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 III2020-05-25 10:41:092020-05-25 10:41:09Nice warm weather has gotten carpenter ant queens up and about. Lots of winged females looking to start a new colony in any rotting wood that’s lying around.
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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.
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.
Some of us need to relearn the thrush songs anew every year: the sort of ee-o-lay of the wood thrush, followed by a buzz; the longish first note of the hermit thrush followed by a jumble; the downward slide (think V) of the veery.
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.
This weekend’s cool, May-like weather has been a blessing for those of us who are desperately trying to catch up on our wood.