Flocks of waterfowl exploding into steely skies above frozen marshland, salamanders creeping across the forest floor to vernal pools, chorusing frogs peeping their ecstasy while warblers crowd budding trees, turtles sunning on floating logs, the ecological engineering of beavers-these are but a few of the sights and sounds marking a year at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary and its neighboring landscapes in Southern Maryland. In an absorbing account of a year in the life of this sanctuary, naturalist Colin Rees invites us to join him as he explores the secrets and wonders of the changing natural world. Alongside the author, we witness spring’s avian migrations, quickening of aquatic vegetation, burgeoning of myriad invertebrates, and the assaults of extreme weather conditions. We revel in summertime’s proliferation of fish, fowl, and mammals. We become attuned to the shifting climate’s impacts on autumnal transitions, and we marvel at amazing feats of biological inventiveness in preparation for winter conditions. Through these visions of the fleeting-and yet enduring-cycles of nature, Rees shares deep insights into the ecological and behavioral dynamics of the natural environment. Enhanced by more than two dozen color plates, the book touches on a wide range of issues, from microbial diversity, bird banding, and butterfly phenology to genetic diversity and habitat fragmentation. It also examines the challenges of conserving these and other natural features in the face of climate change and development pressures. Thoughtful and lyrical, Nature’s Calendar speaks to all readers, scientific and lay alike. Fascinating profiles of flora and fauna celebrate the richness and complexity of a unique ecosystem, exploring the entire ecology of this dynamic and delicate area.
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