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 III2020-07-09 10:22:502020-07-10 10:23:54Most of us have heard that the CO2 level in Earth’s atmosphere today is higher than it’s been in a million years, but a new study, published in Geology, concludes that there’s now more CO2 than there has been in the past 23 million years. Something to think about while we fan ourselves.
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The first thunderstorms of spring arrived on 60-70 m.p.h. winds. Tornado warnings were issued for Bennington, Rutland, Windsor, and Windham counties.
The big damselflies called ebony jewelwing make it hard to walk the brook any faster than at a snail’s pace. The black wings of the males are pretty, but it’s their shining emerald abdomens that stop you in your tracks. They occur in masses here along the top of a new beaver dam.
Still no snow on the ground. Rain-soaked brown leaves cover paths but in the woods mosses and liverworts in many shades of green brighten things up.
Now that the wasps have filled all the ground holes in all the electrical outlets in the garage, they’ve begun using the fancy solitary bee and wasp apartment house that was made of reeds especially for them. The female lays an egg, tucks in provisions for the larva, and fills the hole with fine mud, without my noticing. I’ll try to catch her in action from now on.
Insect 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.
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.
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.