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“Nature in the Little Finger Lakes” by Angela Cannon Crothers

Angela Cannon Crothers is a naturalist and writer who teaches at Finger Lakes Community College and with The Finger Lakes Museum. Here are some columns that she has written about the Little Finger Lakes. Her columns also appear in the Lake Country Weekender newspaper. Click an image or a link to read an article. Visit Angela’s website at: www.AngelaCannonCrothers.webs.com

Brief Guide to Evergreens

True evergreens do drop their needles, just not all at once, so the illusion of deep green, combined with the ability to photosynthesize later in the season, and sometimes earlier than others, is affixed.

Angela Cannon Crothers

December 2017

Fantastic Fungi

I’m out foraying for turkey tails, but not the kind with feathers. The tails I seek are only 1 to 2 inches across, sometimes less. These turkey tails are Trametes versicolor, a fungi.

Angela Cannon Crothers

October 2017


Wonder is what brings us into the present moment. Wonder is what makes a new day a new beginning. Wonder gives rise to invention.

Angela Cannon Crothers

August 2017

The Art of Deception

Nature is the expert at the art of deception. A white twig is on my window and when I touch it, the twig flitters off.

Angela Cannon Crothers

July 2017

Both Ends of the Day

Dusks and dawns... Twilight is the shift, a unique framing of light, a changing of the guard.

Angela Cannon Crothers

May 2017

Searching for Sheds

Bucks shed their antlers anywhere from winter to early spring. Searching for sheds is akin to finding hidden figures in a Bev Doolittle painting.

Angela Cannon Crothers

April 2017

March Brings the Harbingers of Spring

Odoriferous skunk cabbage that roars within the soil, melting snow around its bulging buds, is in bloom in March.

Angela Cannon Crothers

March 2017

Fisher - Wildlife Legend

I saw a Fisher once in the Adirondacks while working as a cloud collector on Whiteface Mountain. My brain registered large black cat.

Angela Cannon Crothers

February 2017

Set Tracks

The children at Forest School tell me they’ve discovered snake tracks under the glazed pines. I smile because, of course, snakes are deep asleep underground this time of year.

Angela Cannon Crothers

January 2017

Still Hunting

With my Forest School children, I have created a routine of Still Hunting as part of our school day. All around the camp that is our tree-filled classroom they each head off to a spot that is their own special Still Hunting place.

Angela Cannon Crothers

November 2016

A’gathering We Go

Gathering is both an action verb (like when storm clouds gather), and a noun (as in a group of ladybugs). A gathering of crows is called a murder; a gathering of toads a knot; geese or sheep gathered are a flock.

Angela Cannon Crothers

July 2016

Environmental History

I begin to realize that what needs to be taught is our environmental history, not just to show what damage we humans have caused, but to give inspiration about how we can make changes to reverse damage or restore ecosystems.

Angela Cannon Crothers

June 2016

On Turtle’s Back

The Iroquois Creation Myth presents the importance of soil. Other cultures from around the globe have creation stories that involve a god who forms humans from clay and dirt, and then breathes life into them.

Angela Cannon Crothers

May 2016

“T” is for Spring

“That sycamore always gives fish,” says my fisherman friend, and I envision the tree birthing wet fingerlings that slip out between its spread roots along the side bank and into the stream.

Angela Cannon Crothers

April 2016

Natural Elevation

There is a special joy that comes from playing with the true nature of snow that we knew intuitively as children. We can reclaim that naturally elevated feeling when we find the glide again as adults.

Angela Cannon Crothers

February 2016

A Tree For Wildlife

Here is a Christmas story like no other. In this story Christmas Eve is about giving to the wildlife in the area, about showing gratitude and appreciation for the natural world, as well as one another.

Angela Cannon Crothers

December 2015

Of Acorns and Oaks

I have a compulsion toward gathering acorns—oval and polished like water-worn stones, or greenish and round; they fill my pockets. Sometimes I collect just their scalloped brown caps.

Angela Cannon Crothers

November 2015

Twelve Things October Brings

October is a favorite month for many people. Here are twelve reasons why Angela likes October.

Angela Cannon Crothers

October 2015

The Balance of Northern Earth Time

Since the summer solstice we lost a minute of light a day for a month. The pace of light loss accelerates and now two minutes per day is sliced off diurnal time as we reach the autumn equinox on September 21.

Angela Cannon Crothers

September 2015

Where the Wildlife are

We were paddling Honeoye Inlet, GPS in hand, searching for wildlife trip cameras that had been up for a few weeks this rainy summer at the Muller Field Station near the south end of Honeoye Lake. We wondered if any of the cameras might have ended up under water.

Angela Cannon Crothers

August 2015

What Glows in the Night

There are thousands of species of fireflies but not all of them produce a luminescence. The blinks of bioluminescence derive from a chemical reaction between oxygen and luciferin in special cells in the beetle’s abdomen.

Angela Cannon Crothers

July 2015

Spring Bird Song

A poem by Angela begins: First to appear are the Bluebirds upon the wires here. Who pitch their songs proclaiming Spring, at last, is here.

Angela Cannon Crothers

May 2015

Nesting Time for Eagles

It’s March. The eagles are nesting. Angela reminds us of the history of the bald eagle on Hemlock Lake.

Angela Cannon Crothers

March 2015

Winter Birds

I saw a feather falling with the snow, a grey-brown feather, probably a breast feather from a crow-sized bird. It was a bit of a surprise, seeing it waltzing down amidst the stellar flakes. A feather is an amazing thing.

Angela Cannon Crothers

February 2015

Snow Tracks

A day or two after a snowfall what was hidden is revealed; a secretive world around us materializes in transects of tracks on a fresh white slate. Suddenly there are daily routines lit up across the yard and stories in the snow.

Angela Cannon Crothers

January 2015

Winter Solstice

Here, in the Little Finger Lakes Region, we are blessed with a night sky that isn’t obscured by urban glow; we can see heaven’s lights on any clear night. The cosmos has a lot to teach us - for instance . . .

Angela Cannon Crothers

December 2014

The Unveiling of Autumn Nests

When the season lets go of all its lush foliage, leaf by leaf, new structures emerge exposing beatific and hidden forms of seasonal, temporary, and transitional shelters; bird nests.

Angela Cannon Crothers

October 2014

The Dance of Change

Trees are like dancers, shifting colors, giving a splash of bloom and brightness to the landscape, reaching up and outward in a seemingly imperceptiblility to a song too slow for our ears to hear.

Angela Cannon Crothers

September 2014

Creek Walking

Walking in the flow of a stream on a hot August day with our feet opening our senses is as thought-provoking as anything one can experience.

Angela Cannon Crothers

August 2014

Berry a Moment in Time

Here in the Little Lakes, July shimmers like sun on water or a welcome breeze. I find one of the best ways to plunge into the gifts of July is to go foraging for wild berries.

Angela Cannon Crothers

July 2014