I believe it is a chicken bone!

Nature

Covers, May 2024

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Let’s Take a Hike, May 2024: Spotted Eagle-Owl

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Spotted Eagle-Owl. Photo © Ian Landis.

Wrapping up the Migration

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive By the third week in May, bird migration is winding down. The resident birds are nesting or even feeding young. It’s time to check several areas where unusual or rare birds have been reported.My friend Alan and I left early...

From the Editor’s Quill, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive As I write this, many of us are still anticipating the solar eclipse that is about to occur. For months our family has been planning a trip to Texas to see the eclipse. Now, with it just a few days away, we see a lot of rain...

Invisibles, May 2024: Cougar Kittens

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My Blue and Black Tale

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive My schoolteacher had explained to us that swallowtail butterfly caterpillars like carrot plants. Since I had a row of carrots in my garden, I thought I’d check them. But in vain. Daily I’d take my trip to the garden and come...

Crying Bird

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Limpkin. Photo © Svetlana Foote|Dreamstime.com. Something moved in the weeds along the shoreline. It was bulky and slow. With a heavy body and long neck and legs, it waded in the water, high-stepping all the way. Its long...

Pictures & Poems, May 2024

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Wondernose: What animal lives in one of the world’s most inaccessible regions?

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Himalayan tahr. Photo © Ivanka Blazkova|Dreamstime.com. Now you are busy thinking what that inaccessible region might be. Antarctica? Certainly hard to reach, but I was thinking of some other remote place.That’s it—our...

Creation Close-ups, May 2024

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Mailbox, May 2024

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Nature Crossword Puzzle

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You Can Draw a Tiger Cub Submissions

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You Can Draw an American Copper Butterfly

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The Call of the Loon

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Common Loon on lake in Maine. Photo © Harry Collins|Dreamstime.com. Dusk thickens over the beautiful Maine forest and lake. The sun has set, and the moon has begun her watchful ascent into the star-cast sky. All is silent....

Caption This Cougar, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive "I can't believe my eyes!" Photo © Holly Kuchera|Dreamstime.com. We invite you to submit your caption for this photograph. The photograph will be used on the back of the September issue, along with our choice of a caption or...

Variable Stars

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Betelgeuse, the yellow star in the lower left corner, is a pulsating variable star. Aside from their twinkling, stars seem to always shine at a fixed brightness. Things aren’t always as they seem though. If you watch some...

In Our Skies, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive May 3: Saturn is .8° N of the moon.May 5: Mars is .2° S of the moon.May 9: Mercury is highest in the early morning sky due to its greatest western elongation. Look low in the east just before sunrise.May 31: Saturn is .4° N...

Dandy Dandelions

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Yay, the dandelions are taking over! I thought as I glanced out the window one May day.Actually, I’m not crazy; I’m just kidding. Seriously though, I do wonder, “Does, ‘In everything give thanks’ apply to dandelions?” In...

End of the Trail, May 2024: Moon

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility. The astronaut superimposed on the photo is standing where Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. first walked on the moon. Photo © Kevin and...
Wrapping up the Migration

Wrapping up the Migration

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive By the third week in May, bird migration is winding down. The resident birds are nesting or even feeding young. It’s time to check several areas where...

From the Editor’s Quill, May 2024

From the Editor’s Quill, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive As I write this, many of us are still anticipating the solar eclipse that is about to occur. For months our family has been planning a trip to Texas to...

Covers, May 2024

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Let’s Take a Hike, May 2024: Spotted Eagle-Owl

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Spotted Eagle-Owl. Photo © Ian Landis.

Wrapping up the Migration

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive By the third week in May, bird migration is winding down. The resident birds are nesting or even feeding young. It’s time to check several areas where unusual or rare birds have been reported.My friend Alan and I left early...

Crying Bird

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Limpkin. Photo © Svetlana Foote|Dreamstime.com. Something moved in the weeds along the shoreline. It was bulky and slow. With a heavy body and long neck and legs, it waded in the water, high-stepping all the way. Its long...

Pictures & Poems, May 2024

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Creation Close-ups, May 2024

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Mailbox, May 2024

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The Call of the Loon

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Common Loon on lake in Maine. Photo © Harry Collins|Dreamstime.com. Dusk thickens over the beautiful Maine forest and lake. The sun has set, and the moon has begun her watchful ascent into the star-cast sky. All is silent....

Study Guide Puzzles, May 2024

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To Photograph a Drumming Grouse

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Ruffed Grouse drumming. Photo © Allen Shank. — Allen’s Story — Thump- thump- thump b-b -d-d-d-d-D-D-D-D-d-d-d-d-d. I sat upright in my chair. There on the log it was, a beautiful Ruffed Grouse.About a month earlier, I was...

Focus Illustrated and Favorite Focus, May 2024

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Covers, April 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Red phase Eastern Screech-Owl. Photo © Robert Strickland. Northern Cardinal. Photo © Dogwood Ridge.

Let’s Take a Hike, April 2024: Great Horned Owl

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Great Horned Owl. Photo © Sam Cox.

Whoo, Hoo, Hooo’s Home?

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Owls are a fascinating family of birds. Most of them hunt at night and roost in some secluded spot during daylight hours. They are often heard but seldom seen, especially the woodland dwellers.This was the spring for the...

Pictures & Poems, April 2024

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Wondernose: What bird excavates holes by hammering its beak into the soil?

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Oops there, Wondernose. You didn’t listen carefully to my riddle if you think the woodpecker is the answer. Woodpeckers make holes in wood by hammering with their beaks. But our mystery bird digs in the soil, not in...

Creation Close-ups, April 2024

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Bluebird Summer

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Eastern Bluebird. Photo © Steve Byland/Dreamstime.com. One beautiful spring morning, I noticed a pair of bluebirds checking out the wren house on our deck. They flitted in front of the hole and tried to squeeze through, but...

You Can Draw a Cardinal Submissions

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You Can Draw a Bufflehead

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Animals

Insects & Arachnids

Water Life

Plants & Fungi

Reptiles & Amphibians

Exploring Nature, February 2024

Exploring Nature, February 2024

After a snowfall, look for fresh animal tracks to identify. Hunt for shed antlers. Maintain bird feeding stations with seeds and suet treats. In late February or early March, wood frogs and...

From the Editor’s Quill, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive As I write this, many of us are still anticipating the solar eclipse that is about to occur. For months our family has been planning a trip to Texas to see the eclipse. Now, with it just a few days away, we see a lot of rain...

Variable Stars

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Betelgeuse, the yellow star in the lower left corner, is a pulsating variable star. Aside from their twinkling, stars seem to always shine at a fixed brightness. Things aren’t always as they seem though. If you watch some...

In Our Skies, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive May 3: Saturn is .8° N of the moon.May 5: Mars is .2° S of the moon.May 9: Mercury is highest in the early morning sky due to its greatest western elongation. Look low in the east just before sunrise.May 31: Saturn is .4° N...

End of the Trail, May 2024: Moon

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility. The astronaut superimposed on the photo is standing where Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. first walked on the moon. Photo © Kevin and...

Virgo

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Virgo is a sprawling constellation that lies high in the southern sky during late spring. This constellation is easy to find thanks to the presence of its brightest star, Spica. Spica is not only the brightest star in Virgo,...

Cancer

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Cancer, the Crab, is a mid-sized constellation that lies just east of Gemini and just west of Leo. Cancer is made up solely of dim stars, and its shape is not particularly distinctive, yet it has been recognized as a...

Gemini

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive M35 and NGC 2158. Photo © Scott Rosen. Gemini, the twins, lies northeast of Orion along the band of the Milky Way. The most obvious part of Gemini is the pair of bright stars, named Pollux and Castor, which mark the...

In Our Skies, March 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive March 14 Pleiades is very close to the moon—less than 2 degrees.March 24 Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun. Look for it low in the western sky just after sunset.March 25 in the early morning (peaks...

The Ruler of the Night

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive The Moon definitely gets our attention as the ruler of the night. It overrules the dimmer sky objects when it comes out in full brightness. It also rules the ocean tides, dragging water back and forth across the Earth’s...

Mailbox, March 2024

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To Photograph An Eclipse

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Solar eclipse. Photo © Choosakdi Kabyubon|Dreamstime.com. I visualize several groups of solar eclipse observers. One group makes no effort to photograph it. They simply enjoy the view without the distraction of fiddling with...

Orion

Horsehead Nebula. Photo © Kevin & Adrian Shank. Orion, the Hunter, is one of the most well-known constellations in the night sky. Most of its popularity comes from the fact that it is made up almost exclusively of bright stars and has an easily recognizable shape,...

Favorite Focus, February 2024

Horsehead Nebula. Photo © Kevin & Adrian Shank. While the Orion Nebula is by far the most fascinating target in Orion, when it comes to photography, the Flame, Horsehead, and these other emission nebulas give it a “run for the money.”Adrian and I worked together...

Favorite Focus, January 2024

Nebraska sunset. Photo © David Miller. Last quarter moon. Photo © Britney Martin. Black-capped Chickadee. Photo © John Leck. Horned Lark. Photo © Weston Martin. Photo © Josiah Andring.

Perseus

Double Cluster, NGC 869 & NGC 884. Photo © Boris Stromar|Dreamstime.com. To the ancient Greeks, the stars of Perseus represented a hero. To me, this constellation bears little resemblance to a hero or to any other recognizable object. However, although its shape...

End of the Trail, January 2024: Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula (M42) and Running Man Nebula (NGC 1977). The Orion Nebula is one of the most splendid nebulas to enjoy through a telescope. While our eyes see a bluish white nebula, photography can pick up the hydrogen alpha light our eyes are not sensitive to, revealing...

In Our Skies, January 2024

View the January 2024 Nature Friend Magazine January starts off with a bang. The Quadrantid meteor shower, often considered one of the best showers of the year, peaks the night of 3/4. The best views will occur in the early morning hours of the 4th. With minimal...

High-flying, Dirty Snowballs

Comet NEOWISE II. Photo © Morris Yoder. Comets are nicknamed “dirty snowballs.” That nickname should give you a pretty good idea of what they are—big chunks of ice with dirt, rock, and gases mixed in. In fact, they’re dirty enough that the dirt rains in on us on a...

Wondernose

Exploring Nature

Exploring Nature, March 2024

Exploring Nature, March 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Woodcocks are doing their courtship displays. Listen for their loud peenting or beeping at dusk on warm evenings. Grizzlies come out of hibernation in mid...