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(Story and photos by Tom Hodgson with thanks to the Waterloo Natural History Association.) The Chelsea area is blessed with hundreds of tiny wetlands that fill with water each spring. Although it seemed that this winter would never end, it has, and the melt waters from all that snow have brought these habitats to life. [...]

Continue reading about Become a Citizen Scientist: Help DNR with this year’s Frog and Toad Survey

Lisa Allmendinger on April 6th, 2014

(Publisher’s note: After a long, cold, snowy winter … Tom Hodgson’s back. Please enjoy.) Column and story by Tom Hodgson with special thanks to the Waterloo Natural History Association After the mother of all winters, will spring ever come? Most fields and lawns are finally free of snow, but woodlands are still covered and the [...]

Continue reading about Tom Hodgson’s back: coming soon to a woodland near you

Lisa Allmendinger on January 19th, 2014

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information and photos in this story.) The tree squirrels with which we are most familiar are the large reddish-brown fox squirrel, the gray squirrel and the smaller red squirrel, all of which are active during the day the year [...]

Continue reading about Meet 3 little squirrels

Lisa Allmendinger on January 12th, 2014

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information in this story and Don Henise for the courtesy photographs.) The snowy owl is a predator of the open tundra of Alaska and Northern Canada. Mouse-like rodents called lemmings are its favorite food. When winter lemming populations are [...]

Continue reading about Snowy Owls are visiting Chelsea this winter

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the photos and information in this story.) In the 1970’s during Michigan’s last great recession, a 70-percent reduction in general fund support forced Michigan State Parks to eliminate staff positions and close many facilities and programs. The Waterloo Recreation Areas [...]

Continue reading about Waterloo Natural History Association: 33 years as a support organization

Lisa Allmendinger on December 22nd, 2013

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the photos and information in this story.) According to the National Audubon Society, up through the 19th century, many North Americans participated in the tradition of Christmas ”side hunts” in which they competed to see how many birds they could kill, regardless of [...]

Continue reading about All about the 114th annual Christmas bird count

Lisa Allmendinger on December 15th, 2013

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information and photos in this story.) The mute swan with its bright white feathers and gracefully arching neck is a truly impressive bird. So much so, that in the late 1800’s, mute swans were brought to North America from [...]

Continue reading about The Mute Swan: Exotic Beauty or Beastly Bully?

Lisa Allmendinger on December 8th, 2013

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information and photos in this story.) Like it or not, it appears that the giant Canada goose is here to stay. Hunting, the sport for which the geese were introduced in the first place, has not been effective in [...]

Continue reading about Living with Canada Geese

Lisa Allmendinger on December 1st, 2013

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the photo and information in this story.) The giant Canada goose so familiar to anyone living on or using area lakes or golf courses was once a rare sight in Southern Lower Michigan. Its historical range included the northern parts [...]

Continue reading about What’s the poop on the Canada goose?

Lisa Allmendinger on November 24th, 2013

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information and photos in this story.) No one knows for sure if turkey was on the menu for the first Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s been a traditional part of the holiday cuisine in most households ever since. So much [...]

Continue reading about We’re wild about rafters of turkeys in November