The Outside Story: Why do some mushrooms glow in the dark?

Mycologists have speculated for centuries about the reasons fungi produce light. Here’s the story of some that do.

The outside story: Spittlebugs hide in plain sight

Spittlebugs are the color of a new spring leaf, their bodies both tiny and so fat that you hardly notice their six miniature legs underneath.

The outside story: Summer lights: It’s firefly season!

It happens on a warm June evening: in the darkening field near my house, I notice a brief flicker of light. Then another. And another.

The Outside Story: Pigeons in love

Humans often ascribe traits that we admire to other animals. I’d like to add another candidate to this list of animal virtues: a pigeon’s ardor. 

The Outside Story: Oh deer! How deer contribute to the spread of invasives

A winter walk in the forest reveals a flurry of wildlife activity that often goes unnoticed during other times of the year.

The Outside Story: ‘Bombs away’ misteltoe moments

Have you noticed the cheery evergreen sprig with pearly berries, currently perched over the doorways of Yankee traditionalists and those desperate to be kissed?

The outside story: Prevent spreading pests through firewood

One notable example is the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect easily transported in firewood, which has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the United States since it was introduced to Michigan from Asia in 2002.

The Outside Story: Eastern red bat, the migrating maverick

Swift and apparently silent, a lone bat traces the contours of the woods’ edge at dusk, floating through canopy and meadow.

The Outside Story: How to grow milkweed for a monarch crop

During a late summer walk, I noticed that the common milkweed in our back field is becoming not-so-common.

The Outside Story: Blueberries, summer treasures

Among summer’s many sweet offerings are wild berries. And among these, blueberries are my favorite.

The Outside Story: Blanding’s turtle makes its annual journey

As spring warms the water, a turtle, covered by leaves and mud at the bottom of a wetland where she hibernated for the winter, awakens.

The Outside Story: The elusive southern bog lemming

If you’ve never seen — or heard of — the southern bog lemming, you’re not alone.

The Outside Story: Wild things fill the air with loud sounds

From early spring through late summer, the air trills and croaks and buzzes and chirps with the sounds of nature’s little loudmouths. Mornings are full of birdsong; evenings are the domain of frogs and crickets.

The outside story: Bloodroot — an early bloomer

I’d not known these flowers before we moved to this place, some 18 years ago.

The Outside Story: Cache as cats can

On a cold November 2020 day, my daughter Lucy and I detected a strange floral scent in our woods.