Nature’s Notes

Nature’s Notes

Nature’s Notes

Bobbie Dundas

Bobbie Dundas

Despite proofreading my columns before sending them to the Guide, I managed to call a yellow-bellied sapsucker a yellow-bellied woodpecker last month. The rain continues nonstop, turning our days damp and chilly and uncomfortable when we go outside. Evidently liking this weather, the spring peepers continue to call, joined by toads and bullfrogs. Our flowering trees and shrubs were stunning this spring but lost their blossoms all too soon because of the rain and wind. The vegetable gardens are doing well but need some warming sun. Again, because it has been so cloudy, cool and wet, our spinach is some of the best that we have ever had. Our grandson Conor found the first garter snake of the summer trying to find some warmth on the stone steps leading up to the front porch. On the few days without rain, the painted turtles clambered up on rocks around the pond to sunbathe. I recently saw the largest Snapping Turtle of my experience sunning in a nearby pond. The rock was smaller than the turtle and sloped downwards, making the turtle look most uncomfortable. Barb from Bennington called to report her house wrens and orioles were back. Unfortunately the Tree Swallows have taken over her bluebird boxes. I advised her to try putting up a second box on the same pole or near-by to try and attract the bluebirds back. The various swallows are back and nesting. They are so much fun to watch as they swoop and dive over the water. Bobolinks are among my favorites both to watch and listen to. The burbling song heard from a field of nesting pairs is one of the most musical in the world of birds. Flashy birds like the rose-breasted grosbeak are beautiful to look at, but some of the most beautiful songs come from little brown birds like the song sparrow. Butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies take advantage of the sun when it shines. Their shimmering colors and darting movements attract our attention in the air. On the ground it is time to look for columbine, trillium, jack-in- the-pulpit, sweet woodruff and violets along woodland paths. If you are really lucky, you might find a lady’s slipper. Now is the time of year to relax and just enjoy Vermont; to take time to observe our wildlife, from big mammals to tiny insects and tall trees to low-growing flowers, to smell new-mown grass, to listen to the sounds of summer. They are all so marvelous to experience. Let me know what you are seeing this summer. You can contact me at 802-447- 7433 or at cockatielvt@yahoo.com.

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