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 III2020-12-08 13:26:252020-12-08 13:26:25On some birds the contour feathers have what’s called an afterfeather, a little fluffy plume from the same follicle as the big feather. This provides extra insulation and is especially common in grouse.
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Record high temperatures for May were recorded in Burlington (95°) and Saint Johnsbury (92°). On the top of Mount Mansfield it hit 85°. That’s the warmest temperature ever recorded there, on any month, according to a National Weather Service tweet. Fact-check pending.
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.
Proving once again that a hard rain is the best way to get rid of snow. Our 8 inches or so of snow was reduced to zero to 2 inches overnight. Creeks are rising.
In winter black locust trees are stark – black, with sharply twisted branches, almost creepy. When flowering, as they are now, they are completely covered with gently drooping, beautiful flowers that almost cover a background of delicate leaves.
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.
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.