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, 25 Mar 2019 - At my location, the bird shoots up from the ground and spirals into the air adjacent to the thicket, above an open field. As it descends, it chirps loudly, punctuating its fall, and repeats the songs and the aerial dance in the darkness.
Monday, 18 Mar 2019 - Stargazing brings enchantment and grounding to people of all ages around the world. The darker the sky, the deeper the experience.
Monday, 11 Mar 2019 - A few miles inland, birds, plants and people find refuge from traffic, shopping malls, endless concrete and cookie-cutter rows of houses at two other oases.
Monday, 4 Mar 2019 - Wherever the Big Dipper is in the sky, simply “arc to Arcturus” to be assured that you have located the second brightest star visible in northern skies.
Monday, 25 Feb 2019 - Coleman’s 50 years of thought and experience are reflected in the photographs of his Four Season Farm in Maine and in the new book’s congenial, authoritative voice.
Monday, 18 Feb 2019 - When I turned around at the crest of the hill, I saw brilliant light with a rosy glow spread across the top of the mountain to the southwest, above the dim hillside below, where I stood.
Monday, 11 Feb 2019 - Arne Maynard revealed that he begins each project by looking to the natural environment for grounding and inspiration. He observes the wild plants and insects, listens to the birds and seeks out signs of other wildlife in order to become aware of the place that will be the setting for his garden design.
Monday, 4 Feb 2019 - As societies lose their relationship to nature, the Sun is the “the elephant in the room” during seasonal festivals.
Monday, 28 Jan 2019 - Walking the snowy path to the woodshed when the temperature was 12 degrees below zero, with added 20-miles-per-hour winds, I quickly sensed the sting of cold on my legs through usually reliable layers of fine wool leggings underneath heavy wool trousers.
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.