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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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 first cut of hay is coming down. Farmers around here are leaving 4″ instead of the traditional 2″ because it’s been so dry.
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.
Most Christmas tree growers sold all their trees a while back. Has Covid somehow brought out a longing for the sweet smell of balsam?
The white pine needle damage you’re seeing is caused by a fungal pathogen complex, and its severity is linked to weather conditions from a year ago. Perhaps the dry June will lessen the severity of next year’s outbreak.
Now that the ground has really frozen, some of us can cross a few jobs that we didn’t quite get to off the list.