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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If you have a flashlight and a bit more patience than I have, I think you could see squash plants grow. Overnight they leapt through the garden fence and onto the grass.
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.
Most Christmas tree growers sold all their trees a while back. Has Covid somehow brought out a longing for the sweet smell of balsam?
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.
Still no snow on the ground. Rain-soaked brown leaves cover paths but in the woods mosses and liverworts in many shades of green brighten things up.
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.
Most evergreen perennials are low to the ground, for good reason. Winterberry, pippsissewa, partridgeberry, and goldthread are all in the carpet family.