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 III2020-05-15 11:17:052020-05-16 11:18:20The first thunderstorms of spring arrived on 60-70 m.p.h. winds. Tornado warnings were issued for Bennington, Rutland, Windsor, and Windham counties.
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Brooks that often dry up in late summer around here have dried up. It is getting closer to late summer than I like to acknowledge,and it has been abnormally droughty.
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.
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 big damselflies called ebony jewelwing make it hard to walk the brook any faster than at a snail’s pace. The black wings of the males are pretty, but it’s their shining emerald abdomens that stop you in your tracks. They occur in masses here along the top of a new beaver dam.
Sometimes, 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.