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.

Diana Robinson / Flickr

When it comes to wildlife, Africa is plentiful--home to some of the largest creatures known to man. In this archived broadcast of the "Nature of Things" from January 13, 1984, host John Weeks speaks with Dr. Jack Calvert about his adventure through Africa. 

Anthony Quintano / Flickr

With winter underway, an archived broadcast of the "Nature of Things" from February 3, 1984 helps explain how lake effect storms form. Host John Weeks and weather expert Dr. Alfred Stam, dive into the science behind it, while also sharing some fun facts. Find out the only other region in the world, besides the Finger Lakes, that may experience lake effect storms. 

The Loon

Oct 12, 2016

In this archived broadcast from October 9, 1987, John Weeks discusses the common loon and the decrease in the species population.  Weeks touches on the causes of this decrease, the increased interest in the bird, loon behavior, and its incredible voice, including his own account of hearing a loon song.

Phantoms of the Marsh

Oct 5, 2016
James West / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from October 4, 1990, John Weeks discusses the phantoms of the marshes, better known as rails.  Weeks talks about how he stumbled onto their nest and the reaction the birds had to his visits.  Weeks also offers a description of the species.

In this archived broadcast from September 16, 1988, John Weeks talks about the negative perception surrounding hawks and owls, particularly the red tailed hawk.  Weeks talks about the bird's history and his own relationship with attempting to protect the species.

In this archived broadcast from June 29, 1990, John Weeks talks about tulip trees and the Baltimore oriole. He gives a brief history of both species and their modern day roles in the natural world.

In this archived broadcast from June 25, 1992, John Weeks speaks about bird songs and their qualities.  Songs by different species of thrush, wrens, thrasher and others are interspersed throughout the talk.  Weeks examines each song, touching on qualities such as tone and energy.

A Study in Bird Nesting

Jun 8, 2016
Dan Dangler / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 10, 1993, John Weeks discusses the observations he made during a study of a local wetland.  These observations include several notes on the nesting habits of over a dozen different bird species. 

Changes in Birdwatching

Jun 3, 2016
Keith Williams / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 4, 1992, John Weeks discusses some observations in migration patterns he has witnessed while bird watching and offers a metaphor involving his daughter moving to a new home.

Flying Architects

Jun 1, 2016
Henry T. McLin / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 7, 1991, John Weeks discusses nature's flying architects, commonly known as birds.  Weeks covers the nest building of several species including Baltimore orioles and hummingbirds.

Mice

May 27, 2016
Michael Becker / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 27, 2005, John Weeks discusses the role mice play in maintaining an ecosystem.  Weeks goes into detail on how mice provide meals for several predator species and how this makes mice important members of the natural world.

Celebrating Nature's Art

May 25, 2016
covrazio / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 23, 2003, John Weeks discusses some of the local nature art exhibits.  Weeks talks about the Great Swamp Conservancy and the Sterling Nature Center, among other topics.

Strange Sounds of Nature

May 20, 2016
Tom Moseley / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 21, 2004, John Weeks reviews the strange sounds one might hear on a spring evening.  Weeks goes into depth on the calls of the pie-billed grebe, the woodcock, the rough grouse and more.

An Episode with Deer

May 18, 2016
Andrew Reding / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 17, 1991, John Weeks recalls an encounter he had with several deer while walking a nature trail. 

Nature Trails

May 18, 2016
Don Rogers / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 20, 2005, John Weeks discusses local nature trails.  Weeks touches on his hand in constructing the trail designs and gives accounts of experiences he's had on these trails. 

The Aftermath of Winter

May 13, 2016

In this archived broadcast from May 9, 2003, John Weeks talks about the aftermath of winter.  Weeks remarks on the visible marks that winter leaves behind each year and how that effects the natural world. 

Len Blumin / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 13, 2005, John Weeks discusses the ivory-billed woodpecker.  Weeks goes over the bird's history and its appearance's rarity.

Salamanders

May 6, 2016
Fyn Kynd Photography / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 2, 2003, John Weeks discusses salamanders.  Weeks goes into detail on the different species living in New York and talks about some encounters he has had over the years.

Woodland Flower Show

May 4, 2016
Jean-Pierre Chamberland / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 4, 1984, John Weeks discusses the beauty that comes with spring flowers.  Weeks takes a journey where he searches for various spring flowers and gives details on various species.

Brian Rogers / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from April 25, 2003, John Weeks discusses how spending his youth on a farm shaped his love of sparrows.  Weeks talks about his own enjoyment of the bird and describes how to find them in order to listen to their songs.

Healthy Soil and Mud

Apr 27, 2016

In this archived broadcast from April 26, 2002, John Weeks talks about the beauty of soil and mud.  Weeks discusses the roles soil and mud play in spring and the benefits of healthy soil.

Saffron Blaze / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from April 15, 1988, John Weeks discusses the virtues of roadside nature watching.  Weeks talks about the sights of spring that can easily be found from your vehicle. 

In this archived broadcast from April 18, 1987, John Weeks continues to discuss his trip on the East Coast.  Weeks discusses his visit Bombay Hook, touching on the wildlife he spotted and giving a brief history of the refuge.

Jim Brickett / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from April 10, 1987, John Weeks details his trip down the East Coast for the National Science Teachers Association in Washington, D.C. He speaks about various natural landmarks that he came across including the Barrier Dunes, nesting ospreys, and Chesapeake Bay.

In this archived broadcast from April 8, 1988, John Weeks discusses the mating rituals of salamanders.  Weeks speaks about the appearance and behavior of salamanders, and delves deep into the mating cycles of salamanders.

The Goldfinch

Aug 30, 2015

In this archived broadcast from August 31, 1990, John Weeks talks about the hatching season of birds. He goes into detail on the Goldfinch and how they play a role in the environment. He also talks about the uniqueness of this bird and how and why it is different from others.

Highways Of Silk

Jul 28, 2015

In this archived broadcast from May 18, 1990, John Weeks talks about the highways of silk. He goes into detail about the Tent Caterpillars in Baltimore Woods. He talks about what they eat and how they attack trees but don't kill them. These are brought about by moths. Hes goes into detail about the birth of these Caterpillars and their lifespan.

In this archived broadcast from July 3, 1987, John Weeks talks about wetlands and how important they are to the environment. He goes into detail about what a wetland is and how wild life react in wetlands. He also talks about the fish populations within wetlands.

Golden Pastures of July

Jul 1, 2015

In this archived broadcast from July 5, 1991, John Weeks talks about the month of July and how summer is established in July. He talks about the trees and plants and how they change in July. He talks about many different and unique colors that appear in the month of July and how those colors change and develop on different types of flowers.

In this archived broadcast from July 26, 1991, John Weeks talks about how birds and insects are great nesters and how they are the greatest architects. He speaks about mostly birds and how they build their birds nest how they are all unique and different. Every bird and insect has a different taste so depending on the type of bird or insect the nest or "home" is different and Weeks goes into detail about that. 

Pages