https://vermontalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/12-17-snow-rotated.jpg 577 433 Dave Mance III https://vermontalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/VTALMANAC_LOGO_STACK_TAG-300x150.png Dave Mance III2020-12-17 18:24:522020-12-17 18:24:52As of 11 a.m. this morning, the storm has dumped 26 inches of snow in Dorset.
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On some birds the contour feathers have what’s called an afterfeather, a little fluffy plume from the same follicle as the big feather. This provides extra insulation and is especially common in grouse.
Unlike many of us humans, rattlesnakes like it hot, especially the females. When pregnant, a female’s body temperature is 6 to 8 degrees C higher than normal, which enables the embryos to develop.
Hummingbirds can distinguish many more colors than humans. Not just ultraviolet, but ultraviolet+green, ultraviolet+red, and ultraviolet+yellow. Researchers spent three summers deploying sugar of various hues to discover this. We are “color-blind compared to birds” according to one of the scientists. And, according to me, it’s good to clean out the hummingbird feeder before it gets moldy.
A friend and I were trying to decide which birds were the most aggressive at the birdfeeder and we concluded that they all were pretty feisty, from the mourning doves right down to the hummingbirds.
Virginia creeper and grapes are foodplants for Abbott’s sphinx moth caterpillars. Large green spots – much like the immature grapes nearby – cover the back of this striking insect. They will pupate soon, so check for them now.
Sometimes, in the middle of the fronds of interrupted ferns, the leaflets are fertile and produce spores. Now these spore-producing leaflets are almost black and look as though they are deformed in some way. Not very attractive, but functionally they are fine. Just interrupted.