Writer, naturalist, educator and garden designer, Judy Isacoff has published in regional monthlies, weeklies and dailies as well as professional journals in the field of environmental education. She is a columnist for the Battery Park City, New York Broadsheet Daily and The Broadsheet and for five years contributed a weekly astronomy column to The Berkshire Eagle. A leader in nature study and curriculum-based gardening at schools in urban and rural settings, Isacoff is passionate about cultivating the sense of wonder through her teaching and writing. Her website: NaturesTurn.org
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Articles by Judy Isacoff
Monday, 21 Jan 2019 - Add a cosmic perspective to this culmination in our solar system by being outdoors 60 to 75 minutes before sunrise, when the stars of our galaxy populate the dark sky.
Monday, 14 Jan 2019 - I visited in November, delighted – in wonderment – to stroll the winding, rolling paths through the exotic, intensively designed and cultivated landscape.
Monday, 7 Jan 2019 - See January’s shining Full Wolf Moon go dark, the stars appear in a nearly moonless sky and the brilliant orb return to full light, outshining all but the brightest distant suns.
Monday, 31 Dec 2018 - My response is to cook the vegetables before they decline, make improvements in storage conditions for the rest of the harvest and refine my choices of varieties for the new growing season.
Monday, 24 Dec 2018 - Below and left of Jupiter, relatively faint planet Mercury twinkles close above the skyline while, to the right of Mercury, red star Antares, also pale in the dawn light, rises into the winter morning sky.
Monday, 17 Dec 2018 - That planting, intended to protect the earth through harsh winter storms and serve many other functions for the soil, was stripped and hauled away to chipmunk storage chambers, a ready food for uninvited guests of the garden.
Monday, 10 Dec 2018 - This week December’s Geminid shower is predicted to peak Thursday the 13th after 10 p.m. into Friday the 14th before dawn, with 2 a.m. as optimum observing.
Monday, 3 Dec 2018 - For delight, add to winter at its most visually captivating the flurry of a diversity of birds winging in for high energy food at the most modest, or lavish, of bird feeders.
Monday, 26 Nov 2018 - By Friday, the 29th, a half moon, last quarter, rises close to midnight, accompanying springtime’s quintessential all-night constellation, Leo the Lion, visible now during the hours after midnight.
Monday, 19 Nov 2018 - After the ground freezes, gardeners look up to seed stalks and vines of flowering annuals and perennials to decide which to leave for wildlife and to disperse their seed in the landscape, and which to cut to collect seed for intentional sowing or to compost.
Monday, 12 Nov 2018 - Where the glistening bay reached the sea, a rosy red rounded radiance colored the skyline, a concentrated shape of color above the east-southeast horizon.
Monday, 5 Nov 2018 - Keying out the details of what remains of the plant on the stormy day on which I write of this discovery, observation points to the noveboracensis, a phenomenal New York Ironweed. I am eager for a close look during the 2019 growing season.
Monday, 29 Oct 2018 - At this time of year, midway between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, the stars Vega, Altair and Deneb are positioned high in the south at twilight.
Monday, 22 Oct 2018 - Last week, on the eve of the deepest chill and wind chill of the season, I reached into reserves of dogged determination to secure my harvest of fennel, dill, peppers, French sorrel, amaranth and most of the turnips.
Monday, 15 Oct 2018 - The Orionid meteor shower, predicted to peak before dawn on Sunday the 21st, is active through November 7. At peak, in a dark location under a moonless sky, a maximum of 15 to 20 shooting stars per hour are predicted.
Monday, 8 Oct 2018 - Autumn’s full-grown clumps of grass do dance with the wind more fluidly than young, short ones. Weighty, seedy flower heads pull on the season’s longer stems, exaggerating their bowing and bobbing.
EYES TO THE SKY: Four constellations, two asterisms, two summer stars, three planets and a meteor shower
Monday, 1 Oct 2018 - The Draconids, a minor shower, sometimes rewards the sky-gazer with many shooting stars.
Monday, 24 Sep 2018 - Our season with the high Sun is past. Autumn vegetables and flowers sustain us in the changing light and weather.
Monday, 17 Sep 2018 - The Great Square may be visible in less-than-ideal stargazing conditions, whereas the whole of the flying horse, which includes dim stars, requires unpolluted, dark skies.
Monday, 10 Sep 2018 - Onions and potatoes, tomatoes and basil, cucumbers and kale, snap beans and zucchini fill dinner plates and overflow salad plates as the growing season peaks.
Monday, 3 Sep 2018 - We’ve learned the address of our home in the universe: Planet Earth, Orion spur, the Perseus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Monday, 27 Aug 2018 - Among the late summer bloomers in my landscape are a fragrant heirloom phlox, Japanese anemone, Oswego tea, Russian sage and New York ironweed, all perennials.
Monday, 20 Aug 2018 - Be radical: Awaken in time to see the brightest star in Earth’s sky, Sirius, appear after a long absence.
Monday, 13 Aug 2018 - Until quite recently, wild foods, both weeds and wildcrafted, had been the purview of naturalists and their followers. Today, chefs seek out foraged edibles to introduce to diners.
Monday, 6 Aug 2018 - Perseid meteors are more intense after midnight and especially as Perseus climbs highest before dawn.
Monday, 30 Jul 2018 - A new, magnificent beaver dam was visible from the road, as well as a lodge of mounded sticks. Kingfisher and heron flew over our garden on their way to and from the ponds.
Monday, 23 Jul 2018 - View Mars from nightfall to first light. It is particularly lovely as it sinks into the hills to the southwest.
Monday, 16 Jul 2018 - Researching the carrot family, I discovered yellow flowering wild parsnip, a plant that is reported to be as hazardous as poison ivy. Upon close examination of a 6-feet-tall individual, it was clear that I had, in fact, come upon wild parsnip.
Monday, 9 Jul 2018 - Tonight, the 9th, Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, is in conjunction with Venus.
Monday, 2 Jul 2018 - The rain, the sight of the Sun at the top of the sky, the quickened greening of the earth and the press of crops ready for harvest pull us into the rising tide of the growing season.
Monday, 25 Jun 2018 - At the first sight of the clearing, I was wonderstruck by an aerial display of countless blinking golden lights and dipping, curving, white gold lines streaking all over the meadow from the ground up to the treetops.
Monday, 18 Jun 2018 - The unpredictable experiences that occur while gardening can be the most engaging or challenging to our senses, our emotions, intellects and aesthetics.