Backyard Biology

Nature stories from my backyard and beyond


A while ago, a friend asked if I’d like to go for a walk in the woods near her house. Leading the way, she set off down the trail at a brisk pace with her arms swinging and her eyes fixed straight ahead. At the end of the walk, she told me how much she loved being out in nature.
Another friend asked if I’d like to go kayaking in a local freshwater marsh. I had trouble keeping up with him as he raced around each bend in the river. When I eventually caught up to him at the end of the paddle, he remarked how great it was to have a wild area like this so close to home.

birch treeI dedicate these stories to my two friends, and everyone else like them, who profess to love nature but are blind to the wonders that surround them. Life is a struggle, and all creatures great and small have evolved fantastic ways to survive in this struggle. It is not necessary to travel to exotic places to enjoy nature. Every backyard woodlot or neighborhood stream abounds with living creatures with interesting stories to tell. All of my stories take place within a few miles of my house, just south of Boston, MA. Hopefully, reading them will inspire you to look for similar backyard biology stories in your own neighborhood. They are there to be found. It only takes a little looking. What is Backyard Biology? Biology (from Greek: Βιολογία - βίος, bio, "life"; and λόγος, logos, "speech" lit. "to talk about life") is the scientific study of life. Biology examines the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living things. Backyard Biology The biology of all the living things in my back yard, the woods behind my house, the brook that runs by my house and the beach a few miles from my house. It is also the biology of all living things in your backyard as well.