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 III2020-06-10 11:11:202020-06-10 11:11:20Sometimes, in the middle of the fronds of interrupted ferns, the leaflets are fertile and produce spores. Now these spore-producing leaflets are almost black and look as though they are deformed in some way. Not very attractive, but functionally they are fine. Just interrupted.
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Daily check of the broad-winged hawk nest near our house, high in a maple tree, sometimes reveals a head on the nest and sometimes a tail; the incubating female taking in the view from both directions, as she sits there for 28 to 31 days, giving new perspective to our present stay-at-home situation.
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.”
On 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.
Thick bushes are a good place to house the short-tailed fledglings that are still being fed. Not sure why short tails make birds look so cute, but they do.
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”).
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.