So far in the month of July, 10.94 inches of rain have fallen in north Shaftsbury (southwestern VT). With more rain in the forecast this week, it makes you wonder what the monthly total in July is going to be.

Smoke Map

The skies were full of wildfire smoke today. To get a sense of where it’s coming from, check out this really cool interactive map that NOAA updates regularly.

Kind of shrinks the country, doesn’t it? And in doing so shrinks the world.

 

 

Uh oh. Found an LDD, formerly gypsy moth, caterpillar in the blueberry patch. Northwestern Vermont has been slammed this year and next year it could be us, in east central Vermont. Keep an eye out for the egg masses, often low on tree bark. They can be scraped off.

Each firefly species has its own flash pattern, a preferred habitat, and a preferred time of the night. After deciding that the one that flashes quickly 4 or 5 times and streaks just above the grasses at dusk was Photuris fairchildi, I looked it up and have had to back off. Turns out that those little beetles are harder to identify than I thought.

The hummingbird clearwing moth and the snowberry clearwing moth both look and act like little hummingbirds. Uncommon enough to be an exciting find, but common enough to be seen most years. I can’t tell the two species apart (both in the genus Hemaris) but that’s ok with me for now.

Most spring ephemerals have yellowed, withered, and disappeared. No more trout lilies, spring beauties, or toothworts till next spring.

Now that the garden is planted, it’s time to replant. As usual, some seeds didn’t come up, some little plants have been chopped off by cutworms, and around here root maggots are creaming the brassicas.

Bear Tracks

Meander through a freshly-turned meadow.

Turtles are crossing roads. If conditions permit, a helping hand might keep one of them from being hit by a careless vehicle.

When people aren’t complaining about drought, conversations turn to dog ticks. How many did you pick off your dog or yourself today?