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 III2020-05-22 10:36:322020-05-25 10:37:47Some 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.
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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.
So far this summer has been dry as a bone (“near- drought conditions,” the weather service calls it) followed by stream-filling thundery deluges (“rain, heavy at times”).
The dry weather continues in most places. The US Drought Monitor has most of Vermont listed as “abnormally dry,” with the eastern part of the state listed as “moderate drought.”
The tufted titmouse at our feeders (they get taken in at night) has now been joined by another. They rarely used to be here but in the last few years have become reliable companions.
Snowshoe hare are packing down their main trails. Single-use paths peel off in what looks to be a random way, but there may be a plan.
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.
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.