Articles

Nature

Focus Illustrated… July 2021

Gray Squirrel This photo was submitted as a Favorite Focus. The editor turned it into an example of the February Photo Focus, by using Sharpen AI software to sharpen the photo. Photo © Ryan Fox, Shiloh, OH. Eastern Bluebird This photo illustrates the April 2021 Photo...

Favorite Focus… July 2021

I found this rock in a cave by our house. Photo © Nate Carlen, Chewelah, WA. I took a walk to our pond, and was delighted to find this large crayfish in a shallow puddle. Photo © Timothy David Miller, Woodburn, IN Dandelion Fun. Photo © Steven Smith. Haiti landscape...

F/stops—How They Work and Why You Want to Understand Them

F/stops sound high tech, and might even sound like something that will take all the fun out of photography. Stick with me, though, and you will learn they are not quite as scary as they sound. The term “f/stop” refers to the size of the aperture opening inside the...

Don’t Forget the Peppers!

What fruit is often harvested and eaten before it is ripe? Why, peppers, of course. Green peppers are used in many recipes and eaten raw as well. Personally, I prefer mine ripe. But with peppers being a long-season crop, we always harvest a few before the red ones...

Scorpius

Scorpius, the Scorpion, is one of the most distinctive constellations in the night sky. On July evenings, it sits just above the southern horizon at mid-northern latitudes. Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, is a reddish star marking the scorpion’s heart. From...

Study Guide Puzzles, July 2021

Download July 2021 Study Guide PDF Study Guide puzzles reinforce learning from this month’s magazine. Download the Study Guide, and print the puzzle pages. Search for the answers in the July 2021 Nature Friend magazine and Study Guide. Download July 2021 Nature Friend...

Hummingbird Word Search, July 2021

Download July 2021 Nature Friend PDF

End of the Trail, July 2021

Triple Falls (Twin Falls), Camp Orr Boy Scout Camp, Arkansas. It is officially named Twin Falls. When the water is high, there are three distinct falls. Photo © Elsie Grace Swihart.
Favorite Focus… July 2021

Favorite Focus… July 2021

I found this rock in a cave by our house. Photo © Nate Carlen, Chewelah, WA. I took a walk to our pond, and was delighted to find this large crayfish in a shallow puddle. Photo © Timothy David...

Focus Illustrated… July 2021

Gray Squirrel This photo was submitted as a Favorite Focus. The editor turned it into an example of the February Photo Focus, by using Sharpen AI software to sharpen the photo. Photo © Ryan Fox, Shiloh, OH. Eastern Bluebird This photo illustrates the April 2021 Photo...

Hummingbird Word Search, July 2021

Download July 2021 Nature Friend PDF

What Is So Rare as a Morning in June?

Early one bright blue morning, I drove deep into a gap of Shade Mountain to a two-acre clearing maintained for wildlife. White puffy clouds floated along, pushed by the breeze. It was the last week of June, and I was going to slip in a little birding. Blackburnian...

Covers, July 2021

Giant Swallowtail. Photo © Deborah Stieglitz/Dreamstime.com. Eastern Screech-Owl and Gray Squirrel meet. Photo © Erik Winits.

End of the Trail, June 2021

Eastern Bluebird painted by Sharon Newswanger, 13, Orchard, IA.

Nighttime Critters Unscramble

Go to June 2021 to download

No Fish Tale

Spring was on the calendar and in the air. Bright sunshine, warm temperatures, and clear blue skies beckoned winter-weary children of all ages outdoors to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. River Otter. Photo © Lacy/Dreamstime.com. After a long day of work, I was eager...

Animals

Favorite Focus… July 2021

Favorite Focus… July 2021

I found this rock in a cave by our house. Photo © Nate Carlen, Chewelah, WA. I took a walk to our pond, and was delighted to find this large crayfish in a shallow puddle. Photo © Timothy David...

Insects & Arachnids

Our Long Wait

Our Long Wait

“You wouldn’t believe how yucky the holly bushes are!” Sheila breezed into our office, bringing with her the silken presence of fresh air. It was still March and the air was chilly, but alive with...

Water Life

The Spawning Behaviors of Smallmouth Bass

The Spawning Behaviors of Smallmouth Bass

Underwater visibility is fantastic. I can see at least 30 feet (10 m) horizontally, which is superb for New England waters. I am looking for a male smallmouth bass…. Male smallmouth bass guarding a...

Plants & Fungi

Favorite Focus… July 2021

Favorite Focus… July 2021

I found this rock in a cave by our house. Photo © Nate Carlen, Chewelah, WA. I took a walk to our pond, and was delighted to find this large crayfish in a shallow puddle. Photo © Timothy David...

Reptiles & Amphibians

No Fish Tale

No Fish Tale

Spring was on the calendar and in the air. Bright sunshine, warm temperatures, and clear blue skies beckoned winter-weary children of all ages outdoors to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. River...

Scorpius

Scorpius, the Scorpion, is one of the most distinctive constellations in the night sky. On July evenings, it sits just above the southern horizon at mid-northern latitudes. Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, is a reddish star marking the scorpion’s heart. From...

In Our Skies, July 2021, Venus and Mars Conjunction

Throughout July, Venus and Mars will be visible low in the west just after sunset. The planets will start and end the month a little distance from each other, but on the evening of July 12, they will pass about 0.5° from each other. On the same night, the Moon will be...

Planetary Nebulas

Have you ever wondered why the area at the back of your elbow is nicknamed the “funny bone”? For starters, it’s really not a bone. It’s the Ulnar nerve. and when you bump it, it’s not funny at all! In the same way, some of the most beautiful objects in space have been...

Western Hydra

Hydra represented a water snake to the ancient Greeks. Like a snake, this constellation is long, narrow, and squiggly. Hydra is the largest constellation in the sky, its form stretching about 75° across the southern sky as seen from mid-northern latitudes. The...

The 2017 Solar Eclipse

One ordinary day, I noticed a Nature Friend magazine from March 2017 lying on the couch. I picked it up and started flipping through it. I soon noticed the article by Kevin Shank, “Story Starter for Winter, Spring, and Summer.” Nature Friend was requesting stories...

Sequoias, Sentinel, and Stars

A Mariposa Grove shuttle bus unhurriedly wound its way up the wooded hillside from Yosemite National Park’s southern gate to the famed Mariposa Grove. It paused for a minute to let us and at least twenty other passengers get a glimpse of four giant sequoia trees....

In Our Skies, March 2021, Lyrid Meteor Shower

As long as the sky is clear, there’s rarely a bad time to be out under the stars. A telescope or even a binocular can reveal scores of galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters, if you know just where to look*. This year is as good as any other year for observing these...

The Great Conjunction: Saturn and Jupiter

Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Photo © Morris Yoder. Jupiter and Saturn appear to pass each other in the sky about once every twenty years. When this happens, astronomers call it a great conjunction. In the early 1600s, Johannes Kepler was noticing one of these...

Wondernose

Exploring Nature

Exploring Nature, Spring

Exploring Nature, Spring

Photo © Kevin Shank Skunk cabbage is in bloom late winter and early spring.Woodcocks begin doing their courtship displays.Mid-to-late March grizzlies come out of hibernation.400,000-600,000 Sandhill...