Archive For The “Field Reports” Category

Nature Centers

By | March 1, 2017

Say what you will about 2016; it was a pretty good year for me. Early in the spring, I pitched a book idea to Adventure Publications about Michigan’s nature centers and preserves, and wouldn’t you know they liked it! So I spent the the spring and summer traveling around the state with my kids looking […]

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Fall on Grand Traverse Bay

By | November 19, 2015

October is a beautiful time to spend time by the lake.

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Emerald Ash Borer: Foreign Agent

By | November 18, 2015

You can’t spend too much time outside before you realize that there’s a lot of death and dying sprinkled throughout nature’s celebration of life. That’s part of the deal, though, right? Living and dying? Growth and decay? To a point. Unfortunately, a lot of the dying we see these days is not all that natural […]

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Field Test: Cricket 5-Minute Firestarter

By | May 2, 2013

The challenge: Burn a mess season’s worth of fallen tree limbs in a backyard that has been drenched by one of the coldest, wettest Aprils on record. The tools: One paper grocery bag and a box of the new 5-Minute Cricket Firestarters Like most dads, I like to consider myself an expert at starting fires. […]

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A Different Kind of Green Gift

By | November 23, 2012

While a lot of folks look forward to this day after Thanksgiving, I am not that much into shopping for shopping’s sake (Go to Walmart at 5 a.m.? Isn’t that what the Internet’s for?). But November is a very full month for us. In addition to the usual full social calendar, school parties and activities, […]

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Autumn Escapades: Nature Centers

By | November 5, 2012

Fall at Indian Springs Metropark (White Lake, Michigan)

When Grace went back to school, Tater and I were at a loss. So much of his time is spent playing with his sister. Now that he was an “only child,” we had some retooling to do. This past summer I visited a lot of area parks doing research for a book. Many of them […]

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Keeping Your Cool at the Amusement Park

By | August 28, 2012

Amusement Parks

So, you have young kids and are heading out to the amusement park… What are you? Nuts? This is what people asked me when we were planning to take our kids to Cedar Point in Ohio earlier this year. It’s been years since I’ve been to Cedar Point. Last time I was there they had […]

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Dino Week

By | July 9, 2012

Kids love dinosaurs. I remember years back my friend’s five-year-old son reciting the names of what must have been a hundred dinosaurs. He had dino toys, posters, and place mats. He was even pointing out where lazy editors had misidentified dinosaurs in his books. I am not sure he still retains this info at 12, […]

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Butterfly in the Kitchen: Our Experience Of Metamorphosis

By | July 5, 2012

Glory, Monarch butterfly

“I can’t believe my mind! … It’s glorious!” Now, I don’t know about you, but these are not words I typically hear from my six-year-old. They were prompted by the “birth” of our Monarch butterfly, which she promptly named Glory. It’s not that The Pretender (she wants to play make-believe ALL THE TIME) isn’t impressed […]

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Summer Hiking Montage

By | July 2, 2012

I love summer, but when it gets this hot, the risk of heat stroke is very real for me. After a long day, after I come home and wring the sweat from my shirt, I’ve just been too exhausted from the heat to sit at the computer and dream up posts. So I am cheating […]

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Bug Week

By | June 27, 2012

Kids in a Wagon - Nikki MacLeay, all rights reserved

I am without my kids for several weeks this summer. While I waste these gorgeous summer days inside, writing like a madman, Grace and Tater are in Colorado with their cousin, Amelia. To keep order, their Aunt Nikki scheduled daily outings and even went so far as to give each week a theme. Rock on! […]

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