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

In the woods we return to reason and faith-Emerson


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On sunny south-facing slopes a few blueberries are in flower.

Fairy circle

I found a fairy circle of cinnamon fern on land just east of Bunker Hill Road.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Along field margins and river banks Shad (AKA Shad Bush) is opening the first of its frothy whilte masses of blossoms. Shad's 5 petaled flowers appear before the tree leafs out.

Utah wildflowers and beaver dams

4.28.13  On a 6.25 mile hike at 5500 - 6000 feet elevation where the snow has just melted, we found the green grass filled with Glacier lilies, Spring beauties, Fritillaria and yellow Nuttall violets.  Low showy Larkspur is just starting to open their delphinium blue blossoms; Mountain Pepperplant with ball-shaped clusters of 4-petalled white flowers on 5-inch stems; Humble Buttercup (aka Unattractive Buttercup); and Dwarf Waterleaf with its lavender ball of bloom resting on the ground filled in spaces.  
We came upon a shallow stream that beavers were attempting to dam up.  Beavers in an arid land seemed to lack experience: they had placed a primary dam across the stream, but they seemed unsure what to do when they were met with more success than they'd planned and water started spilling out at the side.  Their solution was to build another dam, corral-like along the side and added a short V-shaped connection to meet the primary dam.   One can see why they may have chosen the site - lots of building material is nearby, and the view can't be beat!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are back.
A few Dwarf Ginseng are in bloom as are Wild Oats and Golden Saxifrage. Golden saxifrage is an obscure, nearly petal-less, miniscule flower of seeps and swamps. Also in those wet areas, tiny white violets - presumably the Northern White Violets that favor such areas - were in abundance.
Cabbage White Butterflies were airborne, as were a few black flies.
Northern White Violet

Dwarf Ginseng

Wild Oats

Golden Saxifrage

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Both of these violets - contrary to our senses - are probably Common Blue Violets (V. pupilionacea) which occur in purple, lavender and white variations. They are nearly ubiquitous early bloomers on lawns.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Field Pussytoes attract an abundance of insect life including small blue butterflies - perhaps Eastern Tailed Blues. Unfortunately the butterflies refused to pose for pictures.
Along the river, patches of Wood Anemone were in flower.
And in Newfane, Marsh Marigolds AKA Cowslips blazed along a cold narrow rill. Unmistakable even from a moving vehicle.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Although the leaves of Wild Ginger have not fully unfurled, its odd, three-lobed reddish brown flowers are already open down among last year's dead leaves and pine needles.
Chickweed has five deeply cleft petals making it appear to have ten.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In a wet ditch both Cursed Crowfoot (AKA Cursed Buttercup) and Jack-in-the-pulpit were flowering.
And in my Andromeda bush, a Red-tailed Bumblebee loaded up on nectar and pollen.

Old Bear Scat

Bear scat. O-l-d bear scat in our 1-acre "field." Near my vegetable garden. From last fall?
It's all white now.

Cheryl, Partridge Road

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Today the swamps were aglow with the tiny paired flower clusters of Spicebush.
A handful of Blue Cohosh flowers could be seen.
A lone wild Strawberry decided that it was time to bloom.
And in a rocky, sheltered niche two Miterworts unfolded their strangely fringed flowers to the new season.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lots of warblers in the tree tops. The one I got the binoculars on was a Yellow-rumped.
A few Bluets opening.
This little milksnake was, unfortunately, "road kill" on the bike path.
Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetles are on the hunt for insect prey.
And, this patch of Trout Lilies is in its full glory.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Utah: Migrating waterfowl

4.17.13   We again visited the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to view the species that have moved in since the Tundra swans moved on.  The temperature was more wintery than spring-like, and a strong wind made the water choppy and seemingly presented a challenge to some of the birds in their attempt to become airborne.   Coots were present in great numbers, along with numerous Northern Shovelers, 4 species of Grebes and many other shorebirds.  We cautiously drove through a couple flocks of tree swallows that were like swarming mosquitoes.  Of particular interest to me - and new-for-me were the American Avocets on their long, slender bluish legs, rust-colored head and neck, and long curved bill.  Also new for me were the Yellow-headed Blackbirds.  A few of the flocks also contained their relatives, the Red-winged Blackbirds.  Check out their call on the Cornell bird site - I think you will agree that if your ear is tuned to the familiar Red-wing, it would be a stretch think this sound is that of a Blackbird!   American white pelicans were there in good numbers.  By far the largest birds at the refuge, we referred to them as "cruise ships".  In spring breeding season, their culmen (bill) becomes a bright red-orange color and a "keel", fibrous growth - or sometimes two- is present.  Killdeer and Lesser Yellow-legs shared a mud flat; the classic black-and-white garb of the Bufflehead really stood out in the late day light.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Dummerston Landing (the extreme NE corner of town) Common Dandelions, Gill-o'er-the-Ground and a Cress (perhaps Mouse-Ear Cress?) were all in flower.
And this caterpillar tentatively identified as that of a Virgin Tiger Moth - a close relative of the Isabella Moth with its familiar Woolly Bear caterpillar - was crossing Carpenter Rd.

Dummerston Conservation members im Marlboro

Several of us joined Alcott Smith into a journey into Marlboro woods.  We saw lots of signs of bears.  We saw the pawing of white pine trees and just the general disturbance they caused.  There were made by 3 cubs.  Imagine them "playing"  in the woods.