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 III2021-07-03 15:07:442021-07-12 15:08:24The 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.
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A robin was singing shortly after 4 am this morning, followed soon after by a veery. I’ve read that the timing of bird awakening is correlated to the size of its eye. Big eyed birds are the earliest risers.
Virginia creeper and grapes are foodplants for Abbott’s sphinx moth caterpillars. Large green spots – much like the immature grapes nearby – cover the back of this striking insect. They will pupate soon, so check for them now.
Birds that make a second nest are at it. Empty robin eggshells, the phoebe fee-beeing away, bluebirds at the bird boxes, and wrens carrying twigs are all back.
The leaves of sugar maple seedlings don’t look at all like maple leaves. They have no lobes or very small lobes at best. You can see the seed leaves, the cotyledons, below. Last year’s seedlings are very small but they have maple shaped leaves – and no cotyledons. Plenty of both this year.
The per day change in day length is at a low around the solstices: it’s changed less than a minute per day since December 9th. Starting today, the increase in day length is more than a minute per day and it’s going to increase to about three minutes a day until we approach the summer solstice.
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.