To all those interested in the natural world. Please add your sightings.

In the woods we return to reason and faith-Emerson


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yesterday I watched a red squirrel repeatedly zipping out to the tiniest of red maple twigs and nibbling on the flowers. Gathering sap? Smelling the 'roses'?


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

While we were walking into the house last night, a barred owl called out. It was so loud that we were taken aback. Then we heard another owl answering--in that booming chattering conversation. During late March to early May barred owls are laying their eggs.
Red maple trees are starting to flower. They have beautiful red flowers with yellow in the middle. Another sign of spring.
Despite the cold temps over the weekend and now the rain, signs of spring abound. The male goldfinches are turning yellow, there are large flocks of male robins, purple finches at the feeder, and I listened to the woodcock on his "dance floor" yesterday evening. Crocus are just waiting for a little sun as well as the New Hampshire Gold forsythia to burst into color. Sweet pussywillow are emerging.
March 30

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On the afternoon of 3-19 while I was enjoying the 65 degree weather and watching raptors drift north up the West River valley, 3 Black Vultures circled directly overhead. Black vultures are still a relative rarity in VT although for the past 2 years one or two have routinely been identified among the Turkey vultures which congregate at the Retreat Meadows.
John Anderson
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last night Cliff and I went out on the East-West Road in Dummerston at 8:30 - 9:30.
During that time we helped 6 Jefferson Salamanders and 3 wood frogs across the road. We found 1 dead salamander. The traffic at that time was still heavy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I was out in the woods with Joe Wright and his son Joe Wright Junior,south of Carpenter Rd., in Guilford. The land was quite wet, and we saw many signs of wildlife. In a Hemlock stand, there was a deer kill, probably by a coyote. There were huge tasks hair.
Not far from there hemlock tree was completely denuded of its branches. There was a concentric circle of hemlock branches on the ground, surrounding the hemlock tree. We wondered, what had caused that and then noticed the porcupine scat,and just two porcupine tracks. We did find turkey scratchings on in all its blow down tree. there were several red cedar trees that were more than 12 inches in diameter. That's quite unusual for Windham County.
Cliff, my husband, honked as he left for work. He called out "There's scat in the driveway," and I ran out to look (before it was smooshed). Sure enough it was fox scat, this time it was full of berries. So, where did he get berries from this time of year?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today I was in the woods near Dwight Miller's Orchards in Dummerston and found quite a bit of fox scat. When I took apart one scat, I could see the spine of a small mammal, perhaps a mouse.
Mary Ellen Copeland in Dummerston saw a chipmunk, which means they are no longer hibernating. They do come out to explore during the winter on very sunny days, but only briefly. They are one of five hibernating mammals: jumping mouse, bats, woodchuck, and bear.
Other sightings of Mary Ellen include a red squirrel,gray squirrel, mourning dove and a crow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Signs of spring are abundant. My neighbor Cheryl, who also lives on Partridge Road, saw two good robins this morning. We looked out the window and glanced at a least five deer prancing through the air. It didn't seem like anything was following them, but they had enough energy from food they had eaten. It was a joy to watch them and I could feel it in my body. I had been tracking those deer most of the winter and had seen where they had slept in many different places. Now I've finally seen them with my own two eyes. I have found small scat and could now see the little ones.