W. Brooks Paternotte

Host, The Nature of Things

W. Brooks Paternotte took the helm of Irvine Nature Center as executive director in July 2013 and immediately began building on the strong 35-year foundation.  Brooks is a Baltimore native who was a teacher, coach, advisor, dean and Head of the Middle School during his 13 years at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore.  He is also an instructor and ambassador of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Leave No Trace Master, as well as an avid outdoorsman and a features writer for FlyLife Magazine.

Ways To Connect

Hickory Trees

Oct 6, 2015
Ann Fisher

In my mind, hickory is the perfect tree for making axe handles and for smoking barbeque. But in my daughter Emma’s mind, hickory is the best tree for her long-desired tire swing. The grand old shagbark hickory on our property would, in fact, be perfect for all 3 uses.

Canada Geese

Oct 1, 2015
Shawn Nystrand

You might be able to ignore the increasing amounts of leaves falling from trees, or the suddenly sinking nighttime temperatures. But when you hear the noisy, distinctive honking of a v-shaped flock of Canada geese as they migrate above you, there is no denying that autumn has arrived.  


Sep 23, 2015
Dan Nydick

“Good intentions gone bad.”

What a perfect way to describe the spreading of the invasive autumn-olive throughout our country. Like the famous examples of kudzu and multi-flora rose, autumn-olive was once thought to be a beneficial plant. But now, it’s a major hassle and doing serious damage to our native ecosystems across the country.

Brian Henderson

Is there anything more “Chesapeake” than the blue crab? Probably not. Our bay’s signature crustacean is one of the most recognizable critters in our watershed.

As both predator and prey, blue crabs are a keystone species in our region’s food web. Blue crabs also support the most productive commercial and recreational fisheries in the bay, so they are a vital economic driver in our area.

John Flannery

Everyone knows the monarch butterfly. But do you know the tiger swallowtail? 

It is one of our listening area’s more easily recognizable butterflies due to its large size, bright yellow color and black tiger stripes. Swallowtails can be found all over the Baltimore area, especially near water, but also in meadows, gardens, parks and roadsides.

With a wingspan of as much as 4 and a half inches, tiger swallowtails are big and beautiful with additional blues and sometimes tiny dots of orange. But there is much more to this butterfly than meets the eye.