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 III2020-08-02 13:20:562020-08-05 13:21:32Virginia 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.
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John Douglas Starflower (Trientalis borealis) is a 4-inch high plant that doesn’t last very long and has small flowers, typically just one or two. The leaves are in a whorl, commonly of seven leaves and the small white flowers usually have seven petals. I don’t know of any other plants that grow in sevens, but maybe there are some. Another feature of starflower that is unusual is the flower stalks: at about an inch long, they are as slender as a fine thread. You can barely see them.
John Douglas 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.
John Douglas Yesterday’s thunderstorm brought an inch of rain to the village about 2 miles from here and just a fleeting dampness here. An unwelcome but not unfamiliar occurrence.
John Douglas Jupiter and Saturn are getting closer to one another (from our vantage point). They’ll be at their closest on December 21st, so stay tuned.
John Douglas Late in the evening tonight and through the early hours of the 14th, the Geminid meteor shower will put on a good performance if it’s clear. The new moon will not interfere and these quite reliable meteors come in yellow, green, and blue, as well as white.
John Douglas 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.