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 III2021-02-01 14:54:402021-02-09 14:56:20The temperature was -12.8 here last night, the coldest night of the winter thus far.
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On some birds the contour feathers have what’s called an afterfeather, a little fluffy plume from the same follicle as the big feather. This provides extra insulation and is especially common in grouse.
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.
Both male and female downy and hairy woodpeckers are supposed to begin their territorial drumming around this time, now that the days are getting longer. But some have been heard practicing over the past couple of weeks.
Hobblebush leaves are nice in the summer, colorful in autumn, but now, as they unfurl, they might be at their best: an intricate tapestry, white against tan. An elegant tan that we’re probably supposed to call ecru.
The green frog tadpoles that overwintered in our pond are getting legs, mostly back legs at this point. Meanwhile, adult females are laying small eggs in big masses. It takes a year to make a green frog.
A friend and I were trying to decide which birds were the most aggressive at the birdfeeder and we concluded that they all were pretty feisty, from the mourning doves right down to the hummingbirds.
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.