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.

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. 

Abundance at Sunrise

May 27, 2015

In this archived broadcast from  July, 6, 1990 John Weeks talks about the sunrise and how he gets up early to look at the birds. He talks about how the sunrise is the most important part of the day and what he enjoys about it. He narrates his morning and the birds that he seeing such as the sparrows that nest by his home.

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.

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