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 evergreen perennials are low to the ground, for good reason. Winterberry, pippsissewa, partridgeberry, and goldthread are all in the carpet family.
Starflower (Trientalis borealis) is a 4-inch high plant that doesn’t last very long and has small flowers, typically just one or two. The leaves are in a whorl, commonly of seven leaves and the small white flowers usually have seven petals. I don’t know of any other plants that grow in sevens, but maybe there are some. Another feature of starflower that is unusual is the flower stalks: at about an inch long, they are as slender as a fine thread. You can barely see them.
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.
A robin was singing shortly after 4 am this morning, followed soon after by a veery. I’ve read that the timing of bird awakening is correlated to the size of its eye. Big eyed birds are the earliest risers.
Brooks that often dry up in late summer around here have dried up. It is getting closer to late summer than I like to acknowledge,and it has been abnormally droughty.
Some like it cold, including winter crane flies. Well, not too cold, but if it’s above freezing male winter crane flies form loose, bouncy swarms. Females fly up from the ground to choose a mate and then they lay eggs on the forest floor. Craneflies are easy to see against the surface of the snow or when they perch on windowpanes.