Interpretive Journalism

Joe Dan is spot on!  

Red Fox Den

A friend took me to see an active red fox den off of Trotter Road in my home town of Clarksville, Maryland. I met the landowner and gained permission to take photos. Once… Continue reading

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine Lupinus perennis By permission of the land owner (thank you Mr. McCarthy), Leslie Wood Mummert and I were fortunate to observe a large colony of wild lupine at peak bloom on… Continue reading

This Week’s Intellectual Froglegs!

What’s in Flower During the Last Week of August and First Week of September

I performed environmental studies on a large tract of land in southern Maryland for three days during late August and early September of 2018.  The study area had three types of natural areas… Continue reading

What Do Bluebirds Eat?


Walking Away From Democrat Socialism

      For your viewing pleasure, this week’s Intellectual Froglegs!        

What’s In Flower During Mid-August?

I designed a compensatory wetland mitigation project that was constructed in 2017, and now is in it’s first year of a Maryland Department of the Environment and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 5-year… Continue reading

Live-Lining on the Miss Ashleigh

Dave and I took the day off to go fishing with Captain Bryan Schmitt on the Miss Ashleigh. We launched out of Ferry Point Marina on the Magothy River. Motoring out of the… Continue reading

Opening Weekend at Guinness Brewery

  Welcome to the new Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House in Baltimore, Maryland! You can click on any photo to enlarge it, and then click your reverse button to go back… Continue reading

Milkweeds and their Natural Plant Communities

The Maryland Native Plant Society hosted a presentation on Milkweeds and their Natural Plant Communities on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, which I attended.  The speakers were Rochelle Bartolomei and Becky Melzer.  Rochelle Bartolomei… Continue reading

Panic In The Streets – Trump Keeps His Promises

Black Bear Sighting

While on vacation to Nags Head, North Carolina, we did an inland day trip to allow our sun burns to mellow.  We made an appointment for a select guided tour of the 152,000-acre,… Continue reading

OBX Crabbing & Shrimping

It’s vacation week for the Burchick’s, renting a five bedroom house on the Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk-Nags Head) for twelve.  The week was hot and mostly sunny.  One of the highlights for the… Continue reading

The Grass is Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

I observed a juvenile snapping turtle at a land development site in Wheaton/Layhill, Montgomery County, Maryland.  The turtle was climbing a fence to get into a stormwater management pond, and was coming from… Continue reading

Red Tsunami


A Nighttime View of the Bee Hive

A Nighttime View of the Bee Hive I took two photos of three of six of our bee hives at 8:30 PM using a FLIR Scout, thermal night vision camera that detects “hot”… Continue reading

Liberal Farm

Dinosaurs Walked Within Miles of the Burchick’s Greenbelt Residence

NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD Our neighbor and friend Tom D’Asto works at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and was able to give us a private tour of the just added… Continue reading

Fight Club

Dominance Hierarchies at Bird Feeders The following article provides an animated scale of birds based on “successful displacement,” whereby a bird can scare away other birds at feeders.  The most alpha bird of… Continue reading

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge

Tom and Jennifer D’Asto, my wife Michelle and I spent the day at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. We arrived in the morning and the air… Continue reading

Timber Rattlesnake Documented in Howard County, MD

The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) was a 5-year survey (2010-2014) to systematically document amphibian and reptile distributions throughout Maryland.  The MARA mapping now complete, documents the distribution of amphibians and reptiles,… Continue reading

Jug Bay Fishing

Time to fish the fresh tidal Patuxent River at Jug Bay.  Joining in were Tom and Nick D’Asto, and Nick’s girlfriend Alix, from Jacksonville, Florida. We launched at the peak of low-tide/slack-tide and… Continue reading

Red-Shouldered Hawk

With the sun very low in the sky and quickly setting, my wife noticed a hawk in our garden. The hawk was perched on a bluebird box and was intensely staring at the… Continue reading

Wood Turtle

While working much of last week at a 15,000-acre job site doing environmental studies, in the mountains of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Jim and I came across two separate wood turtles.  Having never seen… Continue reading

Twist and Shout!

While performing wetlands/waters delineation work in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, I happened upon a loose aggregate of an autumn flowering orchid called Nodding Ladies-Tresses (Spiranthes cernua). The bright white of these small orchids helps… Continue reading

Closed Gentian

While performing a multi-day wetland delineation of a military installation in the ridge and valley mountains of Lebanon County, the Home of Hershey Chocolates, I came across Closed Gentian, aka Meadow Bottle Gentian… Continue reading

Meadow Beauty

How to Tell the Difference Between Maryland and Virginia Meadow Beauty? Rhexia virginica Virginia Meadow Beauty has bright purple flowers, a square stem with wings, and the leaves are egg-shaped to oval and… Continue reading

Basking in Totality

At the urging of my son Mark, Michelle and I, along with Mark’s girlfriend Jena, went to visit my brother Jamie and his wife Anna in Columbia, South Carolina.  Columbia is in the… Continue reading

Mid-August Wildflowers and Things Nearby

Natural History Observations for mid to late August. Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta). Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis). Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis), alternate view. Silver-Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on a monarda. Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) feeding… Continue reading

Live-Lining on the Miss Ashleigh

A spectacular afternoon on the water, as we launched out of Happy Harbor with Captain Bryan Schmitt on the Miss Ashleigh (Loosen-Up II). Dave Knorr organized this mid-life crisis trip, which included his… Continue reading

Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold

While working at a stream restoration job site in Indian Head, Charles County, MD, I happened across some Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold, Lycogala epidendaum, growing from a rotting log. The following is an… Continue reading

Basic Oak-Hickory Forest Community

I was charged with performing a rare plant survey for the federally endangered Harperella Ptilinium nodosum, also known as Piedmont Mock Bishopweed, an obligate (OBL) wetland plant that likes rocky riverbeds, rocky and… Continue reading

Managing the Viewshed

ESA, Inc. has contracts where we assist our clients with vegetation management compliance issues within resource protection area (RPA) and critical area commission (CAC) buffers.  These buffers are designed to protect sensitive waterfront… Continue reading

Company Fishing Trip

Work hard, play hard! It’s time for the Environmental Systems Analysis, Inc. (ESA) fishing trip, the premiere natural resources management and ecological restoration company, restoring the central Atlantic States at competitive prices! We… Continue reading

Sabotage By Raccoon

It was planned well ahead of time that Joshua would have his annual summer day of crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Coming off of last year when he caught two bushels of crabs… Continue reading

Touring Washington DC from the Water

Tom and Jennifer D’Asto, Michelle and I spent the morning touring Washington DC from the water.  Only on one other occasion (Assateague and Chincoteague Island wild horse watching) have I used my Carolina… Continue reading

Mount Vernon

Happy Birthday Michelle!  Michelle and I both took off today and Monday to have a five-day Fourth of July stay-cation, and we spent this morning touring Mount Vernon, the plantation estate home of… Continue reading

Drain The Swamp


Flushed Fawn

I was on a job-site along the Patuxent River in Laurel, Maryland, and came upon a baby whitetail deer fawn. I’ve encountered this several times over many years in the woods, but never… Continue reading

Walnut Creek

Dave Knorr and I were investigating a site for suitability as an area for compensatory wetland creation.  Important for consideration are non-forested locations that have positive hydrology indicators. Arriving to the site in… Continue reading

Memorial Day Fishing

    Tom D’Asto, his son Nick and I spent the morning fishing on the Potomac River.  We launched out of Slavin’s on the Mattawoman and made our way over to the Chicamuxen.… Continue reading

Source With No Name

In this vast wasteland of fake news and anonymous sources, which stories do you believe?  I’d put my money on the Seth Rich story.  It has facts.  It has motive.  It has sources . .… Continue reading

True Forget-Me-Not

While working on my Saturday “honey-do” list, I was trimming invasive vines (Oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose) along a section of stream that runs through our property, and took a break for some… Continue reading

What’s With The Cicadas?

Why the appearance of cicadas (the 17-year locust) in the greater Washington D.C. area? Perhaps it’s climate confusion.  Maybe it’s just really hard for a 17-year cicada to count down the years while he’s… Continue reading

Pointed Blue-Eyed Grass

I did a wetlands/waters delineation near Waldorf, Maryland, of a tributary of Mattawoman Creek (Piney Run).  Early in the morning near where I parked my truck, I noticed several patches of Blue-Eyed Grass… Continue reading

Soil Drainage Classification Course

Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists, 2017 Spring Field Day,  Evesboro to Elkton – A Day in the Pits. Leslie and I attended the MAPSS soils class held at the National Plant Materials… Continue reading

Climate Science


Howard County Cup Race Meet

Over Hill and Dale . . . Tom D’Asto and I attended the 74th running of the Howard County Cup Race Meet on Kentucky Derby Day.  The race was held at Pleasant Prospect… Continue reading

Thug Life – The Opossum

Research led by scientists at the Carey Instituter of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook Illinois placed different species into cages and covered them in ticks and waited.  The opossum ate 96% of the ticks!… Continue reading