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 III2020-12-11 11:13:582020-12-14 11:14:40Warmer temperatures are known to increase photosynthesis in the higher latitudes and Siberia has been getting greener. This isn’t working so well in boreal North America where stresses such as fire, pests and droughts have made things browner overall.
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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.
Snowy owls have recently been seen in Vermont. We’ve all heard that they leave their arctic home when food there is scarce but another reason for these erratic irruptions might instead be that they occur following an unusually successful breeding season – successful because of an abundance of prey.
Turtles are crossing roads. If conditions permit, a helping hand might keep one of them from being hit by a careless vehicle.
Every green thing is fully leafed out now and so far very little has been eaten by insects or has been food for fungi. A short-lived lushness that’s almost tropical.
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.
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.
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.