Nature of Things

WRVO presents an archived edition of the popular weekly essay, The Nature of Things, from Naturalist John Weeks.

This re-issue of the Nature of Things is available as a podcast. You can download episodes individually to listen to or subscribe to the podcast and have the audio automatically download to your computer

John Weeks was born on August 21, 1924 on a little farm in West Webster, NY. His father was a commercial artist, his mother a writer and reciter of dialect essays. His early interest in nature was fostered by his parents, his 5 siblings and his teachers.

In this archived broadcast from June 14, 1991, John Weeks talks about the sounds of nature. He goes into detail about how the sounds of the forest give us an idea about what is going on in nature and in the forest. without the sound of birds, animals and the wind we loose the important of nature. He talks about how it is hard for him to hear the sounds of nature and he talks about how he needs a hearing aid to hear the sounds in the woods.

In this archived broadcast from March 20, 1987, John Weeks talks with John Rodgers who is co founder of the Upstate Bluebird Society. He interviews Rodgers on bluebird boxes and why they are making them. They talk about how important the nest boxes are to the environment and the Bluebirds. He speaks about how not only Bluebird's use these nests but many other birds do as well.

Lessons in the Lakes

May 11, 2015

In this archived broadcast from August 3, 1984, John Weeks talks about his anniversary trip to Skaneateles  Lake. He says that the lake was so clean and pure. He goes into great detail about the lake and the people and history that surrounds it. He talks about how all of the New York waterways and lakes differ from each other.

In this archived broadcast from May 25, 1990, John Weeks talks about he talks about how the birds of the spring prepare for the summer and how they nest. He also talks about the song of the birds. He goes into detail about a time that he was bird watching and examined certain birds.

Not All Mints are Minty

May 4, 2015

In this archived broadcast from August 16, 1990, John Weeks talks about mint plants. He talks about how we use mint in our everyday lives for flavoring. He talks about breaking a mint plant open and smelling the spearmint aroma. He says that hummingbirds are highly attractive to the mint plant and the smell. He also talks about the different type of mint plants and what makes them unique.

In this archived broadcast from April 6, 1990, John Weeks talks about the segue from spring to summer and how beautiful it is. He also talks about the 13 nature photos for every month on the calendar. He talks about how the 1991 calendar will be different than in years past, and why it will be unique

In this archived broadcast from March 6, 1987, John Weeks talks about bird watchers and how and why they observe birds. He talks about how a winter bird walk or watch is different than one in the summer and spring because there are different birds and nesting techniques. He also goes into detail on how winter birds are different than

spring and summer birds. He talks about their feeding and nesting techniques.

In this archived broadcast from June, 3, 1988, John Weeks talks about Bees and their connection with flowers. He talks about Bees in central New York and California and what he has experienced. He talks about what trees and plants attract the Bees and explains why.

In this archived broadcast from June 18, 1992, John Weeks talks about the sounds that different birds make and what each sound actually means to that bird and fellow birds around it. He talks about how every bird's sound is unique and what makes them different.

The Sounds of Spring Part.2

Apr 30, 2015

In this archived broadcast from May, 10, 1991, John Weeks is back in Baltimore woods. He talks about how protective screech Owls are and how in the spring they have a reputation for defending their nests. He goes into detail about the birds of spring. He talks about his walk through the woods and all of the things he experienced.

Learning at Rice Creek

Apr 30, 2015

In this archived broadcast from July 17, 1987, John Weeks talks about the three different programs that were being done that day with elementary school kids. He got to sit in and watch what they learned. The kids found certain bugs and plant life at Rice Creek and John weeks explained in detail what they were and how they contribute to the earth and nature.

In this archived broadcast from August 6, 1988, John Weeks talks about a time that someone called him about a Blue Jay but it was a Heron. He talks in detail about the Herons and how they contribute to the environment. He describes what they look like and what their nests look like.

On Crows and Fawns

Apr 29, 2015

In this archived broadcast from June 22, 1990, John Weeks talks about the walks that he has and what he has seen. He says that every walk is different and he never knows what he is going to find. He goes into detail about crows and fawns and what makes them unique. He says that birds are constantly surprising him. He speaks about what he saw on his walk through the Baltimore Woods and what surprised him.

In this archived broadcast from April 25, 1987, John Weeks talks about his experience with crows and great horned owls one day at Rice Creek. He goes into detail about both birds and what makes them unique.

Natural Insect Control

Apr 27, 2015

In this archived broadcast from August 10, 1984, John Weeks talks about the art of a bird watcher. He goes into detail about different birds and how they all eat and feed off of different insects. He talks about how birds will change the insects that they eat depending on the season.

In this archived broadcast from May, 2, 1991, John Weeks talks about migration and nesting. He goes into great detail on birds and the nesting time of year. He narrates his walk and pioneer trail that he went on. He talks about Song Sparrows and how they use sound to get the attention of other birds around them. He runs through different birds and the sounds that make them unique.

In this archived broadcast from August 17, 1984, John Weeks talks to the Director of Recreation for the Onondaga County park system. Weeks interviews him and asks him about his job and what is up and coming for the Onondaga County parks.

Spring A Dialogue

Apr 24, 2015

In this archived broadcast from April 19, 1991, John Weeks follows a dialogued format where he talks about how much he loves the spring and how he is not that interested in winter because he is old and looses track of things. He talks about his childhood and an illness in the spring that his mother was going through. He talks about what he used to do during the spring when he was younger and why it is his favorite time of year.

In this archived broadcast from June 10, 1988, John Weeks talks about how in the beginning of the summer the calico fields start to blossom. Weeks talks in detail about the origin of calico fields. He talks about the various contrasting colors in spring and summer. He talks about the different flowers that blossom throughout the season as well. 

Talking About Spring

Apr 19, 2015

In this archived broadcast from March 13, 1987, John Weeks talks about the upcoming spring season. He talks about the effects of the melting snow. He also talks about climate and how when the seasons change it effects our environment. He talks about how the changing of seasons affects farmers and land. He also talks about how spring changes with the months.

In this archived broadcast from August 9, 1990, John Weeks talks about how birds and sunflowers interconnect. He also talks about the dynamics of sunflowers and what they provide to our lives. He talks about different type of sunflowers and what makes them unique.

In this archived broadcast from July 20, 1990, John Weeks talks about the development of butterflies and their purpose in wild life. He talks about a trip he took to Georgia and went to the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens. He also talks about the birth of butterflies and goes into details about the things he saw at the butterfly house. Weeks says that when looking at butterflies you will experience unexpected rewards.

Lessons In The Lakes

May 13, 2014

In this archived broadcast from August 3, 1984, John Weeks talks about a ride his wife and him took on one of the lakes as an anniversary gift from his children. He talks about the boat tour that they went on and what the lake is like compared to different lakes. Weeks says that he wishes they heard more about the lake and what makes it what it is.

In this archived broadcast from September  25, 1992, John Weeks talks about how he has 33 years of professional service and had more than 500 episodes of the Nature Of Things. He was awarded the conservation educator of the year and how he was surprised to get this award.  Weeks also talks about someone else that he meets at the award ceremony.

In this archived broadcast from September 11, 1992, John Weeks talks about waking up early one morning and how he wanted to see what difference a shift of 12 degrees in latitude would make. Weeks said that he woke up too early and that the stars were still shining in the sky but eventually the fog and dew were heavy enough to blur the street lights. He talks about the different sounds that he hears from the birds as well as the grasshoppers and the flowers that he sees.

eugene beckes / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 18, 1992, John Weeks talks about the sound that birds make and how you can hear them everywhere. He especially talks about a tiny,  energetic bird called a wren. He mentions the kinglet as well. Both these birds are very high pitched. The wren is a retiring bird and they have a long song. Weeks then talks about what he is seeing and what the wren looks like.

As the Earth Turns

May 1, 2014

In this archived broadcast from August 15, 1992, John Weeks talks about how some things never change. He talks about the town that he grew up in and how it has differed in the past years. He says that everything changes based on the seasons and in the spring everyone is in the fields preparing the lands and planning. By July there are peas in all the wagons and by late summer tomatoes are ripening everywhere pilling up the trucks.

Tamron-5-2 / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 3, 1988, John Weeks talks about all the bee pastures that he sees. He said he notices all the flowers beginning to bloom and they are all hosting hundreds of bees on top of them that they are completely covered. Weeks mentions how on Beaver Lake it is surrounded by flowers and he talks about the different types of flowers especially the tulip tree.

Cloud Watching

May 1, 2014
{ pranav } / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from August 19, 1988, John Weeks talks about how he started to watch clouds when he was younger. He would see different scenes in the clouds as he laid on his back watching them move in the sky. When he became a boy scout he had a new dimension on the different clouds and was able to distinguish them all. He later on learned about pressure systems and fronts and tells about each of the clouds and how he grew up watching them.

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