Natural Wonders

with Maggie Jones

In the summer of 1972, I wandered out of a newly rented farm house, looked up, and saw 2 red-tailed hawks soaring over woods and pasture.  They were so beautiful, so other-worldly, I was overcome with a desire to know everything about them.

Years later I became a wildlife rehabilitator and a falconer and was able to have close hands-on experience with them. Today that desire to learn about the natural world has only broadened and intensified. I’ll read some of my favorite biologists’ writings and occasionally include my own thoughts.

15 + 4 =

Natural Wonders #17

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The Passenger Pigeon Monument at Wyalusing State Park was dedicated in 1947. We hear Aldo Leoplod’s  speech from that day at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers.  “Today the laden oaks still flaunt their burden at the sky, but the feathered lightning is no more.” And we hear Dr. Stanley Temple’s introduction to the reprinted booklet, Silent Wings, A Memorial to the Passenger Pigeon published by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

Natural Wonders #16

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Aldo Leopold writes about the ultimate bird of the grasslands ; the upland sandpiper, another reading from The Sand County Almanac, Back from the Argentine.

Natural Wonders #15

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Venture out with Fran Hamerstrom and her children in a very different habitat. Let’s take A Walk in the City; from Walk When the Moon is Full . What do they find?

Natural Wonders #14

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From Afield, Botanist Jim Zimmerman is featured today. Maggie remembers co-workers at Willy Street Coop who walked with him afield every chance they got. His influence was strong even on people he never met; and some personal thoughts (after discussions with many botanists) about leaving ramps in the woods. 

Natural Wonders #13

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Today an essay, Exquisite Hours by Ken Lange, retired naturalist from Devil’s Lake State Park.  He touches on the moments in our lives, and reveals his love of poets and other writers about the natural world. Thanks to Ken and The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology for permission to read this essay.

Natural Wonders #12

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We spend more time with Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, reading from the March chapter, The Geese Return and April, Come High Water.

Natural Wonders #11

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We read from Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac; the February chapter, Good Oak, a journey with Leopold as our guide, into Wisconsin’s natural history. 

Natural Wonders #10

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Woodcocks do their skydance in April and today we read 2 biologists’ stories about this enchanting natural wonder.  First, Aldo Leopold from ‘April’ in A Sand County Almanac, then Fran Hamerstrom from her book Walk When the Moon is Full.

Natural Wonders #9

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Maggie reads from the last chapter of Fran Hamerstrom’s book Is She Coming Too? Memoirs of a Lady Hunter; the chapter called Biography of a Dancing Ground about the sharp-tailed grouse.

Natural Wonders #8

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Again we hear from Frances Hamerstrom and another of her books, Birding With a Purpose;  learning how her very early life experiences formed the foundation of a life of pioneering conservation work.

Natural Wonders #7

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Maggie reads from Walk When the Moon is Full  by biologist Frances Hamerstrom. Fran writes, “Everything in this book actually happened,,, ” We will go out at night with the family and join the adventures.

Natural Wonders #6

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Maggie reads from Helen MacDonald’s Vesper Flights, the moving essay, The Human Flock.

Natural Wonders #5

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Reading again from Afield;  Eric sees a stirring vision on a cold early morning survey,  and finally has a restaurant meal when tiny critters attack, and Maggie talks about our State Natural Areas Program with a tip on visiting the Rush Creek SNA in Crawford County.

Natural Wonders #4

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“Afield EE Wallace and Darwin”

Maggie continues reading from Afield; Eric discusses Wallace and Darwin, recommends some good books and we end with a reading from Those of the Forest by Wallace Grange.

Natural Wonders #3

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Maggie reads more from Afield, this time we’re on Outer Island in the Apostle Islands as a ferocious storm hits.

Natural Wonders #2

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from Feb 8th, Maggie reads from Afield, stories of naturalists and talks about the author, Sumner Matteson and his work writing this book, and with his work with the  reintroduction of the trumpeter swan to Wisconsin.

Natural Wonders-Premiere January 25, 2022

Natural Wonders
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Natural Wonders-Premiere January 25, 2022
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Maggie reads from the introduction to Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald, and discusses the winter breeding habits of great horned owls and bald eagles.