Wonderful Weeds and Various Varmints: The Natural World in Our Backyards and Beyond

Wonderful Weeds and Various Varmints: The Natural World in Our Backyards and Beyond

by Bob Collier

Paperback(1st Edition, Illustrations by Gale Hinton)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621904496
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Publication date: 10/04/2018
Edition description: 1st Edition, Illustrations by Gale Hinton
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Bob Collier was a general surgeon practicing at St. Mary’s Hospital (now CHS Tennova) in Knoxville, Tennessee, for some 40 years until his retirement. His column, which originally began as a bird-watching column and later expanded to cover other aspects of natural history, has always had a focus on sharing the wonders of the outdoors with his readers and encouraging them to get out the door.

Table of Contents

Foreword Bill Nickle xi

Introduction xiii


Some Reflections upon Spring 3

So, What's "Birding"? 5

A Trip to the Low Country 7

Miraculous Spring 11

The Earliest Birds 14

It's Spring for Sure, but What's That Green? 17

Migration 20

Stalking the Wily Wildflower 23

Spring and the Signs 27

Right Place, Right Time 30

Trout Lilies Spring Up 33

Wood Warblers-WOW! 36

Loopers for Lunch 39

Redbud Trees, Bugs, and Bees 42

Cacophony on the Ridge 45

Really Blue 48

His Name Is Mudd 50

What's Flying Around at Your Place? 54

Bird's Nest Time 57

Mr. Bushytail 61

Cades Cove 64

Regal Monarchs and Toxic Milkweeds 67

Unusual Spring Goings-on 71

Hickory Chickens 74

Hard to See 77

Hawks in the Yard 80

A Birding Hotspot 82


Big Sky Springtime 87

It's Summer, Go Outside 90

The Light Show 93

Firefly Drama 96

The Rain Crow 99

Jarflies and Locusts 103

Mount LeConte 106

Fledging Season 109

Mr. No-Shoulders 112

Just Ordinary Birds? 114

Varmints and Friends 117

Dolly Who? 120

Mosquito Hawks 123

Purple Martins 127

The Coast of Maine 131

Fledermaus in Trouble 135

Better Than You Thought 138

Vines Are Wildflowers, Too 141

New Things in Some Really Old Mountains 144

Apples 148

Success Story 152

We Have Robins 155

Our Eight-legged Friends 158

Two Not-so-Friendly Eight-leggers 161

The Brooding Pros: Carolina Wrens 164

Night Life 166

The Outer Banks 168

Our Forgotten Fruit 172


Tall Fall Flowers 177

Looking Back-or Forward? 180

On the Move Again: Enjoying Fall Birding 184

Some Nutty Stuff 187

A New Whistle Pig 190

Tennessee's Shoreline 193

Fall Trees 196

Missing My Neighbor 199

Blue Jays-Everyone's Favorite? 201

The Mighty Oaks 203

Visitor from the Night 206

Scents of Autumn 209

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 212

Clean-up Crew 215

Water Wars 218

Traces from the Past 221

Our State Bird 225

Critters White as Snow 227

Nature Strikes Back 230

A Different Kind of Nut 233

Pumpkin Season 236

The Boreal Forest: Source of Songbirds 239

Gobblers 242

At Home Up North 245

Two Tennessee Firsts 248


Entertainment at Abrams Falls 253

SAD? You're Not the Only One! 257

Winter Birding 260

Red Head, Red Belly 263

Fellow Travelers 265

A Holiday Birding Treat 268

Porkers-the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 271

Minnesota in the Winter 275

Mr. Bentley and the Snowflakes 278

Bugs in the Winter 281

Some Sweet Thoughts 285

Pencil Trees 289

Hibernation 292

What's in a Name? 295

Undefeated! 298

A Most Important Bird 301

The Possumwood Tree 304

After the Storm 306

eBird-Amazing! 310

Enjoying a Rare Bird 313

An Intriguing Evergreen, umm, Conifer 316

Wood Ducks and Warblers 319

Suggested Reading 323

Bibliography 327

Index 329

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