Seeds of Virgin’s Bower

Sparkling hike on Christmas Day

This year I had a houseful for Christmas and we all needed some fresh air after a cozy morning by the fire. We hiked the Pinnacle, a favorite local spot with a gorgeous view.  A few new items of clothing were put to the temperature test–it was 9 degrees when we left the car.  Gorgeous sunshine made the forest a winter wonderland.   Lots of hikes and explorations to look forward to in 2014!

Looking north from Pinnacle on Christmas Day

Looking north from Pinnacle on Christmas Day

Pharoah Mountain

Looking west toward the hike peaks.  Crane Pond just inside the right edge.

Looking west toward the hike peaks. Crane Pond just inside the right edge.

Gorgeous weather in every way.  Had a great hike up Pharoah Mountain from Crane Pond yesterday.  The colors of the blueberries and the lichen were like a mosaic on the rock slopes.  Early-to-middle  color in the trees.

Looking east over Pharoah Lake.

Looking east over Pharoah Lake.

Wet rocks

Kids are really agile but good footwear is important.  Rock faces and tree roots are slick.  Save the smooth rubber soles for camp. Plain-old sneakers with treads will do if you don’t have boots with ankle support.

Rock faces are slippery!

Rock faces are slippery!

New bear sign

Bear sign

The bears are moving around as the beech nuts and acorns mature.  I’ve seen a number of trees with evidence of recent climbing.

Moonrise and the Upper Lake

Sage's Folly

Just back from three great days with the crew from Charleston, SC.  Nice hike up and over Sage’s Folly.