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

In the woods we return to reason and faith-Emerson


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today Trailing Arbutus and Dwarf Gingsing were in flower on Black Mountain.
While hiking there, I also found a new patch of Spotted Wintergreen, perhaps 10 plants. The world is full of surprises!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Add to that I saw elderberry, blood root, trillium and leeks in all their glory.

Pictures continued.
The flowering season is in high gear. Miterwort, wild ginger, blue cohosh, spring
beauties, wild starwberry, toothwort and hobblebush were among the species that I saw blooming for the first time today. See more pictures on next blog. John
I heard my first warbler- at least one that I can identify--the black throated green warbler.
I was in a meadow in Guilford and the sounds resounded. I could identify the yellow common throat, red-wing black bird, etc, but the wonderful moment was went a Canadian Goose flew only 30 feet overhead and I could hear the whir it made when its wings were flapping.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It was a day of heat, humidity and thunderstorms: growing weather. Bluets appeared in my lawn along with both white and purple violets. Wood anemone shone white in the woods where just days ago there was snow. And (in Brattleboro) Dutchman's Breeches were flowering.
The avian rolls also gained at least one new member: Gray Catbirds!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

There was a massive influx of avian life swept north by the warm winds of the last 24 hours: blue-headed vireos, palm warblers, yellow-rumped warblers and house wrens among them.
Trout Lilies brightened the forest floor today. And Sweetleaf graced the swamps.
Tiny sky-blue butterflies danced and flitted over all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When I got home at 4 pm there was a kettle of 13 hawks - mostly broad-winged - over my field. In an hour and a half I saw 121 raptors: 1 merlin, 1 red-tailed, 3 turkey vultures, 2 ospreys, 2 bald eagles, 2 peregrine, 69 broad-winged, 8 kestrels, 1 northern harrier, 4 red-shouldered, 6 Coopers, and 22 sharp shinned hawks.
The haze and heat that created the thermals to get the raptors aloft also triggered a dragonfly hatch.

Monday, April 25, 2011

This morning a few rather anemic looking Jack-in-the-Pulpit were flowering along a roadside seep with their feet in running water.
Nearby this Ranunculus - which I tentatively identified as Hooked Crowfoot - also flowered. The ranunculus clan, buttercups and crowfoot, includes about 101 species just in the northeast and north central states according to the Peterson's Field Guide! The differences are subtle!!
Mrs. Cardinal was gathering the peeling bark of Heptacodium (7 Sons Flower tree). This beautiful ornamental blooms in late September/October.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The spore bearing fertile stalks of Field Horsetail are up. The green "Horsetail" will come up later on a separate stalk.
And Chickadees were excavating a nest cavity in a rotten stub this morning working in shifts even as I took this picture.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trillium is starting to open. This one - complete with pollinator - was alongside Camp Arden Rd.
And the first of the violets is open, the Round-leaved Yellow Violet. While tiny and obscure they are harbingers of violet species to come!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daphne, a naturalized escape shrub, is starting to flower.
Wild leeks! A carpet of green at Putney School.
Blue cohosh unfolding.
Trillium budding.

Where's your favorite place to find wild leeks?
Email me at cheryl.wilfong at gmail.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

At Esther Falks there was a field (in the woods) of hepatica in bloom and the trout lily leaves are out. Catkins are bursting from poplars along 91

In the warmest of micro-climates a few Myrtle (AKA periwinkle, vinca minor) flowers can be found. Myrtle is an almost ubiquitous garden escape.
Ospreys are back. So are broad-winged hawks.
False Heleborine has thrust up 2 inches of green above the riverside mud.
And, I saw my first Bumblebee of the season today!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A few Hepatica blossoms are open!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Red Efts are out and about. I moved two off the road this morning. One Cabbage White butterfly was flying. Daffodils are starting to bloom. And, it's Tick season - one was crawling up on my sleeve today. So goes the season.
There are many sights that signify that spring is here. Last night I heard one of the first signs. The wood frogs were quacking in the vernal pool on the East-West Road near Black Mountain. We crossed Jefferson Salamanders and Wood frogs although an equal amount had been killed before we got to the site. However, many wood frogs had already made it and there was a cacophony of wood frog mating calls.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bright yellow alien Colt's Foot bloomed today, just hours ahead of the native Bloodroot.
In a vernal pool near Camp Arden Rd. Wood Frogs were "quacking."
I saw my first Garter snake of the year - unfortunately it was roadkill.
And Angle-wined butterflies are flying. Angle wings which include commas, question marks, Milbert's Tortoiseshells and Mourning Cloaks overwinter as adults. The one I saw today was probably a Question Mark.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tree swallows are back!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Suddenly there are White-Throated Sparrows under my bird feeders.
And female Brown-headed Cowbirds have joined the males of that species. Cowbirds are brood parasitic. She will perch quietly in a tall tree observing where birds of other species nest. When the time is right she will lay her eggs in those nests. That is the extent of cowbird parenting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This morning as I walked through the woods, Veeries and Hermit Thrushes - two species I had not been seeing earlier this spring - rolled ahead of me in a fluttery rusty-backed thrush wave.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This morning started with winds from the east and east-northeast.
Robins by the thousands, Blackbirds by the tens of thousands, geese, ducks, a pair of Loons - waves of birds were moving north with the storm. By 11 am the winds switched to NW, stalling out the migration. Along a quarter mile stretch of the West River eight to ten Phoebes bobbed and swooped. Fields were full of Robins and Flickers. At my feeders the Junco flock quadrupled and several Fox Sparrows joined them. Two Northern Harriers teetered and circled just above the trees. A Merlin powered through the wind. For the next two or three days I will be spotting new species that came north this morning: first sightings of the spring. Favorable wind brought today's pulse of migration north. Birds don't waste energy flying into a headwind. With the next south wind many of them will be gone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The neighborhood mink hunted through my yard today sending the birds and squirrels into nervous fits. Unfortunately it refuses to pose for a picture.