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 III2020-07-14 15:50:162020-07-14 15:50:16The height of the severed plants in your garden can give a clue to the culprit. Rodents leave roughly inch-tall stumps. Cottontails between 2 and 3 inches. Mature deer between 12 and 16 inches.
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In winter black locust trees are stark – black, with sharply twisted branches, almost creepy. When flowering, as they are now, they are completely covered with gently drooping, beautiful flowers that almost cover a background of delicate leaves.
Jefferson salamanders are the earliest vernal pool visitors, arriving even when there’s lots of ice.
The hard-won snowless ground got a sprinkled coat of snow overnight. The juncos are easy to see now, but still too many to count.
Maybe it’s the heat. All things green seem to be extra large this year, despite it being droughty. Wild raspberries are also plumper than in years past
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.
Snowshoe hare are packing down their main trails. Single-use paths peel off in what looks to be a random way, but there may be a plan.
Now that the wasps have filled all the ground holes in all the electrical outlets in the garage, they’ve begun using the fancy solitary bee and wasp apartment house that was made of reeds especially for them. The female lays an egg, tucks in provisions for the larva, and fills the hole with fine mud, without my noticing. I’ll try to catch her in action from now on.