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 III2020-07-03 10:56:552020-07-06 10:57:36Now 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.
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What a tail! Nothing like a gorgeous comet to take a person out of this world. Just after dark, just below the big dipper, in the northwest.
Every green thing is fully leafed out now and so far very little has been eaten by insects or has been food for fungi. A short-lived lushness that’s almost tropical.
Virginia creeper and grapes are foodplants for Abbott’s sphinx moth caterpillars. Large green spots – much like the immature grapes nearby – cover the back of this striking insect. They will pupate soon, so check for them now.
Scarlet tanagers tend to sing from the treetops and the leaves are big enough now to obscure them. It might take a little time to see one but it’s well worth the effort.
If you have a flashlight and a bit more patience than I have, I think you could see squash plants grow. Overnight they leapt through the garden fence and onto the grass.
Our dog flushed a grouse off a nest containing just three eggs this morning. Grouse normally incubate 9 to 14 eggs but when, after shooing off the dog, I reached into the brush pile to straighten out the situation, the eggs were warm, suggesting that this female was calling it quits at three.
If you’re working outdoors in the heat of the day, consider taking some switchel with you: roughly three cups of cider vinegar in ¾ of a gallon of water, plus some honey and some ginger. Cider vinegar supplies potassium and the ginger helps potassium absorption. Honey both revives your energy and reduces the tartness. Variations of this concoction have been used by farm workers since before the Civil War.