Out My Backdoor: Can Birds Predict Severe Weather?

By Terry W. Johnson

We have long depended on wild animals to predict the weather.

For example, each year on Feb. 2, groundhogs are hauled out of their winter abodes to tell us whether we will have six more weeks of unpleasant weather. The yellow-billed cuckoo, often called the rain crow, has been relied on to warn us if a storm is on the way. Even fish and crows are on the list of animals that humans have depended on to forecast the weather.

Out My Backdoor: Persimmon: the Forgotten Wildlife Food Plant

Persimmons (Terry W. Johnson)

By Terry W. Johnson

One of my favorite wildlife food plants is the common persimmon, a plant that I haven't showered with much attention. In fact, the only thing I have done for this small tree in more than three decades is save it from the bulldozer when my wife and I built our home. In spite of this lack of tender loving care, it is a valuable addition to my home landscape.

Out My Backdoor: A Ride Down Memory Lane

By Terry W. Johnson

Recently I took a ride down memory lane. It is a journey I take quite often from spring through fall. When I embark on these trips I don't venture out on a busy highway or even a dusty country road. They are trips taken without cranking up my car or old faded red pickup truck. The reason for this is simple: These cherished treks never extend beyond the confines of my yard.