Francie von Mertens

Yankee Magazine

Wild Turkeys in New England | Ask the Naturalist

When government agencies began wildlife recovery programs in the late 1930s, wild turkeys were a priority. Now, they seem to be everywhere.

Butterfly weed
Yankee Magazine

Natural Lawn Care | Gardening Solutions

To understand the problem with lawns, it’s helpful to understand that diversity is essential to the natural world. Great energy expenditure is required to maintain a monoculture, whether it’s a field of corn or a lawn. A nonessential “crop” with a combined national acreage larger than Pennsylvania, our lawns require more water, insecticides, fungicides, weed […]

Yankee Magazine

Blackfly Season in New England

Is there any silver lining to the nuisance of blackfly season? New Englanders take a perverse pride in their blackflies — claiming them as their state “bird,” naming softball teams after them — but behind the bravado is a certain dread. As a birder, I note that blackflies return to our backyard almost to the […]