Bryan's Posts About Being Outside

Monhegan Island Migration Reports

Tired songbirds drop from the skies at dawn. Falcons give chase and take life. Gulls feast on table scraps. And migration mingles with the human condition. Welcome to Monhegan Island. Ten miles off Maine’s midcoast, Monhegan is a rocky outpost…

Monhegan Report No. 1: Beer and a Movie

In the gray dawn on Monhegan Island, Merlins were already on the hunt – Blue Jays in their sights. Like stunt jets, the falcons zoomed and twisted and swooped. The jays couldn’t decide whether to scold or scatter or both.

Beginner Naturalist Course

If you prefer shorebirds to shopping, flowers over Facebook, you might be a naturalist. And you should consider joining my pals at North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier for the Beginner Naturalist Mini-Course this fall. During two lectures and two field sessions,…

An Overdue Tribute to Sally Laughlin

Nearly 30 years ago, soon after moving to Vermont, I made the pilgrimage of any self-respecting birder and field naturalist. I visited Sally Laughlin in Woodstock. Tall, elegant, brilliant, imposing, and driven, Sally welcomed me into an office of paperwork…

Big Sky

Onward from Saskatchewan (“Land of Living Skies”) to Montana (“Big Sky”). Forgive me for not yet updating the “Oh, Canada” post. Ruth and I are down from eight days of backpacking in the Gallatin Range south of Bozeman. She’s flown…

Oh, Canada

Before I say anything about Canada, about the reasonable food at Tim Hortons and crystalline waters of Lake Superior, about loonies and toonies; before I celebrate vast bogs and infinite lakes, Baird’s Sparrows and the Wawa Goose; before you get…

DSA Update No. 2: Northern Exposure

Nothing says I love you in the north like copulating Coenagrion interrogatum (Subarctic Bluets). I caught this pair in the act at the Gem Lakes area north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. But another group, even more audacious than this, was the highlight…

DSA Update No. 1: Elusive Exclusive

You would almost never know that Stylurus notatus ranged far and wide across eastern portions of North America. Even the most skilled of us with nets rarely see this dragonfly. Hence its common name: Elusive Clubtail.

Where Rivers Flow North

Need I say more? I crossed somewhere in western Ontario. And when I reached the Manitoba-Saskatchewan frontier, I met up with great swarms of dragonflies. They drifted in cities, along ponds, and in little parks where I stopped for picnics. They…

When It Rains Birds

AH, THE VERNAL DESIRE, the explosion of insects, the bustle of wings, the struggle for existence, the great rush north of migrating birds. In few places is it more dramatic than here along the shores of Lake Erie. Yeah, Lake…

Digital Photography Workshop – May 3

Friday Evening / May 3 / 6-8 pm Norwich, Vermont / $25 Give me two hours and I’ll give you your digital camera revealed. You’ll finally understand the dials, buttons and menus on your point-and-shoot or SLR camera. No longer will…

On Bogs: An Essay for Orion Magazine

Blogger’s Note: Here’s a version of my contribution to Orion Magazine‘s feature “The Place Where You Live,” published in the July-August 2013 issue. By Bryan Pfeiffer On my way to work in Peacham Bog I am blood walking. Black flies…