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 III2021-01-03 15:38:362021-01-07 15:39:58The 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.
You might also like
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.
Bears have been digging up jack-in-the-pulpits throughout the hardwood parts of our land. They make neat, clean little cone-shaped holes and only eat the big plants. The small jacks that so often surround the parent plants remain – until next year.
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.
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.
Daily check of the broad-winged hawk nest near our house, high in a maple tree, sometimes reveals a head on the nest and sometimes a tail; the incubating female taking in the view from both directions, as she sits there for 28 to 31 days, giving new perspective to our present stay-at-home situation.
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.
If you’re working outdoors in the heat of the day, consider taking some switchel with you: roughly three cups of cider vinegar in ¾ of a gallon of water, plus some honey and some ginger. Cider vinegar supplies potassium and the ginger helps potassium absorption. Honey both revives your energy and reduces the tartness. Variations of this concoction have been used by farm workers since before the Civil War.