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 III2020-08-01 13:19:442020-08-05 13:20:35The ground beneath female white ash trees is littered with seeds. Almost white, they look fresh and optimistic. Makes me think there’s hope.
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Nice warm weather has gotten carpenter ant queens up and about. Lots of winged females looking to start a new colony in any rotting wood that’s lying around.
Our dog flushed a grouse off a nest containing just three eggs this morning. Grouse normally incubate 9 to 14 eggs but when, after shooing off the dog, I reached into the brush pile to straighten out the situation, the eggs were warm, suggesting that this female was calling it quits at three.
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.
Warmer temperatures are known to increase photosynthesis in the higher latitudes and Siberia has been getting greener. This isn’t working so well in boreal North America where stresses such as fire, pests and droughts have made things browner overall.
The hot, hot weather in late May took a toll on apple blossoms. They seem to have opened up on one day and disappeared the next. Of course, my sense of time, and most everyone else’s, may be a bit off, due to isolation and discombobulation.
Most of us have heard that the CO2 level in Earth’s atmosphere today is higher than it’s been in a million years, but a new study, published in Geology, concludes that there’s now more CO2 than there has been in the past 23 million years. Something to think about while we fan ourselves.
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.