Nature Notes by Bonnie Dundas

Nature Notes by Bonnie Dundas

Nature Notes by Bonnie Dundas

Dare we hope that summer is upon us? Looking out my window this afternoon, it sure looks like summer, as do the singing birds I hear and the new-mown grass I smell. The rain brought lushness to our yard this spring. Every tree on the property bloomed like never before! After last year with almost no fruit on any of our plants, this year looks like it will be a year of plenty. This has also been a year of plenty where birds are concerned. Indigo buntings have been seen all over the state. People who have tried to entice orioles for years with no luck, have them coming to oranges and jelly. We see red-breasted nuthatches and catbirds also eating these items as well as bananas that we add to the orange feeder. Of interest is the number of blue jays that have descended on so many yards and it is a thrill to hear wood thrushes singing in our woods again. The last couple of years, they came through, but didn’t stay. Even more exciting, we have a pair of Swainson’s thrushes, a first for our yard. Also interesting are the warblers. Statewide they have come through in numbers not experienced for many years. The rain has abated enough for the summer home of our chickens to finally dry out. They are happy to be out in their now fenced-in summer home. They spend hours walking in the grass, picking up bugs I can’t even see. We and they appreciate all the work Dick, Scott and Conor did making it a safe haven for them. Hopefully it will keep out the hawks, fox, raccoons and fisher cats. I think we are helpless against bears unless we put up an electric grid. Painted turtles and one very large snapping turtle are seen sunning in the pond on warm days. The gray tree frogs, American toads and green frogs have joined the amphibian chorus started by the spring peepers. We enjoy listening to them as we fall asleep at night. The sunshine has been wholly embraced by us. And the clear skies at night have made it possible to see the moon and stars again. Look northwest to find the Big Dipper, to the northeast Cassiopeia, and to the east the Great Square. The full moon for June is named Full Flower, Full Rose, Full Strawberry or Full Honey. All names are understandable for June. I heard from long-time reader Elizabeth from Cambridge this week, who called to exclaim over her sighting of an indigo bunting, and we agreed that you haven’t seen blue until you see a bunting. I did a little research and found that these birds migrate to Central American and on down to the northern tip of South America. Up here, they nest in weedy/brushy areas, the female doing all the nest-building. They eat berries, insects, buds and seeds, especially small ones like thistle. Their song repeats each phase twice. Barb from Bennington is finding it difficult to defend her blue birds from various other species competing with them for housing and food. Observing nature is not always easy and it is hard to not interfere, but I feel that for the most part we need to stand back and let life take its course. So many things to see and hear and learn about at this time of year! I hope you are all getting out even if it is for a short walk in your neighborhood. Let me know what you are experiencing. You can contact me at 802-447-7433 or [email protected]

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