Uh oh. Found an LDD, formerly gypsy moth, caterpillar in the blueberry patch. Northwestern Vermont has been slammed this year and next year it could be us, in east central Vermont. Keep an eye out for the egg masses, often low on tree bark. They can be scraped off.

Each firefly species has its own flash pattern, a preferred habitat, and a preferred time of the night. After deciding that the one that flashes quickly 4 or 5 times and streaks just above the grasses at dusk was Photuris fairchildi, I looked it up and have had to back off. Turns out that those little beetles are harder to identify than I thought.

The hummingbird clearwing moth and the snowberry clearwing moth both look and act like little hummingbirds. Uncommon enough to be an exciting find, but common enough to be seen most years. I can’t tell the two species apart (both in the genus Hemaris) but that’s ok with me for now.

Most spring ephemerals have yellowed, withered, and disappeared. No more trout lilies, spring beauties, or toothworts till next spring.

Now that the garden is planted, it’s time to replant. As usual, some seeds didn’t come up, some little plants have been chopped off by cutworms, and around here root maggots are creaming the brassicas.

Turtles are crossing roads. If conditions permit, a helping hand might keep one of them from being hit by a careless vehicle.

When people aren’t complaining about drought, conversations turn to dog ticks. How many did you pick off your dog or yourself today?

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.”

It continues to be scarily dry and crunchy in the woods, with no major rains in the forecast. Even a short-lived thunderstorm would be eagerly welcomed at this point.

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.