https://vermontalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/VTALMANAC_LOGO_STACK_TAG-300x150.png 0 0 Dave Mance III https://vermontalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/VTALMANAC_LOGO_STACK_TAG-300x150.png Dave Mance III2020-05-13 10:37:332020-05-16 10:39:10Hobblebush leaves are nice in the summer, colorful in autumn, but now, as they unfurl, they might be at their best: an intricate tapestry, white against tan. An elegant tan that we’re probably supposed to call ecru.
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Warmer temperatures are known to increase photosynthesis in the higher latitudes and Siberia has been getting greener. This isn’t working so well in boreal North America where stresses such as fire, pests and droughts have made things browner overall.
The tufted titmouse at our feeders (they get taken in at night) has now been joined by another. They rarely used to be here but in the last few years have become reliable companions.
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.
If you’re working outdoors in the heat of the day, consider taking some switchel with you: roughly three cups of cider vinegar in ¾ of a gallon of water, plus some honey and some ginger. Cider vinegar supplies potassium and the ginger helps potassium absorption. Honey both revives your energy and reduces the tartness. Variations of this concoction have been used by farm workers since before the Civil War.
The green frog tadpoles that overwintered in our pond are getting legs, mostly back legs at this point. Meanwhile, adult females are laying small eggs in big masses. It takes a year to make a green frog.
Ah, ticks. Tick repellent, pants stuffed into socks, tick checks, tick phobia. But staying indoors is not an option at this time of year.