April 2020: Describe your walk by adding a comment below

Each time you go out and make observations for this project, describe your walk by adding a comment to this post. Include the date, distance walked, and categories that you used for this walk.

Suggested format:
Date. Place. Distance walked today. Total distance for this project.
Categories.
Brief description of the area, what you saw, what you learned, who was with you, or any other details you care to share.

Publicado por erikamitchell erikamitchell, 01 de abril de 2020, 10:40 MANHÃ

Comentários

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4/1/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: arthropods

This afternoon was warm (50F) and sunny, but there is still some snow along the Peck Hill Rd route, all in shaded areas. The surface of the snow is still -0.2C as it has been since the snow started melting. I searched and searched but didn't find any arthropods on the snow. However, it was quite a day for woolly bears in the road. I found 5, 3 alive and 2 dead. Tomorrow is supposed to bring rain and snow. I'm hoping for snow!

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-1-20. Dead River Rd., Warren, NJ. 1 mile today 762 miles total
categories galls, blooming.

I walked along a stretch of road through wet woods that I've not walked before. There is no shoulder but very little traffic, in fact I passed two people and only about a dozen vehicles.

Galls included several kinds of goldenrod galls, and oak bullet and horned galls. Blooming was mostly spicebush (dozens and dozens of them) but also lesser celandine, spring beauty and pear.

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-2-20. Buttermilk Falls, Martinsville, NJ. 1 mile today, 763 miles total
Category: blooming

I took Molly and Katie to hike to Buttermilk Falls (a dam) today. We rode in the car in masks and gloves as I'm still in isolation but then just stayed 6 feet apart on the trail (not a problem as Katie was more like a quarter mile ahead of us most of the time). This is a trail I've done many times but never in early spring, and I really should have done it sooner.

Nearly all the spring ephemerals that are out now were present, especially lots of wide open bloodroot. Also blooming were: the first trout lily and garlic mustard of the year, spring beauty, lesser celandine, hepatica, saxifrage, Pennsylvania sedge, and Dutchman's breeches. And the highlight of the trip: moss phlox growing wild on the cliffs by the dam.

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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So good to hear that you are making it outdoors, despite it all! You are way, way, ahead of us for spring flowers. We have a little bit of bare earth showing, but no signs of growth yet. Maybe a little bit of green grass showing up on southern exposures.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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April 2, 2020. Peck Hill Rd, Calais VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds

This afternoon was a bit misty when I went out for my walk. There had been a few snow flurries earlier in the morning, but nothing added up on the ground. Since the snow has been melting so rapidly this week, I decided to try to estimate how much remains. I counted my steps, and every 100 paces I logged whether there was snow within 10’ of the edge of the road. Just guestimating, I would have said more than half the snow has melted. But according to my log, just 40% of the road has no snow near the edge. In any case, there were no insects either on the snow or in the road today. But I did shoot a flock of robins.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-3-20. Washington Valley Park, Martinsville, NJ. 1.5 miles today, 764.5 miles total
Category: blooming

Molly and I walked in a different part of the same park today, down the southern exposure of the hill. It was amazing how few flowers there were compared to the former hemlock grove on the east slope we were in yesterday. I'd not walked this trail since I tore the ligaments in my foot about 4 years ago now.

Blooming we did find: lesser celandine, garlic mustard, spicebush, chickweed, norway maple, sassafras (but too far away for my phone to deal with), a violet just about to open, spring beauty, dandelion, a bittercress, Pennsylvania sedge, and the most saxafrage I've ever seen in one spot.

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Oh my, southern exposure--how very exciting! With actual flowers, even more exciting!

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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April 3, 2020. Peck Hill Rd, Calais VT. 2 miles today
Categories: arthropods

This afternoon I went for my regular walk up peck hill. The snow-free portion is up to 42% now, just a little more than yesterday. No arthropods on the snow. However, I found 2 woolly bears in the road (both dead), a ruby tiger moth caterillar, a slug, a leafhopper, and a big red velvet mite. Plus a whole herd of snails, the first I've seen this year.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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April 4, 2020. Robinson Hill Rd & Peck Hill Rd, Calais VT. 4.3 miles today
Categories: eye-catching, arthropods

This morning I met up with my hiking buddies for a socially distant hike. This is my first Saturday out of quarantine! There were 9 of us hiking together, all staying at least 6' apart, more like 12' apart most of the time, hiking on both sides of the road spread out. It still felt odd to me to be in such a large group of people. Along the way, I shot anything that caught my eye, including some white-tailed deer tracks, some green algae, a chickadee, some red maple buds, some colt's foot buds, a hoof fungus, a slug, greater celandine flattened by snow, and a common grackle. We all also paused to admire some mosquito larvae swimming in a large puddle in a field. And some marsh marigold that looked springlike in a wet spot.

After our hike, I walked up Peck Hill to look for arthropods. Lots of snow has melted since yesterday. The snow-free portion is now 51%, with the bits of snow noticeably smaller than yesterday. There were no insects on the snow. But I did find 2 woolly bears (1 dead, 1 alive), a winter stonefly, a snail, a grasshopper, a fly, a bug, a song sparrow, a chickadee, and 2 butterflies: Milbert's tortoiseshell and an eastern comma. It's much easier to photograph insects on snow--they sit so nicely. Chasing insects when they're not on snow requires a long lens, I've decided.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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April 5, 2020. Frizzle Mountain, Calais VT. 1.2 miles today
Categories: Socially Distant Bioblitz

For the Socially Distant Bioblitz, I decided to follow a strict interpretation of backyard bioblitz just to see how many species I could find on our property. I haven't done a bioblitz of our property since 2014, when I did my first bioblitz ever in our yard. When I chose the day for that bioblitz, I carefully selected a day in early September when I figured there would be lots to see. I made 222 observations that day, covering 178 tax, with 1 amphibian, 1 mammal, 2 birds, 34 insects, 129 plants, 9 fungi, 1 mollusk, and 1 arachnid. The timing of today's bioblitz was a bit challenging, since there's still a lot of snow on the ground and the only plant life visible is evergreen or winter weeds at their most worn. Still, it was fun to poke around to look for any changes or new species for my property list. I found 6 mammals, 11 birds, 15 insects, 117 plants, 18 fungi, and 3 arachnids (all the same kind of spider?).

The day started with a pair of turkeys copulating on the front walk, quite auspicious. I then found my first hazelnut and alder blooms of the year. I've been so busy looking down at the snow for arthropods that I've neglected to look up to see these first blooms of the year. At first I decided to skip the mosses until the afternoon, but I soon realized that the mosses were a large portion of the green plants that I could find, so I photographed every moss I thought I could possibly identify, including some Pogonatum, Atrichum, Plagiomnium, Polytrichum, Thuidium, Pleurozium, Rhytidiadelphus, Ulota, Climacium, and Fissidens. I was also delighted to find some Bazzania and Conocephalum, to add to my liverwort list (back in 2014 I think I only found Marchantia). Other new finds for the property were running pine, a wild rose, and a grass fly. The best part of the day, of course, was just being outside all day.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Love the auspicious copulating turkeys! It's interesting how odd it seems now to be in a group, even well spaced out. Even in winter you found quite a large variety in your yard. With the hazels and alders blooming the rest of the wildflowers shouldn't be far behind.

I also did the Socially Distant Bioblitz in my yard (though I later went for a walk which i'll do separately here). I've been doing Rutgers' Personal Bioblitz solely in my yard, but only go through about once a month (plus birds and things that catch my eye). Yesterday i photographed 100 species on our almost-1 acre property, adding 35 species to my Rutgers list. One of them was a pair of redbacked salamanders under a paving stone in my front yard, the first salamanders I've seen here in 10 years (and only the third I've posted to iNat from anywhere).

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-4-20. Great Swamp, Harding Twp., NJ. 1.5 miles today, 766 miles total
category: blooming

Molly and I walked in the Great Swamp today. Weirdly the parking was closed but the trails were open, causing over a dozen cars to park on the verge of a narrow, busy road with no shoulders (and of course folks parked on both sides, adding to the problem). The trail is mostly boardwalks through swampy woods with some marsh.

Blooming I found: trout lily, spring beauty, dwarf ginseng just about to open, and lesser celandine. We also spotted a lot of turtles, my first of the year.

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-5-20. Schooley's Mountain, Long Valley, NJ. 1.5 miles today, 767.5 miles total
categories: blooming, not yet recorded today

For the Socially Distant Bioblitz I convinced all three girls (Carl is off driving his truck) to come with me to "try to find the waterfall at Schooley's Mountain". I'd been to the park before but never below the lake. I'd missed the best park. Once you pass the dam you are in a narrow valley of giant boulders with 2-foot high waterfalls the whole way down, then half a mile down the trail is the main attraction: about 30 feet of falls in three steps. Becca didn't last long, hiking is not her thing, but she found a big rock with a nice view of the upper part of the river and read her book. The other two came with me, more in the river than not. They climbed every large boulder while I scoured the ground for every available plant, and for once my slow pace didn't bother them at all.

Blooming I found: spicebush, bird's eye speedwell, dwarf ginseng, and purple deadnettle. But the highlight was blooming round leaved violet a first for me.

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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A waterfall? What a great place for a bioblitz! That sounds like terrific fun and a fun family event. It's odd what's open and what's not for parks these days. The Nature Conservancy has decided to close Chickering Bog due to the virus. Hunh? They cite staffing issues. Hmmm...there's never been any staff there, and trail cleaning is sporadic at best, done by volunteers. Actually, though, it makes sense to close it due to ice and mud right now. Once the ice melts and the soil solidifies a little, in about 2 weeks, it really ought to be open. At least for single family hikes.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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April 5, 2020. Peck Hill Rd, Calais VT. 2 miles today
Categories: arthropods and things with wings

This afternoon my husband joined me for the hike up Peck Hill. Lots of snow has melted since Saturday. The road edges are now 66% free of snow. Still no signs of fresh plant growth yet. But we had a good time chasing insects. Although, they are a lot harder to catch when not chilled by crawling across snow. We found several woolly bears, a cricket, a leafhopper, and several wolf spiders. My husband had his eye on the sky and found a turkey vulture and a robin. And then, when we were heading up into the woods where the snow is still deep, we found a winter firefly on the snow. It may be the last snow find for the season.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-6-20. Duke Island Park, Bridgewater, NJ. 1.5 miles today, 769 miles total
Category: blooming

Molly, Katie, and I drove here to see the bluebells. Every year Inge, one of my partners on the rescue squad, asks me if I've seen them, and every year I miss them. This year I saw one posted to iNat from here and realized I'd better go while the getting was good. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day and there were a lot of people out, but generally good about keeping their distance. It's funny these days people turn their backs when you pass, which used to be such a rude thing to do.

The bluebells were indeed blooming, rafts of them among the trees. They were outshone, though, by the lesser celandine, which covered both sides of the path. Also blooming were tons of spring beauties, a little spicebush, blue violets, garlic mustard, bittercress, and ivy- leaved speedwell. And the early (planted) cherry trees were in full bloom as well. Lovely.

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/7/20. Peck Hill Rd and Pekin Brook Rd, Calais VT. 3.8 miles today
Categories: arthropods and things with wings

This afternoon my husband and I took a walk up Peck Hill in search of arthropods. We found some, but none on snow. The snow has shrunk a lot since yesterday, but the snow-free portion of the edge of the road came out to exactly the same as yesterday by my estimation method, 66%. We found several woolly bears, alive! And some flies, some grasshoppers, several wolf spiders, and a gorgeous comma butterfly. Also a winter firefly, a beetle, a song sparrow, and some tiny white worms wriggling in a puddle. And wood frogs croaking in the vernal pool at the end of the route. They were croaking yesterday for the first time, but I didn't manage to get a photo yesterday.

In the evening we took a second walk after dinner. We were discussing ways to find meaning and enjoyment out of the current situation and have decided to take advantage of the longer daylight hours by taking evening walks after dinner. We are so privileged to be able to do this just by stepping out our door. I can't imagine what life would be like living in an apartment in a crowded city right now. One big plus is that with reduced traffic, we can comfortably walk on Pekin Brook Rd, one of the main arteries into town. Only 2 vehicles passed us during our walk tonight, both pickup trucks, go figure. During the walk we found some fresh beaver chews on an alder stand and 4 deer across our neighbor's field.

It is amazing to hear about all your wild flowers in bloom. I've never seen bluebells in the flesh, or lesser celandine for that matter. Soon, soon, something will start to grow here, and we can stop chasing spiders.

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/8/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: arthropods, blooming

This afternoon my husband and I headed back up Peck Hill to look for spiders. Lots more snow has melted but the snow-free portion of the road edges is still about 66%, just a lot thinner. Today we found a black caterpillar with yellow stripes down the sides, a spider, a dead ground beetle, and a dead wasp, all on the road, not on the little bit of snow that remains. We also found our first blooming wildflower of the year, a single coltsfoot blossom--Glory Be!

Publicado por erikamitchell 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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hooray for the first flower! spring really is coming, even all the way up there!

Publicado por srall 7 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/9/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: creepy crawlies

This afternoon was chilly (35F) with steady rain. Not much chance of finding arthropods on the remaining snow, but I checked anyway. No luck. I did find a drowned earthworm and a slowly moving slug in the road.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/10/20 Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds

We had fresh snow this morning, but just a dusting, so it was mostly melted by the time I went out for my walk this afternoon. As I headed out the driveway, I came across a pair of turkeys that were in delicto flagrente. So I turned around to give them some privacy and walked around the house to get down the hill. No arthropods today in the thick snowflurries and blowing wind, but I found some robins, a pair of mallards floating in a flooded field, a chickadee, a gold-crowned kinglet, and a slug.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/11/20 Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds

More fresh snow this morning, but again, it didn't last. I skipped the group Saturday morning hike. I felt like last week's 9-person hike was over the limit of what is appropriate, as did one of the other co-organizers. The third co-organizer felt it was perfectly fine to lead a group hike this morning, so she did so alone, with 2 less people in the mob. Instead, I just hiked up Pike Hill alone. I found 2 slugs, the same 2 mallards as yesterday, and the same robins in the same spot in the field. I also picked up a hitchhiker, the little orange terrier that lives on the corner. Its owner called and called after it, but it was determined to walk with me. I gave it no encouragement to follow, but it was quite happy to be out on a walk, even with a stranger.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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I love your turkeys and hitchhiker. And I can't tell you how many photos I've taken of the exact same group of squirrels in the exact same place.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-7-20. Peter's Brook, Bridgewater, NJ. 1 mile today, 770 miles total.
Category: blooming.

Molly and I walked this mile loop behind a mostly closed shopping center today. My foot was sore, and has stayed sore ever since; I think I'll need to talk to the podiatrist tomorrow, and have not walked anywhere much since this day.

Blooming we saw: shepherd's purse, garlic mustard, speedwell, dandelion, spring beauty, chickweed, trout lily, violet, periwinkle, Pennsylvania sedge, toothwort, pear, and crab apple. Dogwood and blackhaw were about to bloom. I also found cane borer galls, ants, a willow leaf beetle (Molly found that one), a bumble bee, and a big old beefly, one of my favorites.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/12/20 Adamant, VT & Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds, blooms, and insects

This morning I returned to Adamant for my regular Sunday birdwalk. I missed last week because of the bioblitz. Last time when I walked there, the pond was completely iced over and there were otter dining on the ice. This week, there wasn't a scrap of ice, so ice out must have occurred within the last 2 weeks. Since there was no ice, there were a lot of water birds to see. In addition to the usual geese, mallards and wood ducks, I found black ducks, ring-necked decks, hooded mergansers, and common mergansers. Also chickadees, goldfinches, robins, juncos, red-winged blackbirds, grackles, a cowbird, and a kingfisher. Blooming around the pond were coltsfoot, alder, hazelnut, and pussywillow. I also found a long millipede in the road and a wolf spider in the grass

After the walk in Adamant, I went up Peck Hill to look for spiders on snow. There is still snow, but the snow-free portion is about 70% now. And no spiders or insects on the snow. I think once the snow-free portion is more than 50%, the arthropods avoid the snow since it slows them down so much by chilling them. Why crawl on the snow if you don't have to? I said hi to the orange terrier, who was delighted to see me, but its owner managed to catch it before it joined me for the walk up the hill. On this walk I found a song sparrow, some wood ducks, a golden-crowned kinglet. Also a woolly bear and a ground beetle.

So sorry to hear that your foot is giving you trouble. Hope you can figure something out so that you can get out!

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/13/20 Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: creepy crawlies

This afternoon my husband and I took a walk up Peck Hill to check on the snow and look for bugs. We are now 80% snow-free along the edges of the roads, with the only snow left on north facing shaded hillsides. A lot melted since yesterday, but I think we'll still have a little snow on the ground for another week or so. It was misting heavily while we were out, so there were precious few other creatures about. We managed to find a beetle and a slug in the road.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/14/20 Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds, frogs, arthropods

This afternoon we had a bit of sunshine, but some brisk winds as well. Still, I found a lot more creatures than yesterday in the rain. Starting with a former "lagoon" filled with calling woodfrogs. This is in the front yard of a former dairy farm. When the farmer passed away a few years ago, the Vermont Land Trust bought the property and then sold it to a guy who thought he was going to make a go of it farming. To make the sale go through, he took up a collection amongst all the neighbors to try to get up the much reduced purchase price. He farmed a bit the first year, less the second year, and not much at all since. The good news is, the "lagoon" or manure pit in the front yard isn't getting any more manure, and this year it is loaded with wood frogs. Perhaps that transformation is happening all over the property. Further down the road in his flooded field that he mistakenly planted to potatoes (it's only good for hay due to seasonal flooding), there were some wood ducks in a puddle. And some mallards in the brook, and a robin up the road. Plus a centipede in the road, some beetles, including a dead lady bug, a woolly bear, and a couple of running crab spiders.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-12-20. Angus Lane, Warren, NJ. 0.25 mile today, 770.25 miles total.
Category: wild

I drove up to an empty lot and parked today, so I could walk the length of it and see what was growing there. There was blooming hornbeam, roses with rosette disease, Chinese bush clover, sassafras about to bloom, moth mullein, and what was probably butter-and-eggs but I thought was cypress spurge.

I talked to the podiatrist and he thinks I have plantar fasciitis, and so I'm not to "hike" for 6 weeks (instead I'll do 1/4 mile rambles). Luckily it's not particularly bad.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/15/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: frogs, arthropods

My husband and I went for a walk up Peck Hill this afternoon. The sun was deceivingly bright, with a very brisk breeze. I had the "wrong" lens on my camera (wide angle), so that limited my photography to mostly slow-moving arthropods. We found 2 woolly bears, a stink bug, and that same farm pond still writhing with horny male wood frogs. I also found an alder in full bloom. We are up to around 90% snow-free along the edges of the road. It won't be long now!

I am so glad to hear that you're out and about, even if just a bit. Plantar fasciitis is no fun! It is such a challenge to get it to heal properly. Hopefully you can find some slow short-distance walks that are full of interesting things to look at. Parking lots are great for that, and so full of wild weeds.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/16/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods

This afternoon I took another brisk walk up Peck Hill. Again, we had brilliant sunshine, but rather large thick snowflurries in the shape of 1/8" balls. Not much for arthropods today, just a single woolly bear and a red velvet mite. The birds were a little more exciting, with a turkey vulture, a robin, and the remains of long ago eaten bird (mourning dove?) emerging out of a snowbank. The frog pond by the farm was mostly quiet, with just a few heads poking above the water. Meanwhile, I could see large masses of wood frog eggs up at the end of the trail where I had seen frogs a week ago.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/17/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods

This morning my husband and I went out for a quick walk up Peck Hill between online meetings. Once again, although the sun was shining, the temperatures were very brisk and snow flurries were flying about. We saw several wood ducks and a pair of mallards, but once again, I had the wrong lens on my camera, so I couldn't shoot them. Instead, I had to settle for a winter firefly, a woolly bear, and a feather that might have belonged to a grouse. The frog pond by the farm house was completely quiet today.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-14-20. Coddington Farm, Warren, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 770.5 miles total
Category: flowerng

Katie wanted to get out in the woods after a long day of homework, but my foot was sore. So I walked a little ways in with her to some benches, then sat and let her explore. There were no other cars in the lot, it's a smallish park, and she had a phone, but it was the first time I'd sent her out into strange woodland alone. She was fine.

Blooming we found: violets, a planted bridal wreath, flowering dogwood (almost open), ground ivy, garlic mustard, dandelion, some mustard, mock strawberry, groundsel, ash, wintercress, sassafras, kidney leaved buttercup, thyme leaved speedwell, jack in the pulpit, henbit, deadnettle, and shepherd's purse.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-15-20. Ceadarbrook Park, Bridgewater, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 770.75 miles total
Category: flowering

I drove to this tiny township park as the state and county parks are closed (but the local ones are not). It's mostly a mowed half acre with swamp beside it, and some woods behind. I walked the edge of the grass. Blooming were dandelion, groundsel, chickweed, garlic mustard, ground ivy, pear, a daffodil, crabapple, wintercress, deadnettle, and a grape hyacinth. I found the feather from a blue jay, and some water hemlock (which I don't see often). The crabapple was lovely.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-16-20. Peter Par Park, Bridgewater, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 771 miles total
Category: flowering

This was another tiny town park I'd never been too. A little playground (closed) and woods, carpeted with lesser celandine. It was not possible to walk into the woods without stepping on them (at least they are invasive so I didn't feel bad about it). Blooming were: the celandine, violets, spring beauty, garlic mustard, chickweed, bittercress, barberry, ground ivy, dandelion. There was a lot of blackhaw in bud. And I shot a robin (no chance of any other birds, as I didn't even bring my bird lens, and i haven't the patience for birds in woodland).

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-16-20. Prince Rogers Park, Bridgewater, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 771.25 miles total
category: blooming.

This is a slightly larger town park that I'd been to several times before, but has generally a large selection of weeds around its gravel lot, and a bit of woods (mostly it's ball fields). As I was walking past a shed, head down, looking a weeds, I came round the corner and there was a guy walking his dog, not 3 feet from me; gave me a bit of a shock.

Blooming I found: ground ivy, crab apple, deadnettle, garlic mustard, black ash (I very rarely see black ash at all, let alone blooming with branches at chest height), corn speedwell, violets, wood sorrel, and medic. There were two groundsel tree shrubs here that I'd never noticed before.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/18/20. Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds

This morning my husband and I took a walk up Peck Hill looking for bugs. None to be found, for once. The weather is prime sugaring weather, below freezing at night and perhaps reaching the low 40sF during the day time. A bit blustery with snow flurries, in any case, and there were no arthropods on the road or flying. But I had my long lens with me, so I managed to shoot several robins, a chickadee, and a yellow-bellied sapsucker on a telephone pole.

Your exploration of town parks sounds great! The water hemlock was certainly a good find. Running into the guy with the dogs would have been such a non-event just a month ago. Now it's shocking, for certain.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/19/20. Adamant VT, and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 3.2 miles today
Categories: birds, insects
I started off the morning with some bird watching in my front yard, finding a hairy woodpecker, several wild turkeys, a chickadee, a nuthatch, a junco, a blue jay, and song sparrow. Plus a red squirrel and chipmunk. Then I went down to Adamant for my weekly birdwalk. Glad I got there early--with bright sun and temperatures above 40F, the place was crawling with people. There were more cars along the road than I've ever seen except during events or the Black Fly Festival. Word has gotten out that Adamant is a lovely place to walk or ride bikes. I found a junco, some mourning doves, a robin, a grackle, a goose sitting on a nest, wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, mallards, hooded mergansers, common mergansers, a red-winged blackbird, a great blue heron, a phoebe, and a song sparrow. I also found a willow in bloom. Arthropods in Adamant were a millipede and some flies pollinating the coltsfoot blossoms, and a black scavenger fly nibbling some dog doodoo.

When I got back from Adamant, my husband and I took a last walk for the season up Peck Hill looking for spiders on snow. There's still a little snow, but it's been weeks since we found any spiders on it. The ground temperature is almost 10C warmer than the snow temperature, so that's no surprise. What was a surprise was finding our neighbor on his tractor plowing his fields. I guess maybe he is going to try to do some farming this year. Could be more promising than whatever he was doing before the virus hit. Today we found more flies pollinating coltsfoot, some bugs (Nabis, bog leafhopper), some beetles (white-margined burrowing beetle, winter firefly, ground beetles, lady bug), a spider, a red velvet mite, an eastern comma, a Milbert's tortoiseshell, a Haploa caterpillar, and a woolly bear.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/20/20. Pekin Brook Rd, Calais, VT and Adamant, VT. 3.1 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods

I went out for a birdwalk before breakfast this morning along Pekin Brook Rd. Traffic along the road was a bit lighter than usual, but despite the early hour, there were still 3-4 cars on the road. Well, one car and 3 work vans. The governor has allowed 1-2 person contractors to go back to work today, but I don't think they ever really stopped working. The sky was clear and the sun came up during my walk. It was fun to see how the birds then congregated on the south side of a steep hill, all feeding in the sun. I wonder if the insects on the tree bark started moving then, or if it was just a more comfortable place to feed than in the chilly shade. I found some song sparrows, robins, a pair of wood ducks, a blue jay, a red-winged blackbird, some chickadees, some mourning doves, some goldfinches, and a purple finch. Also, my first dead frog of the year, a gravid female wood frog.

In the afternoon, I went on a unicycle date with my husband in Adamant. It's been 2 weeks since I got on my unicycle due to the chilly weather, and I was surprised to find that I could barely ride at all, and just short distances. When I got on 2 weeks ago, it was the first time in 18 months and I did quite well. Maybe the difference is pavement, maybe I'm just not ready to tackle dirt roads yet. So after 20 minutes of unicycle practice, I went for a wander around upper Adamant with my camera. I found some song sparrows, some common mergansers, a grackle, a cowbird, a bog leafhopper, some flies warming on the south side of the church, and a fishing spider.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-19-20. Gene King Park, Bridgewater, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 771.5 miles total
Category: blooming

It was a beautiful day and mid-afternoon I took Molly and Katie to this local wooded park that they'd never visited as there's not a whole lot to it, other than a stream and wooded hill. But I can't go very far with my sore foot, and they had fun splashing through the stream. Afterward we stopped for ice cream and I realized we'd forgotten our masks, horror! but in the car I found a blaze-orange winter scarf I used while hiking during hunting season and used that to cover my face so I could place the order. Things sure are different from two months ago. Katie says thank goodness ice cream stores are considered essential businesses!

Blooming I found spring beauty, garlic mustard, lesser celandine, dandelion, ground ivy, deadnettle, violet, barberry, trout lily, rue anemone, toothwort, jack in the pulpit, and chickweed. Also lots of wintercress about to open, and some fruiting horsetails. Katie photographed a bird she'd never seen before. But she only had her phone and it was way up in a tree, so it was basically just a blob with some dark marks. Nevertheless just enough detail for the folks at the bird ID group on Facebook to tell me it was a male yellow rumped warbler, a new species for her.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Wow! Congrats to Katie on bagging that yellow-rump! Way to go!

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/21/20. Pekin Brook Rd and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 4.4 miles today
Categories: birds

This morning I took a walk down the other end of Pekin Brook Rd looking for birds. Once again, the sun came up bright and shining, but the temperature was brisk, well under 32F. Birds this morning included phoebes, chickadees, robins, a pair of mallards crossing the road--I think they had spent the night in the frog pond by the farm house, some song sparrows, goldfinches, mourning doves, a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a blue jay, some crows harassing a raven, and a flock of turkeys by the newly plowed field. A car slowed down on the road to look at the turkeys--the guy inside practically fell out his open window, he was so excited. I was excited to see my first ruby-crowned kinglet of the year.

Mid-morning, before the rain and snow started, my husband and I took a walk up Peck Hill, but just for a walk, not trying to find arthropods on the crusts of snow that remain. We found several wooly bears, a corvid feather, another ruby-crown, a broad-winged hawk, a starling, and our first kingfisher of the season.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/22/20. Bliss Pond Rd and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 4.6 miles today
Categories: birds, eye-catching plants

I was bemused this morning to find a half inch of fresh snow on the ground--another chance to look for arthropods on snow! I decided to walk Bliss Rd in Calais, which I haven't walked in a few years. The road goes past a small pond, with a few cabins bunched together directly across from the pond. The first birds I found were 4 wood ducks on a tiny stream in the deep woods below the pond. On the pond itself, I found hooded mergansers, mallards and a goose. Above the pond were some goldfinches, grackles, phoebes, blue jays, and red-winged blackbirds. I found some raven tracks in the snow, and lo and behold! A fly, perhaps a midge, crashed into the snow and not moving. Plants today were some orange day lilies, Canadian yew, cattails, white cedar, red maple buds, and Japanese knotweed.

Later in the morning, I took a walk up Peck Hill with my husband. There wasn't much out today due to the cold, but we found a woolly bear and a hermit thrush.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/23/20. Leonard Rd and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 3.5 miles today.
Categories: birds, spring plants, tracks

This morning some of yesterday's snow was still hanging on in the woods, making ideal conditions for tracking. I found the tracks of several ruffed grouse, a fisher, a coyote, a red squirrel, a deer, and something else--I guess it could have been a giant coyote, but the pace looked more like a mustelid. I'll be interested to see what the experts say. Birds today in the woods were American robin, purple finch, hermit thrush, and red-breasted nuthatch. I also found definitive proof of spring--some plantain leaved sedge show buds and the leaves of a red trillium.

Later in the morning, I took a hike up Peck Hill with my husband. We found lots of hermit thrushes, some song sparrows, and a goldfinch.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/24/20. Dugar Brook and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 4.5 miles today.
Categories: birds, phenology

This morning I went for a walk up Dugar Brook Rd, a quiet dirt road that follows a stream and a wetland for its full length. Almost right at the beginning of the walk I came across signs saying "House and 10 acres, $85,000". The signs didn't say whether the 4 rusted cars decorating the front lawn were part of the deal. No birds there so I walked on. I heard lots of birds along the road, but it took a while before I began finding them. I found a grackle, lots of robins, some hermit thrushes, a chickadee, some geese, some purple finches, a song sparrow, and my first northern flicker of the year. I also find some frozen marsh marigold, Canadian yew, dwarf horsetail, and my first false helleborine of the year, plus my first elm blooms of the year.

Later in the morning my husband and I walked up Peck Hill. We found a hermit thrush, some robins, and some flies pollinating colt's foot.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/25/20. North Calais Rd, Peck Hill Rd, Sodom Pond Loop, #10 Pond, Calais VT. 8.2 miles today
Categories: Birds, insects, phenology

Today was our first warm day of spring, 60+F with no coats and sunny all day. With snow forecast for the rest of the week, everyone was outside as much as possible. I started the day walking North Calais Rd looking for birds. This road is typically a bit busy for bird watching, but it was OK this morning. The road runs along a wetlands, the lower part of Dugar Brook, but raised about 5-20' above the wetlands. I saw a chickadee, junco, white-breasted nuthatch, downy woodpecker, robins, phoebes, red-winged blackbird, ruby-crowned kinglets, brown-head cowbird, song sparrows, and a blue jay. I also found dozens of brown millipedes. Perhaps it's migration season for them. And 2 dead bronze ground beetles, my first of the year. The marsh marigold was not yet budding along this stretch, but the vinca was in bloom.

After breakfast, I took a walk with my husband up Peck Hill. We found some interesting bees in the sand on the side of the road, an entelegyne spider, a ground beetle, a blue butterfly, an Epalpus signifer fly, an American daggermoth caterpillar, a black-sided grasshopper, a red-velvet mite, a beefly, a comma butterfly, and another small butterfly with orangish outer wings that I don't think I've seen before, and a robin.

After lunch, I hiked the Sodom Pond loop, marveling over my ability to do so. Just one year ago, I didn't know if I'd ever be able to walk again. Just crossing the road took enormous effort, and I was looking into motorized scooters. I am feeling incredibly grateful to have a second chance! Walking around the pond and then the farm fields I found geese, wood ducks, mallards, red-winged blackbird, phoebe, turkey vulture, broad-winged hawk, chipping sparrow, a kestrel?, and a ruby-crowned kinglet. Plus, I heard the geese on the pond getting upset and looked over to see a bald-eagle swooping in on them. I also saw several beetles on the road and my first painted turtle of the season. Walking past the sugar woods I found ramps well up and spring beauty and daphne in bloom. A surprise, since we're a bit cooler so I didn't think I'd see spring beauty for another week.

In the evening, I took one last short walk with my husband along #10 Pond where we saw a loon on the pond--they're back!

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/26/20. Sodom Pond, Adamant, VT. 1.1 miles today.
Categories: birds

This morning I took my regular Saturday morning hike along the north shore of Sodom Pond. Traffic in Adamant was heavy today, at least compared to pre-virus traffic. Adamant has become quite a destination for folks from Montpelier and further afield. As I walked this morning, I ran into 4 friends who I haven't seen since the quarantine began, and quite a few other folks as well. A jogger arrived in his car just as I did. He managed to do 3 complete circuits of the pond (12 miles) in the 2 hours that it took me to meander along my 1.1 mile route.

There were quite a few birds to see over the pond this morning, including geese, mallards, black ducks, common mergansers, and a great blue heron. I even got to see the great blue land a very large pickerel. Wow--it was twice the size of any fish we've pulled out of that pond. Other birds today were chickadees, song sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, robins, a purple finch, a goldfinch, a ruby-crowned kinglet, and lots of grackles. I even got to see a grackle gobbling an earthworm.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/27/20. Pekin Brook Rd and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 4 miles today
Categories: birds, road kill

This morning was cool and misty when I went out for my bird walk. I could hear a lot of birds, but it took quite a while before I was able to start seeing any. Worms--there were earthworms of all kinds along the roads, and it was impossible to walk without stepping on them. I shot one night crawler, but I could have made quite a collection of the biodiversity of worms in Calais if I had wanted. Finally, I saw some birds, a song sparrow, a hairy woodpecker, a ruby-crowned kinglet, that same flock of turkeys across the field, a chickadee, a hermit thrush, a goldfinch, a robin, and my first yellow-rumped warblers of the year. The boxelders blooms are very close to opening, but not quite open yet. As I was walking past Pekin Brook I heard a loud crack and caught sight of 2 beavers in the stream. I followed them for a while before I could finally get a photo through the brush. Road kill was a wood frog and a spotted salamander and spring peeper dead within 6" of each other. I don't recall every seeing a spotted salamander on this road before. I also found a deer skelton melted out of a snowbank.

In the afternoon I went for a walk up Peck Hill to see how the snow was doing. There were still a few small piles hanging on, not much more than would fill a single wheelbarrow. On our hill in the woods, though, there is still plenty of snow. I guess we live in one of the very coldest spots around. During this second walk I found a robin, a phoebe, a belted kingfisher and some deer tracks. Not a single insect on snow or otherwise.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Your spot may be the coolest around but I still think it's pretty "cool", too. You see so many things I virtually never do.

We had worms everywhere on Friday, even all over the ambulance parking lot at the hospital. Where were they trying to go? Not that worms necessarily have a plan, but still...

I've heard a beaver slap it's tail once and followed it as well, fun. I also once saw (and managed to photograph) a cormorant catching a fish (a trout in that case), always so exciting!

I think about you and last year's birding by sitting at the lake when my foot (or my hip) acts up, it really is neat to see you back up to walking far again.

This past long weekend was the City Nature Challenge and I managed to drive to PA each of the last three days, descriptions coming.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-21-20. Thomae Park, Bridgewater, NJ. 0.5 miles today 772 miles total
category: blooming

I walked with Molly at this local park with a playground (closed) and a muddy path along a stream. Molly was trying (unsuccessfully) to ID plants from a field guide to weeds (that didn't contain the weeds she was looking at). She knows the common ones now, and you can really only do blooming weeds from a field guide. Blooming we found ground ivy, dandelion, wintercress (the one she tried to do), garlic mustard, lesser celandine, periwinkle, corn speedwell, bittercress, violet, spring beauty, barberry, crabapple, Jack in the pulpit and sassafras.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-22-20. Wagner Farm, Warren, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 772.25 miles total
Category: blooming.

I went to walk at this local park (as the governor closed all state and county parks two weeks ago) only to find all the local parks had been closed the day before. Frustrating. So i parked at a nearby pull-out and bushwhacked (not entirely legally) through the woods.

Blooming I found dandelion, spring beauty, dogwood, periwinkle, wood anemone (first of the year), woodrush, trout lily, and spicebush.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-23-20. Oak Ridge/Ten Eyk Park, North Branch, NJ. 0.5 miles today, 772.75 miles total
Category: blooming

I walked at this local park in another town (which was not closed as it's a different town). Fishing season has just started and there were probably a dozen men standing in the river in hip waders each about every 20 feet, fly-fishing. I stayed on the shore (it was only 50 F out). Blooming I found: lesser celandine, dandelion, violet, corn and thyme-leaved speedwells, ground ivy, garlic mustard, spring beauty, indian strawberry, bittercress, wintercress, and bluebells. I didn't know they had bluebells here and was very pleased.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-25-20 morning. Magill Hill, Clark, Johnson, and Forrest Parks and near Delaware Quarry, all in New Hope, PA. 1 mile total this morning, 773.75 miles total
Category: absolutely everything.

This was the first day I could participate in the City Nature Challenge (Friday I'd been on duty with the rescue squad) and Molly and I drove across the Delaware River to Buck's County, PA (which is part of the "Greater Philadelphia Area"). It was the first time I've been out of state since February. We observed in 10 spots (once out the car windows while stopped for construction). But these were the first 5. Below are just the exciting species at each spot.

Magill Hill Park: this was mostly an occasionally mowed hill with Blunt Woodsia fern (the only one I found this weekend), Arabdopsis, a cowbird, a grasshoper and two flies: a Platycheirus sp. and a Eupeodes sp.

Hal Clark Park: wooded wetland near the canal towpath with cream and downy yellow violets (and common blue), waterleaf, solomon and false solomon's seals, one of the sweet cecilies, cow parsley (which turned out to be everywhere but I had virtually never seen it before), bluebells, ginger, and a dryad's saddle.

David Johnson Wilderness: wooded ravine with rhododendron, ginger, jetbead, may apples, jack in the pulpit, hairy solomon's seal, a silvery glade fern , and wild hydrangea (which I'd only seen once before)(Molly stayed in the car)

Virginia Forrest Park: between the canal and the river, with a little bit of woods. I found lowland brittle fern (a new species for me), a tiger swallowtail, beefly, twospotted bumble bee, and an Adrena sp. bee. (Molly also sat this one out)

Pull-of near Delaware Quarry: this was a cliff with scattered abandoned quarried rock, and an old (blocked) road up the hill (which we followed anyway; Molly had gotten her second wind). I found rock polypody, Heuchera, something that might have been a currant, and smooth shadbush (a new one for me). Molly found an abandoned hammer and a railroad spike.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-25-20 afternoon. Three pull-offs and Tinicum Park, Tinicum. PA. 0.75 miles today, 774.5 miles total
Category: every possible species.

Molly and I continued north along the Delaware River, getting stuck in traffic for utility pole work, then having to bypass two parks as they were full of people taking part in a rescue in the river (we were hoping it was a training exercise but I was skeptical).

Bridge 2 Lane was mostly wooded , on a slope between the canal and the river. I wandered off to find a spot to pee, and Molly called me over: Mom you have to see this: it looks kind of like a daffodil, but it's in a tree! she had figured it out on her own, but someone had threaded a jonquil through a hole in a tree. Very funny. I also found false mermaidweed (new for me) , dutchman's breeches, and wood ears.

A pull off near "Ward's Island": this was by the cliff face, with the canal on the other side of the road. I found brook stippleback lichen, Heuchera, and maybe a currant.

A second pull-off near a second "Ward's Island" (but further north): also a cliff face, with canal across the road. Here I found Italian arum and northern lady fern.

Tinicum Park: your basic mown-grass-and-big-trees park but across the street was a boat ramp. At the ramp I saw (and heard) a common crow (mostly we have fish crows at home) and on a rotted tree Molly found "a cool bug" which I dismissed as "just a big ant" but she was adamant. When I looked at the photos it was totally weird and not an ant. In fact, an "ant-like longhorn beetle", Cyrtophorus verrucosus, another new one for me.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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That's too bad about the parks being closed. Here in VT the state campgrounds are closed, but I think that parks are still open. Still, the governor has requested that people not travel more than 10 miles from home. I was conflicted over that this past weekend, aching to go to Groton State Park. Finally, I decided why spend so much time in a car (40 minutes each way). So I stuck to Adamant, which is well within a 10 mile drive.

I loved your adventures on the City Nature Challenge. Your ferns were quite a find--Blunt Woodsia! Congrats to Molly--I've never found a jonquil tree! And I haven't seen Italian arum since I was in France. I didn't know it grew here.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/28/20. Chickering Rd, East Montpelier, VT and Quarry Rd, Adamant, VT. 3.2 miles today
Categories: birds, murdered trees, road kill

This morning I took a walk up Chickering Rd, a dead end road that runs through deep forest to the Chickering homestead. The Chickerings are the family who originally owned the land given to the Nature Conservancy to form the Chickering Bog natural area. Much of the land on both sides of the road is posted "Enjoy this forest, but no hunting". I didn't stray off the road today, but it is very tempting to return. The Chickerings have built foot trails off in all directions through their woods. I think I counted about 29 species of birds for my ebird list. But for photos, I didn't get as many: phoebe, cardinal, mallard, robin, hairy woodpecker, white-throated sparrow, and song sparrow. I also found several dead red efts in the road.

In the afternoon I walked Quarry Rd in Adamant after picking up my produce order at the Adamant store. As I parked along Quarry Rd, I had to squeeze past an electric company truck with a crew clearing right-of-ways under power lines. Uh oh! Aside from the fact that the crew members weren't practicing any manner of social distancing--they were just standing around chatting for the entire time I went on my walk, I was quite distressed at what they had done to the road. Until this week, the road was a scenic one-lane dirt road dead end into the woods with trees providing shade on both sides of the road. The road only serves the Adamant Music School, which is only open in the summer, and not this summer. The electric lines only serve the school; that is, they are a dead end spur providing seasonal service. The crew had clear cut everything within 20 feet of the road on one side. They chipped much of the wood and blew the chippings into the forested wetland on the other side, one of my favorite swamps for moss hunting. Downed trees today were yellow birch, fir, and apple. Birds were hermit thrush (looking just as stunned as I was), blue jay, yellow-rumped warbler, and ruby-crowned kinglet.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-26-20. Washington Crossing, PA. 1 mile today, 775.5 miles total
Category: everything

Day two of the bioblitz. I went alone this time, and it pretty much drizzled the whole time. I stopped in five spots in Washington Crossing. First was the state park by a boat ramp where I found quince rust (on hawthorn), bluets, and foamflower.

Next stop was the canal access at the state park. Here I found hemlock with scale insects, cornsalad, a pondweed, and arrowwood, and I saw (and shot) a robin and a red-winged blackbird.

Next was a large gravel lot with no obvious purpose where I found teasel and some inkcaps

Near that was an old park and ride lot with mile a minute weed and buttonweed, and in the floodplain behind it, hundreds of blooming bulbous cress.

Final stop in Washington Crossing was a boat ramp with holly miners and ostrich ferns

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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How awful about the clear-cutting. The canals by me get cleared every fall and it drives my crazy, but they don't generally destroy woodlands here that way.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-26-20. Yardley, PA. 0.25 miles today, 775.75 miles total
Category: everything

Next two stops in the drizzle on Sunday were in Yardley. First the boat ramp where I shot the only clear mallard of the weekend, and also, in the background, accidentally, a barn swallow! They are so fast I can never get them in a photo when I'm trying (but I never even saw it until I processed the phots). Interesting plants were nipplewort, false nettle, sweet annie, Youngia, and a possible figwort.

The second stop in this town was at the canal access. Despite the rain it was quite crowded, including three guys fishing from under a pop-up canopy (only one of them wearing a mask, but they were at least 3 feet (if not 6) apart). here I saw the only fragrant waterlily of the trip (most of the water I was near was just too fast for waterlilies).

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-26-20. Morrisville, PA. 0.25 miles today, 776 miles total
category: everything

Next three stops in the rain on Sunday were in Morrisville, which is right across the river from Trenton. First was at the canal access where I found field mustard. Then a boat ramp which had dwarf mallow and pineappleweed, and finally the grassy, 20-foot-high embankment that held the canal towpath, where I found star of Bethlehem, porcelainberry, thyme-leaved sandwort, sheep sorrel, and Carolina gernanium.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-26-20. Bordentown, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 776.25 miles total
category: everything

Last three stops of the day were back in New Jersey. Originally I'd planned to do the whole blitz in NJ, as I would not stick out as "out of state" there and would be less likely to draw attention. But as it turned out no one in PA gave me any trouble. All parks are closed here, so I parked at grocery stores and walked the edges of their parking lots.

The first was a ShopRite where I found ragweed. The second was an Aldi which had dove's foot geranium, a red-seeded dandelion (always exciting, given the number of common dandelions I photograph) and the highlight of the entire weekend: slender parsley-piert (I think). If I'm correct we are within its range, but it's the first observation on iNat north of Washington DC. Very exciting.

Last stop was an Acme with a bit of a cache basin behind it where I found back elder.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4-27-20. Upper Black Eddy and Riegelsville, PA. 1.5 miles today, 777.75 miles total
category: everything

The last day of the bioblitz was cloudy but not raining (until the drive home). I did the northern part of the Delaware River in Bucks County. First stop was at Giving Pond Park where I saw an osprey, a kingfisher, grackles, and geese, and plants were hyssop, ox eye daisy, and Chinese bushclover, plus altnerate leaved dogwood with golden canker (which was the only reason I recognized it)

I moved to the parking lot by the entrance and walked down the boat ramp where I found a huge patch of rough horsetail and ostrich fern and a hackberry tree with both petiole galls and an evergreen bagworm sac.

From there I moved to the Upper Black Eddy boat ramp where I found a (planted) mountain ash, plus Rose of Sharon, bugle, and field peppergrass,

Next I drove up to Ringing Rocks Park (where the "thing to do" is to bring a hammer and go out to the boulder field and figure out which of the rocks ring when you hit them, I'll have to take the kids back some time). This was upland woods so had lots of interesting stuff including partridgeberry, wood anemone, rue anemone and blue ridge blueberries.

I came back down by the river to Bridgetown Park and found coltsfoot and purslane speedwell, then the to canal access for Ringing Rock Park which had redbud (planted) and forsythia with stem galls.

Next stop was the beautiful Nockamixon Cliffs which had filed chickweed, saxifrage, kennilworth ivy, herbrobert, stringy stonecrop, a whole field of Dutchman's breeches, smooth rockcress, and blooming red columbine (a favorite of mine, and the first I've seen this year).

Final two stops were pullouts off the road with canal access with honeysuckle aphids at one and whitlow grass at the other.

All in all an amazing City Nature Challenge with 1,743 observations and 370 species over the three days.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Too bad about drizzle for the Bioblitz! But I'm glad you got out anyway. I've never heard of fishing from under a pop-up canopy. Rugged to be out in the rain, but rather cushy to take a canopy. And great grocery store finds--I do so love wandering the edges of parking lots. I think there's often more diversity to be found on the edges of parking lots and roads than in the deep woods. A lot of botantists would turn up their noses at such places since they consider all weeds as just weeds, not individual plants. But even native plants make some spectacular appearances as pioneers. Your stats for the CNC are amazing!

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Well, there were three fishing poles propped up on the bank with lines in the water; but if they caught anything (except the coronavirus) I'd be surprised.

Publicado por srall 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/29/20. Pekin Brook Rd, Calais, VT and Dover Rd, Montpelier VT. 3 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods, phenology

This morning I took a walk along along Pekin Brook heading west. It was cool, but with clear skies once the sun came up. I found a goldfinch, some mallards, a kestrel, some song sparrows, some crows, some geese, some robins, a ruby-crowned kinglet, some chickadees, a downy wood pecker, some starlings, some blue jays, and a turkey. I also found some red trilliums all budded up. Won't be long for them!

After lunch, I met up with my bug walk friends for an arthropod safari in Montpelier. This was my first in-person social event in a month, since that mass 9-person hike that felt so odd. We were under doctor's orders to stay 10' apart (we all see the same doctor), and we all wore masks the entire time. We had terrific fun and great luck hunting bugs. We chose to walk up to a large cement water tank with the idea that the walls of the tank might be warmed by the sun and collect bugs. Not only did we find bugs on the tank, but also on the road, the path, and the south facing slopes near the tank, as well as a few pollinators on the colt's foot. We found some rove beetles, some running spiders, some click beetles, a bog leafhopper, an isopod, several warty leaf beetles, some ground beetles, some wolf spiders, a jumping spider, some tricolored bumblebees, a common eastern bumblebee, a half-black bumblebee, a spurred carpenter bee, a metallic sweat bee, a millipede, some red-velvet mites, an ichneumon wasp, a winter firefly, some mideges, a Virginia ctenucha caterpillar, and some grasshoppers. Blooming today were coltsfoot, some violets, and red maple. Budded were marsh marigold and golden Alexanders.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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4/30/20. George Rd and Peck Hill Rd, Calais VT. 4. 2 miles today
Categories: birds, insects, phenology

This morning I walked up George Rd heading south looking for birds. It was quiet, at least compared to my other walks recently. But then there's that sharp corner where Leonard Rd goes off to the west. For some reason, that's where the little forest birds like to hang out. Maybe that's where they cross the road, with deep forest on both sides. Other parts of the road have a field on one side. Birds this morning were goldfinch, mourning dove, robin, chickadee, song sparrow, starling, white-throated sparrow, and downy woodpecker. I was delighted to find that the spring ephemerals have finally started blooming. The west side of the road has a steep slope with rich soil, so there was a good show as well, with my first red trillium bloom of the season, plus daphne, blue cohosh, Carex pedunculatus, Dutchman's breeches, hepatica, and spring beauty in bloom, wild ginger budding, and some cutleaf toothwort leaves.

In the afternoon, my husband and I took a brisk walk up Peck Hill. We found a pair of mallards in the brook, a pigeon hanging out by the farm, and a robin. And up in the wooded part of the road, I finally caught a brown creeper up close. And, for the first day, no snow at all on the road. My husband was unicycling here yesterday and said there were still patches then, but it's gone now. And yet, we still have plenty in the wood along our driveway. We also found a dead ground beetle and a beetle larva in the road.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)

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