Welcome to The Miracle of Nature – Celebrating Nature Near at Hand

Join us in our celebration of the wonder and beauty of nature. On these pages you will discover inspirational and educational videos, photos, sounds, and stories ... multimedia creations that will delight your senses, engage your mind, and lead to a greater appreciation of the natural world.

Featured Video:

Ten Most Recent "NatureWatch" Titles:

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth - featured image © Lang Elliott

While enjoying a summer flower garden, have you ever been surprised by the sudden arrival of a dwarf-sized hummingbird, smaller than any you've ever seen before? Chances are, it's not a bird at all, but rather is a "hummingbird moth," a member of the Sphinx Moth family (Sphingidae) and quite possibly the common and widespread Clearwing Hummingbird Moth, Hemaris thysbe. The Clearwing … [watch video & learn more...]

Bobolink Song-Fantasia

Bobolink Featured Image © Lang Elliott

"A bubbling delirium of ecstatic music that flows from the gifted throat of the bird like sparkling champagne." What an apt poetic description of the Bobolink song from the pen of ornithologist Arthur Cleveland Bent (1866-1954). The exuberant notes produced by the male seem otherworldly in quality and bring to my mind the silly sounds produced by R2-D2 in the Star Wars movies. The Bobolink … [watch video & learn more...]

Snowy Tree Cricket – Nature’s Thermometer

Snowy Tree Cricket - featured image © Lang Elliott

Perhaps the most familiar of our tree crickets, the Snowy Tree Cricket (Oecanthus fultoni) is a species whose chirp rate can be used to estimate the temperature. One popular formula is to count the number of songs given in thirteen seconds and then add that number to 40 to yield the temperature in Fahrenheit. That’s seems easy enough, so why not determine for yourself the approximate temperatures … [watch video & learn more...]

Buggin’ Fun

buggin-fun featured image

Buggin' Fun" ... that's a new phrase that I've coined. It refers to how much fun it is to "go bugging" ... that is, to go lookin' for bugs and other neat stuff. Everybody does that, right? Or at least kids do that, right? Well, this kid definitely likes to go buggin' ... especially in midsummer, when insects of all sorts come into their own. Let me tell you about one such excursion: Early one … [watch video & learn more...]

Wood Thrush – Forest Flautist

Wood Thrush © Lang Elliott

Lee-o-lay-o-lee, will you come live with me, away high in a tree? ... that's how I describe the Wood Thrush's singularly beautiful song. Starting with soft grunts (heard only at close range), the flutey song usually rambles upward and then terminates with a variable trill. Each male has about a dozen different song patterns, some sounding very similar to one another (he actually has many more, if … [watch video & learn more...]

American Toad – Dreamy Triller

American Toad - featured image

For me, the trilling of toads in spring marks a rite of passage … my personal passage from the leading edge of spring into its full-bodied explosion of creativity. When I hear the toads singing, wildflowers bloom below, leaves unfurl above, and songbirds drip from the sky like rain. Toad trills not only lift my spirits, they draw me out of myself and thrust me headlong into the full glory of … [watch video & learn more...]

American Robin – Harbinger of Spring

American Robin - featured image

The American Robin (aka "Robin Redbreast") is perhaps America's best-known songbird, easily recognized by its brick-red underparts and dark gray head, back, wings, and tail. A common backyard bird, the melodious songs of males given at the break of dawn bring back memories of childhood security and one's newfound excitement for life. Interestingly, the "American Robin" was named by English … [watch video & learn more...]

Water Speaking Water

Water Speaking Water - featured image

Water holds all life, residing both outside and inside, above and below. Mesmerizing and hypnotic, water is a gateway, a portal, an “open door” into a magical realm. Water is an artist and magician, forever dancing in the light, transforming all that it touches and all that it sees. Flowing slow or fast, or not flowing at all, water wraps around objects, reflects colors and forms, and spawns an … [watch video & learn more...]

The Snow Trekker – Jefferson Salamander

Jefferson Salamander - featured image for NatureWatch profile page

Sometimes the rites of spring begin surprisingly early, when snow still blankets the frozen ground and ice still covers the ponds and pools. In hardwood forests from Kentucky to Vermont, there is an endearing “tailed” amphibian that emerges from his subterranean home during rainy nights when winter still grips the landscape, and willingly traverses snow patches on his way to vernal pools to breed! … [watch video & learn more...]

Spotted Salamander – Migration & Mating Frenzy

Spotted Salamander – Head Shot

As winter yields to spring and the ground begins to thaw, a mysterious subterranean creature stirs in forested habitats of the East. Aroused into action when rainy weather moistens the earth and temperatures rise, Spotted Salamanders emerge at night and migrate in mass to their aquatic breeding sites, truly a spectacle to behold. Breeding as early as December in southern areas and as late as … [watch video & learn more...]