Ted Levin

Commentator

Ted Levin is a nature writer and photographer. His latest book is America's Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake, University of Chicago Press, May, 2016.

Coyote Hollow from the Levins' rooftop. photograph courtesy of Casey Levin

From the porch, on a clear August day, I can see Mount Ascutney, forty miles distant, more an afterthought than a keynote, far beyond the more imposing Gove Hill.

Mary Holland / www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

Sea lampreys are a conundrum. In Lake Champlain they’re hated, while in the Connecticut River they’re championed.

www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

2018 has been declared The Year Of The Bird - the one-hundredth anniversary of the landmark agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to protect the birds that migrate across the continent.

Cynthia Crawford, www.creaturekinships.net

Vermont’s weather has always been unpredictable, but as climate change brings new and even more uncertain conditions, I’ve taken to tracking weather patterns by the appearance or absence of dooryard birds.

Levin: The Coyote Debate

Feb 20, 2018

Coyotes woke me up the other night with a serenade of the wildest kind echoing off the hills, a sound that makes me yearn for the passage of House Bill 636, which would make Vermont the only state besides California to ban coyote-hunting competitions.

Toby Talbot / AP


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Here we are, one day before Christmas, four days past Hanukkah, and three days into winter, with about a week to go before the start of the New Year. It’s a time of transitions, passages, and renewal.

Recently, The Washington Post published an Op Ed piece by Alexander Pyron, an evolutionary biologist at George Washington University, titled “We Don’t Need To Save Endangered Species.” The author argued that extinction is both natural and unimportant and that humans should take care of themselves, trusting Earth to correct any arrogant mistakes over deep time.

Levin: Ghost Butterflies

Oct 30, 2017

Recently, while visiting the rocky shores of Rhode Island and relaxing at George’s Beach in the unseasonable warmth of a protracted Indian summer, I watched a steady stream of monarch butterflies rise above pine and flaxen tangles and pass by our beach chairs.

My compost pile sits west of the garden and consists of two ripening mounds of table scraps, grass clippings, and hand-pulled weeds that I turn from time to time.

Ticks move like zombies; one speed, one direction, a stiff, endless, methodical forward plod… best described as creepy.

Ted Levin

Sitting on my desk at home is a small vial of alcohol containing three pickled, blacklegged tick nymphs, each no bigger than the period at the end of a typed sentence… three tiny alarming arachnids.

Charlie Hohn

The flow from the July 1st downpour had jumped two streambeds and overwhelmed two culverts, trisecting Thetford’s Five Corners Road into three unequal lengths, scouring out a pair of nearly forty-foot wide spillways into the woods. It had left skirts of debris fixed to tree trunks and draped from low limbs, some more than a foot above the ground.

The word topophilia means love of place, a complex, multilayered emotion that the poems of Mary Oliver and the essays of Aldo Leopold and Edward Abbey awaken without ever having to mention the word. Landscape memories involve a jubilee of sights and sounds, smells and textures of bygone days, which, in my case, are those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer… beach days.

Levin: Way Too Soon

May 1, 2017

This year I made a bet with a friend about when we’d first hear spring peepers in our respective valleys.

Just a few days ago, a black vulture appeared above Walpole, New Hampshire, thirty-seven years after I confirmed the first turkey vulture nest in northern New England.

Five years ago, when St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire built a new science and math building, a decision was made to suspend a nearly six-foot diameter, white latex-painted globe called Science-on-a-Sphere from the ceiling of the third-floor conference room.

On December 15, I joined twenty-four other birders in Woodstock for the forty-second, Annual Christmas Bird Count. Collectively, we recorded twenty-five hundred and nineteen birds, representing thirty-five different species.

Levin: College Reunion

May 4, 2016
Cindy Crawford

Certain birds arrest my attention. A streaking peregrine falcon... a bittern standing stone still in a marsh … a scarlet tanager or indigo bunting doing anything, anywhere... the effervescent song of a winter wren. Red-headed woodpeckers make my list, as well.

Levin: Owl Rescue

Apr 14, 2016

Encounters between a barred owl and a moving car can be hard on the owl, which despite deceptive appearances is really no heavier than a large gray squirrel... or put another way, the average female barred owl - females are heavier than males - weighs twenty-five percent less than a quart of skim milk.

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