Mark Blazis, Telegram & Gazette

Mark Blazis

Telegram & Gazette

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Past articles by Mark:

Outdoors: Lake Quinsigamond remains one of area's finest fishing spots

Though it doesn't always get the credit, Lake Quinsigamond is one of Worcester County's top-10 great fishing spots → Read More

Outdoors: Cape Cod charters are reeling in tuna and plenty of other fish

Charter boats are reeling in highly valuable fish around Vineyard Sound → Read More

Outdoors: Frog hunting season opens with familiar 'gunk' and 'jug-o-rum'

For the frog hunter, it’s now time to take out the kayak or canoe, venture out alone on a “secret,” pristine, uncrowded local pond, and listen to the music of the edible frog world’s two singers. In Massachusetts, that means the calls of the bullfrog and green frog. → Read More

Outdoors: Annual Christmas Bird Counts get underway

Birders rejoice as 121st annual Christmas Bird Counts begin across the region. → Read More

Outdoors: Appreciating the rut as deer mating season comes to end

Understanding the rut as deer mating season ends this week. → Read More

Outdoors: Freshwater fishing just fine in Central District

Region's well-stocked ponds, lakes offer up plenty of cold-water action → Read More

Outdoors: Oakham archer makes local hunting history taking Cape buffalo with bow

In the barn far behind our Kalahari hunting lodge, skinners were meticulously caping the enormous Cape buffalo I had just shot. Their fascinating work → Read More

Outdoors: Birds indeed sing sweet music for all to learn

For many who don’t know birdsong, spring’s beautiful dawn chorus is just unintelligible, chaotic noise. For those who really know it, birdsong is pure music. But how does one get to learn it? My mentor was Worcester County’s Fran McMenemy. He took hundreds of birders under his proverbial wing. We’d walk the forests together. He’d hear a bird and play back a recording of it. The male, proclaiming… → Read More

Outdoors: Cooper's hawks enjoying resurgence

After catching none for decades, my research team in recent years has banded several Cooper's hawks at the Auburn Sportsman’s Club. Nurse Andrea Moore Wilson, one of our local, unsung heroes doing Covid testing on the front lines, had the privilege of releasing one. To the delight of hawk lovers everywhere, sightings of the little-known raptor have increased dramatically across… → Read More

Outdoors: A rat's tale that must be told

In early February, before the pandemic ravaged the globe, my wife Helen and I were guests celebrating Chinese New Year with my former student and lifelong → Read More

Outdoors: Turkey season opens with a cluck and a bang

Local wild turkeys began strutting like giant sage grouse and prairie chickens in mid-March. Our spring wild turkey season opened Monday and will run through May 23. During that time, early morning bird songs will be punctuated by hunters’ imitative clucks and bangs. About 25,000 Massachusetts hunters bought permits to try to call in a strutting tom. Only a fraction of them will bother to hunt… → Read More

Outdoors: It's struttin' time for Tom turkey

It’s definitely spring. Black flies emerged last Monday. One bit my eyelid, and another from a cloud around my head got inhaled and coughed up. But with their emergence will come vast quantities of protein-filled insects upon which much of our wildlife world depends. But without question, the most compelling spring wildlife drama right now is the ostentatious displaying of the state's male wild… → Read More

Outdoors: Pileated woodpeckers are pounding now

Pileated woodpeckers are the magnificent giants of our local head-hammering world. While our most common downy woodpeckers weigh less than an ounce, our → Read More

Outdoors: Worcester County worms are wiggling for woodcock

Earthworms are awakening. With the rock-hard ground of winter softening, deep-lying earthworms can finally rise to the surface layer of humus to feed — and be fed on. They’re the reason that robins and our beloved woodcock are migrating back here.Largely at night or to a lesser degree in the crepuscular periods of dawn and dusk, the easily desiccated worms emerge to pull decaying vegetation down… → Read More

Outdoors: Escaping winter on an Everglades safari

Like 120 million other tourists each year, just before the coronavirus hit home, I was lured to Florida to escape our winter’s cold. African safari mates Bart and Lynn Wilner invited my wife Helen and me to thaw at their beachfront home. Bart surprised us, arranging a special safari deep into the Everglades, a short drive to the west of the East Coast beach communities. There we were joined by… → Read More

Outdoors: Hunts, catches to celebrate, while watching boats, seals

Many local sportsmen ventured far to take great trophies last season.Worcester’s Jon Shakour brought home a huge, Colorado bull elk to fill his freezer. Oakham archer Rob Toupin safaried in Africa’s Kalahari to incredibly arrow a dangerous Cape buffalo, and Spencer’s Adam Watson took a big-racked whitetail buck in Ohio, which has been getting more popular as a big buck destination, especially… → Read More

Outdoors: Beware of bears as spring draws near

With sunlight increasing its intensity, chickadees and Carolina wrens are beginning to sing their hormonally stimulated courtship songs. Just as maple sap → Read More

Outdoors: Auburn Sportsman’s Club hosts owl research teams

If there were an all-star team of bird banders, Auburn’s Mattie Vandenboom would be a unanimous selection — at any position. Vandenboom, → Read More

Outdoors: State's deer season numbers near record levels

MassWildlife’s much-anticipated figures for the 2019 deer season are finally in — and they’re record-book surprising. Archers amazingly led the way, more than making up for a tough, weather-challenged shotgun white-tail deer season by arrowing a once-unthinkable 6,149 whitetails. Each year, Massachusetts’ increasingly skilled bowhunters are proving more indispensable to our state’s deer… → Read More

Outdoors: Cardinals right at home in Massachusetts

Sunday morning, while waiting for Super Bowl festivities to begin, I sat watching the bird feeders outside my study. Eight stunning cardinals colorfully → Read More