John Weeks

Host, The Nature of Things

John Weeks studied ornithology and wildlife management at Cornell University and earned a graduate degree in plant ecology from Syracuse University. He has served as Conservation Biologist for the NYS Conservation Department; Associate Professor of Biology at SUNY Oswego; Founding Director of The Rogers Environmental Education Center at Sherburne, NY; and Director of the Onondaga Nature Center and Center for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods, Marcellus, NY.  He assisted in the creation of the Cayuga Nature Center and the Sterling Nature Center in Cayuga County near Fair Haven, NY.

Over the years John has written hundreds of nature columns for regional newspapers, and in 1982 began writing and narrating The Nature of Things, his weekly radio program that aired on WRVO for many years and is now available as a series of podcasts at the WRVO website.

Ways To Connect

Just One Move Road Trip

Nov 14, 2013

John Weeks discusses the change in a duck’s body from season to season. He recognizes the differentiations between female ducks and male ducks. He observes ducks playing in a pond before these ponds freeze due to the cold weather. He observes other animals that will be in hiding very soon as winter is approaching rapidly.

This episode of Nature of Things was originally aired November 21st, 1991.

John Weeks discusses reliving taking trips down roads to see the wildlife we will not see until next season as the weather gets colder.  Stopping at major vistas he has previously visited he can always predict what he is going to see. As the hunting season carries on there are more white tail deer seen during the day. Deer are most interesting during these days as winter sets in. There is always a tad bit of new learning or reinforcing of something he thought he knew at these vistas. Weeks tells us of his interesting findings.

John Weeks looks back on an old Nature of Things program where he reviewed an old past time he calls cruising for wildlife. He's been cruising for wildlife for the past 50 years and talks about the number of kills he found while on the road. He was so interested that he was able to find out the reason for the casualty by observing the animal. Though it may sound gruesome it was yet very educational and he takes us down the evolution of that journey.

This episode was originally aired October 25th, 1991.

John Weeks recalls his trip to Skaneateles Lake. He describes to us what the lake looks like and the troubles he endured during this venture. He tells us about the mountains he climbed and the magnificent red and white oaks he saw while trying to his way back until a motorist rescued them and returned them to the doorstep they started at.

This episode of Nature of Things was originally aired on November 8th, 1991.

The Legend & Audubon

Oct 29, 2013

John Weeks discusses his reaction to an article in The National Inquirer about Audubon. The article talks about pioneer Audubon killing thousands of birds for sport. Many were shocked by this startling revelation but because Weeks has read portions of Audubon’s diaries in the past he was not surprised at all. It is hard to put ourselves in the lives of a pioneer during hunting season in the 1780s. Living in an era where hunting skill was vital to successful living Audubon’s actions were typical of his day though.

John Weeks discusses the richness of virgin lands and forests. In the turn of a century the removal of forests have reached the point where the lands no longer supported the pigeons. It is a sobering thought that today our land can not support what it has in the past virgin years. The land was once in a virgin condition and has permanently lost important species of food producing trees. But the land is resilient and can rebuild it's rich potential if allowed to.

This episode of Nature of Things was originally aired on November 6th, 1987.

John Weeks talks about the many messages from the wildlife that are written directly in the snow. Future growth can even be seen in fruits like berries and in vegetables. Promises are found in blood streams and generative tissues in mammals. The promise of future growth is in wildlife, we just have to dig a bit to find those relationships.

This episode of Nature of Things was originally aired on October 2nd, 1987.

John Weeks discusses the significance of road names. He talks about which road names really reflect the natural history of the area and which reflect the names of residences or simply reflect uncoordinated labels applied to housing develops. Different areas of Central New York have different names and we are going to find out how these roads got their names and the stories behind them.

This episode of Nature of Things was originally aired on September 23rd, 1988.

John Weeks discusses the commonality of the red tail hawk and the open territory to hunt for these birds in the wild. His continues to talk about his personal observation of the red tail and hunting for them.

This episode was originally aired on September 16th, 1988

John Weeks revisits some of his favorite wide open vistas for the first time in 20 years. He explains to us what he saw when he revisited what he thought was still going to be the beautiful vista he last remembers. Weeks discusses the history of our relationship with the lands in Onondaga and Oswego counties.

This episode was originally aired on September 4th, 1987.

Fifteenth Anniversary

Jun 17, 2013

John Weeks reflects of the previous fifteen years of this program. He shares his experiences along his journey and responds to negative criticism.

John Weeks reveals how he spent his not so typical Fathers Day! He also explains the importance of paying attention to nature.


Four years after their first interview, John Weeks sits down with Douglas Whitman again to discuss the research and purpose behind Bird Banding.

John Weeks talks with his guest Douglas Whitman about the process of banding birds.

John Weeks gives a brief explanation on the history and lifestyle of the Honey Bee.


John Weeks explains his reaction his the previous Essay "A Word For The Golden Dandelion". He goes into great detail about his perspective on lawn/garden care.

John Weeks reveals  what the National Lawn Institute had to say about his Garden.

John Weeks tells the story of Baltimore Woods while examining the changes that take place each year.  He also discusses the beauty within the woods and its ability to grow richer each season.

John Weeks goes on a spring time journey. He takes us on a tour to the country side and examines wildlife in his favorite areas.

John Weeks explains the value of plants to Wildlife and how to attract wildlife to your environment.

Winter Bluebirds

Apr 2, 2013

John Weeks discusses bluebirds and other thrushes that may remain in the area during the winter months as long as a food source is available.

John Weeks remembers the first great voyage of Captain James Cook and his oft-forgotten travel partner, naturalist Joseph Banks. He describes how Cook has received all the glory for the historical voyage, while Banks is known only to botanists and biologists.

John Weeks describes his explorations following the Great Blizzard of '93. March of 2013 marks the 20 year anniversary of the Storm of the Century.

Snowbanks perform many functions, but it is a liberating event when they show signs of disappearing. John Weeks discusses everything that is coming to life within snowbanks and everything that is left behind after the final ones melt.

John Weeks recommends various nature-related literature to be read while waiting for spring to fully bloom.

Bluebird: Our State Bird

Mar 15, 2013

John Weeks talks at length about the bluebird and the effect the bluebird has had on his love of nature in general.

John Weeks discusses the arrival of various bird species beginning in late February and continuing through the spring months. Migration timetables are rarely disrupted by fickle March weather.

The Energy of Spring

Mar 8, 2013

John Weeks sees spring as an episode rather than an event. He describes how the energy required for springtime life comes from the generosity of previous seasons.

On Pain and Alertness

Mar 5, 2013

John Weeks discusses an uncomfortable pain he experienced during a walk at Baltimore Woods Nature Center. He advises getting out in nature as much as you can before old age begins to limit your chances.

It's Maple Sugar Time

Mar 1, 2013

John Weeks sits down for an interview with professional maple sugar maker Karl Wiles. Wiles describes the process of extracting sap and the variety of confections that can be made thanks to the maple tree.

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