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 III2020-06-05 10:49:442020-06-08 10:50:26Starflower (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.
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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.
The first cut of hay is coming down. Farmers around here are leaving 4″ instead of the traditional 2″ because it’s been so dry.
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”).
Both black ash and white ash leaf out much later than most other trees and are now easy to spot. The flattened, tan-colored bark on many ash trees sometimes makes them look like they have a bad case of mange. But this condition is caused by a fungus that just feeds on dead bark and does no harm. Not to be confused with damage from the emerald ash borer.
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.
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.