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 III2020-06-26 12:46:502020-06-29 12:47:49Unlike many of us humans, rattlesnakes like it hot, especially the females. When pregnant, a female’s body temperature is 6 to 8 degrees C higher than normal, which enables the embryos to develop.
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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.
Now that the garden is planted, it’s time to replant. As usual, some seeds didn’t come up, some little plants have been chopped off by cutworms, and around here root maggots are creaming the brassicas.
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.
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.
Luckily, singing season for the veery lasts a long time. They’re still at it, mostly in the mornings and evenings.
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.