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.


The Nature of Things
5:37 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

The American Kestrel


The kestrel has a cool, 'hipster' vibe, with pairs of black vertical slashes on its pale face – referred to as a "mustache" and "sideburns."

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The Nature of Things
5:13 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Local Food & Locavores

Credit blog.Foodem.com

  Knowing that I can make a difference through my food choice has led me to become a 'locavore.'  That is – I'm committed to eating meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, honey and other food products that are produced at farms in my local community.

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The Nature of Things
5:30 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Maple Sugaring

Credit Irvine Nature Center

The process these farms follow to tap maple trees, collect the sap and make maple syrup is actually quite simple. It does, however, take lots of time and a willingness to get outdoors in the cold and experience this miracle of nature.

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The Nature of Things
3:09 pm
Wed February 4, 2015


Credit Photo via North American Bear Center

Of all the adaptations employed by our local animals to deal with our winter climates, true hibernation is definitely the most drastic.

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The Nature of Things
5:37 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Winter Constellations

Credit Aspen Nature

This time of year, the night sky tends to be the clearest and there’s less light pollution. Though the evenings might be cold, in winter constellations like the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia, are easier to see and identify.

The Nature of Things
5:42 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Gray Squirrels

Gray Squirrel

Five species of squirrels can be found in Maryland. There’s the red squirrel, the southern flying squirrel, the eastern fox squirrel and the Delmarva fox squirrel.

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The Nature of Things
5:25 pm
Tue January 6, 2015


Credit Photo from Eat the Weeds

I have a secret snack. When I’m hiking in damp, forested areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I don’t look to my backpack for a granola bar or trail mix. Instead, I look to the trees for a pawpaw.

The Nature of Things
5:01 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Stink Bugs

Adult Female brown marmorated stink bug
Credit Rutgers University

Unfortunately, not many predators are interested in eating the ubiquitous brown marmorated stink bug we see so much of in our listening area. That’s because it’s not a native species.

The Nature of Things
2:41 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Winter Outdoors

Credit West YellowStone Montana

Need another reason to exercise outside? There’s nothing like returning to the warmth of indoors, pink-cheeked and tired, and sitting by a warm fire or sipping a mug of hot cocoa. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!

The Nature of Things
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Cottontail Rabbits

A light dusting of snow is an optimum time to look for signs of our native cottontail rabbits.  When hopping, rabbits' long hind feet come down in front of the smaller front feet – making them incredibly easy for kids and adults to spot.

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