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 III2020-08-05 13:31:572020-08-05 13:31:57Insect frass all over your picnic table this year? You’re not alone. Matt Ayers, an ecologist at Dartmouth is happy to see them. He writes that caterpillar abundance fluctuates by 20-fold, depending on the year. It’s all good, not an outbreak, and many different species of caterpillar are providing food for birds this year.
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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.
Late in the evening tonight and through the early hours of the 14th, the Geminid meteor shower will put on a good performance if it’s clear. The new moon will not interfere and these quite reliable meteors come in yellow, green, and blue, as well as white.
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.
Most wild plants can be encountered on an every-day walk, but usually not showy ladies slippers. The time is now for a pilgrimage, to a place where they are in masses among lesser – but also beautiful – bog plants.
The berries of red baneberry are ripe, shiny, and bright. But they are named baneberry for a reason.