May 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 maio de 2020, 09:57 MANHÃ

Comentários

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May 1, 2020. Pekin Brook Rd and Martin Rd, Calais, VT. 3.6 miles today
Categories: birds, herps, phenology

This morning we had heavy rain when I first got up. When it slowed a bit I suited up and went out for my bird walk along Pekin Brook, but it soon started raining again so I had to use my umbrella to protect my camera. And that made it hard to hear the birds. Nevertheless, I still managed to catch a few. I found chickadees, geese, robins, 2 kingfishers, wood ducks, goldfinches, song sparrows, flickers, and a mallard.

In the afternoon, my husband took a walk out Martin Rd in Adamant after picking up our groceries from the back porch of the coop. I had my waterproof camera with me since it was raining when we started out. That made it really hard to get any birds. But soon, I couldn't take my eyes off the road. There were red efts crossing throughout the wooded section of Martin Rd. I helped 10 live ones across. There were about as many squished ones who didn't make it, and a collection of frogs, probably spring peepers who were also flattened. I found a few click beetles and a lovely large spider who stood still for a photograph. While we were walking spring arrived. The rain cleared, the sun came out, and it actually felt warm for the first time this season.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/2/20. Tucker Rd, G.A.R. Rd, George Rd, Calais, VT. 4.4 miles today
Categories: birds

This morning I returned to the end of Tucker Rd with the intention of walking down Factory St, a road which I haven't walked in several years. But once there, I found myself drawn to walking up Tucker Rd along the wetlands, which were bursting with bird song. I found geese, mallards, robins, red-winged blackbirds, a grackle, phoebes, chickadees, blue jay, goldfinch, swallows, raven, ruby-crowned kinglet. After hearing winter wrens for several weeks, I finally got some good views of one singing. And after watching Bryan Pfeiffer's excellent webinar last night for the nature center on "Solving Sparrows," I got some good practice finding swamp sparrows, song sparrows, savannah sparrow, and a chipping sparrow. Another big excitement of the morning was catching a Wilson's snipe.

By the afternoon, the weather had warmed up and we had bright sun. I decided to head out for a long walk, doing some sort of loop from #10 Pond. I began by walking down G.A.R. Rd around the end of the pond, but then instead of heading up the hill to start my loop, I decided maybe I didn't need a long walk after all. So I just did the very short loop back to the car, stopping to catch a starling, some pipsissewa, a spring azure, a crab spider,and some vinca in the snow. When I got home from the walk, I went out to our back field to inspect our orchard and look for bugs. I found a sawfly, a click beetle, 6 spotted tiger beetles, a tricolored bumblebee, a bee fly, a milkweed leaf beetle, a mason bee, Osmia lignaria, wolf spiders, and a Haploa caterpillar. I also picked up my first tick of the season, joy.
song sparrow

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/3/20. Chickering Bog, Calais, VT. 4 miles today
Categories: bioblitz

For this month's Socially Distant Bioblitz, I decided to spend the day at Chickering Bog since I don't believe it has ever been the subject of a daylong bioblitz before. Over the years, I've documented many, many species there, but never tried to see how many I could find in one day before. I didn't turn up any new species for the property, but I had a lot of fun. Highlights of the day were a flyover loon (the bog pond is much too small for a loon to land and take off from), American golden saxifrage in full bloom all over, and some lovely Marchantia aquatica.

I stopped for lunch beside a vernal pool off a little known side trail. Just after I spread my gear out, I noted some bare twigs sticking up. Which I had just identified as naked poison ivy just 50' away, based on seeing it in that location before. I gingerly packed up my gear again and moved just a few feet away where the coast was clear. The boardwalk was quite busy today, but by sticking to the side trails (part of the Chickering private property, posted "Enjoy, no hunting") rather than the official bog trails, I saw no one. And the day was simply delightful, the first T-shirt day of spring.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/4/20. Pekin Brook Rd and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 3.4 miles today
Categories: birds, blooms

This morning I took a short walk along Pekin Brook, heading west. I found a phoebe, some song sparrows, some robins, a pair of starlings carrying nesting material, a pair of belted kingfishers, some chickadees, a crow, some mallards, a phoebe, some flickers, some goldfinches, and a red-winged blackbird before my camera battery died. I carried spares for all my equipment yesterday, but somehow forgot to carry them or check my batteries this morning. As I walked down the deserted dirt road, the sound of the birds was drowned out by a violent domestic battle coming from a neighbor's house. Yikes! The fight had quieted down by the time I passed the house on my way back. So sad, so sad to hear neighbors in trouble.

In the afternoon, my husband and I went for a brisk walk up Peck Hill. We found a winter stonefly in the road and a winter firefly, also a brown caterpillar. The marsh marigold is just starting to open in the marsh on Peck Hill. And we saw our first common yellowthroat of the year..

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/5/20. North Calais Rd Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 4.1 miles today
Categories: birds, random plants

This morning when I went out for my walk we had thick mist that soon turned to snow flurries. The birds were not impressed with the weather, so I only found a few: phoebe, brown creeper, robin, chickadee, and a yellow-rump. With so few birds to look at and listen to, I got distracted by plants: balsam poplar buds bursting, interrupted fern fiddleheads, goutweed sprouts, ramps, bloodroot, highbush cranberries with lots of berries hanging on, marsh marigold in bloom, daphne in bloom, and fly honeysuckle budded up.

In the afternoon, my husband and I headed up Peck Hill. I noted some plantains, selfheal, moneywort, and our first dandelion in bloom of the season. We also found our first black-throated green warbler.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/6/20. #10 Pond, Calais, VT and Dover Rd, Montpelier, VT. 2.8 miles today
Categories: birds, bugs, blooms

This morning I went up to #10 Pond for a walk around the edge of the pond. I started down G.A.R. Rd, which is a very quiet little dirt road on the eastern edge of the pond. But there weren't many birds there. Meanwhile, over #10 Pond Rd I could hear lots of bird activity as the sun came over the hill and lit up the south-facing slope. So I turned around and just walked #10 Pond Rd. This road follows the edge of the pond as well but is a bit busier. I immediately encountered a flock of over 20 yellow-rumped warblers. There were also song sparrows, grackles, blue jays, and robins. I watched a chickadee pulling up bark for a nest. A pair of loons in the pond came right up to the road for some close up photos. And I got my first views of chestnut-sided and black-and-white warblers for the year.

After lunch I went into Montpelier for our masked bugwalk. Today we were 5 people, which was a bit too many, but 2 of them just hadn't been out and wanted to see people. Even though they didn't have cameras, they still dutifully marveled over the bugs we found. Unfortunately, we didn't find many bugs since the sun went in just as we started and it wasn't quite 60F. We managed to find a sawfly, some bumblebees (common eastern, 2-spotted, and tricolored), some ants (turfgrass), a click beetle (Sylvanelater cylindriformis), some catepillars (Virginia Ctenucha and woolly bears), a lightning bug and a lightning bug larva, a fly, and a red velvet mite. I also shot a few blooms: bluets, wild strawberry, and ground clover.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/7/20. Pekin Brook Rd and Adamant Pond, Calais, VT. 3.3 miles today
Categories: birds, phenology

This morning I walked along Pekin Brook Rd heading east. It was a little quieter than usual for this time of year. Still, If found some red-winged blackbirds, lots of song sparrows, 3 starlings near the barn on the corner, a blue jay, some robins, some phoebes, and a wild turkey. I also shot some red maple blossoms and a common juniper.

After lunch, my husband and I took our canoe down to Adamant Pond for our first plunk in the pond this season. It was quite a happy event since I wasn't able to paddle at all last season due to my belly. I never even got my kayak on the water last season since just sitting in it caused problems. Gotta make up for that lost season now! On the pond today were a grackle, several geese on nests, a blue jay, a mallard, a belted kingfisher, a loon, and lots of red-wings. Flying overhead were an osprey and a turkey vulture. We also saw a painted turtle and some amphibian eggs, plus leatherleaf in full bloom and yellow lily pad budding.

Publicado por erikamitchell 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/8/20. Tucker Rd, Calais, VT. 1.3 miles today
Categories: birds, blooms

This morning I took a walk along Tucker Rd. The first part of the road goes through deep forest, and on one side is an amazing collection of spring ephemerals, which are nearing peak. Once through the forest, the road opens up with a small homestead farm on one side. Conditions there were ideal for shooting birds, with the bright sun coming across the field. I didn't get very far once I hit that point because the birds kept posing for me. I found robins, chickadees, my first Nashville warbler of the year, brown creepers, goldfinches, phoebes, tree sparrows, a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a ruby-crowned kinglet, a brown-headed cowbird, song sparrows, a yellow-rumped warbler, and some hermit thrushes. Blooming today were Dutchman's breeches, wild ginger, red trillium, bellwort, hepatica, and miterwort. Budding were Jack-in-the-pulpit and wild sarsaparilla.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/9/20. Leonard Rd, Calais, VT. 1.6 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods on snow, mosses

When I woke up this morning, I found we had our promised snow. I headed up Leonard Rd in hopes finding tracks since they had been so thick there after our last snow several weeks ago. But the snow was too fresh, and there were no tracks. There were also very few birds about--seems they weren't keen on the idea of snow in mid May. But arthropods on the snow--what a bonanza! I found most of them in a short stretch along the road, most struggling on the snow and upside down. I think maybe they got blown off of perches during the windy whiteouts that kept occurring. I find midges, a crane fly, several spiders, some Nematoceran flies, some Diamesa flies, a Brachyceran fly, a hover fly, 6 winter stoneflies, a Schizophoran fly, and a blackfly. Birds today were a white-throated sparrow, a hermit thrush, a wild turkey, some purple finches, and our first rose-breasted grosbeak of the year.

In the afternoon I began the homework for my online moss course with Jerry Jenkins, surveying the mosses on a boulder near our house. I found Rhytidiadelphous triquetrous, Rhodobryum ontariense, Plagiomnium cuspidatum, Thuidium delicatulum, Anomodon attenuatus, Plagiomnium ciliare, and several others I don't have a name for yet.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/10/20. Peck Hill Rd and Sodom Pond, Calais, VT. 2.9 miles today
Categories: birds

This morning I took a walk up Peck Hill since I haven't been up there in nearly a week. Despite the cold and snow flurries, the birds were quite active, especially just beyond the field where the deep woods begins. I found blue jays, robins, a pair of kestrels that seems to be nesting beside the farm, phoebes, yellow-rumps, sapsuckers, a blue-headed vireo, black-and-white warblers, chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches, song sparrows, and mourning doves.

Later in the morning, I took my regular bird walk around Sodom Pond. There were a few surprises for me out on the water, both hooded mergansers and ring-necked ducks, as well as the usual mallards and geese. Other birds around the pond today were goldfinches, robins, red-wings, the first catbirds of the season, chickadees, ruby-crowned kinglets, a pine warbler, white-throated sparrows, loads of yellow-rumps, a swamp sparrow, lots of tree swallows, and a phoebe. Up on Adamant Pond I found a loon, a robin, some yellow rumps, more geese, and some grackles. I can't imagine that the loon is going to stay. Once the lily pads start growing in, that pond is going to get very, very small, too small for a loon.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/11/20. Coburn Rd, East Montpelier, VT and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 3.6 miles today
Categories: birds, phenology, insects

This morning I took a walk down Coburn Rd, which follows along the lowest reaches of Pekin Brook river, just where it meets the Winooski. And just below the juncture is a covered bridge. The upper part of the road is between forest on one side and shrubby flood plain on the other, while the lower part below the bridge has agricultural fields on both sides as well as houses. I actually met a pair of walkers on the road this morning, the first I've seen on my morning walks. Between the low elevation and the river floodplain, this area appears to be in a different climate zone than any others I have walked this winter (yes, it's still winter here). So there were some special warm birds that I don't usually see in Calais, like cardinals (3!), white-breasted nuthatches, and a house wren. Other birds were robins, black-and-white warblers, a spotted sandpiper, common grackles, song sparrows, American goldfinches (60!), catbirds, and yellow-rumped warblers. Blooming today where daphne, bloodroot, box elder, red trillium, and ragged robin. Budding were spring cress, serviceberries, marsh marigold, Japanese barberry, and white willow.

Later in the morning, just as the sun began to disappear behind clouds and it started to get cold again, I went for a walk with my husband up Peck Hill. We found a six-spotted tiger beetle, a ground beetle, a spider wasp, and a red velvet mite. We also saw a pair of common mergansers in the brook. And we found a small patch of bloodroot which I've never noticed on George Rd before.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/12/20. Factory Rd, East Montpelier, VT and Peck Hill Rd, Calais, VT. 3.8 miles today
Categories: birds, blooms, bugs

This morning I walked along Factory Rd, which joins with Rt 14 at the former site of a garment mill that was most active in the early 1900s. So the road isn't as industrial today as it sounds. Mostly it runs along a private game preserve on one side with a 12' high fence and the usual occasional rural houses on the other. I did hear a few shots from behind the fence this morning, but otherwise it was quite quiet, and only 1 car on the road. Birds today were chickadees, Nashville warblers, yellow-rumped warblers, robins, song sparrows, goldfinches, chipping sparrows, mourning doves, grackles, starlings, red-winged blackbirds, white-throated sparrows, wood ducks, a blue jay, and a raven. Marsh marigold was blooming in the marsh by the old factory site under the snow.

In the afternoon I took a walk in the bright sun up Peck Hill. Despite the sun, it was rather brisk, with a stiff wind and temperatures barely topping 40F. I managed to find a bumblebee, a fly, and an ant for insects. I got very lucky with birds, though, and found a creeper, a black-and-white warbler, and a blue-headed parula all down low and up close. Also, a chipping sparrow, a robin, and a rose-breasted grosbeak. Blooming was trout lily.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/13/20. #10 Pond, Calais, VT and Adamant, VT. 1.2 miles today
Categories: birds, bugs, mosses

This morning I returned to #10 Pond in search of sun (and birds). It's still quite chilly here, but the sun is bright, so I hoped to find some birds along the eastern slope above #10 Pond. Indeed, there were lots of birds there, at least 25 yellow-rumps. Oddly, they were rustling through the underbrush rather than up in the trees. I wonder if they were hunting arthropods in the leaf litter because it's been too cold for bugs in trees. I also found chickadees, a belted kingfisher, 4 loons, a white breasted nuthatch, some robins, some phoebes, song sparrows, an osprey sunning over the road, a junco, and a mallard. Fly honeysuckle was blooming near the pond.

After lunch my husband took me to Adamant to show me his new discovery that he found yesterday while unicycling, a plant with variegated leaves and purple flowers, which turned out to be a patch of lungwort. We also found a flock of geese on the bare cornfield. Then we drove up to the end of Quarry Rd for him to me make a grand unicycle tour of Adamant while I did some mossing. I found Hedwigia ciliata, Ceratodon purpureus, several Mniums, a Bryum, Conocelphalum salebrosum. And also some insects, including ants, a geometer moth caterpillar, a tiny beetle crawling in the Ceratodon, and several flower flies. I also found some insects behind the Adamant church, including more flower flies, several bees, and a tricolored bumblebee.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/14/20. Tucker Rd, Calais, VT and Vermont College, Montpelier, VT. 1.6 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods, weeds

This morning I returned to Tucker Rd for a snipe hunt. I searched the field were I found the snipe last week, but no luck. Then just as I was considering turning around, I heard the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh in the air as the snipe did its aerial acrobatics. I waited around for quite a while and finally got a few recognizable shots. Other birds today were robins, goldfinches, tree swallows, yellow rumps, red-winged blackbirds, savannah sparrows, mallards, a pileated woodpecker and a hairy woodpecker.

After lunch, I went into town to meet my friend for bug walk. There were just 2 of us today, but we dutifully wore our masks and tried to keep our distance. But also share the bugs. We found bumblebees, mason bees, Andrena bees, sweat bees, and cuckoo bees pollinating the plants, mostly dandelions that were just starting to open. We also found a brigade of jumping spiders on the warm cement buildings, some ants, some other spiders, some winter fireflies, some willow leaf beetles, a large unfamiliar moth, a tiny unfamiliar moth, a bug, some hover flies, a green bottle fly, and some other flies. All in all, a very good bug safari. I also found some black medick, speedwell, chickweed, mugwort, fleabane, pearlwort, shepherd's purse, and several piles of coyote poop.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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Goodness it's been a while since I caught up on the Journey journal. I have seen a red eft just once; the image of a flock of them crossing the road would be quite something. i've never seen a snipe; even had to go look up what it looks like; how exciting! Another thing I had to look up was American golden saxifrage (and then I was shocked by how many things were labeled that and clearly weren't it here on iNat and went and straightened some of that out).

So sad to hear you neighbors fighting; it's a tough aspect of the quarantine; forcing folks together who are not always good for one another.

You mentioned yellowthroats and black and white warblers, neither of which I've ever seen myself, but Katie photographed both in the woods behind our house this week. She's turning into my birder.

I would love to find miterwort in bloom. i've seen it once, in north Jersey. I may get to head that way this weekend. And I've never seen ragged robin, So nice to finally read about everything blooming up there (even if it is still winter).

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-2-20. Tullo Rd., Bridgewater, NJ. 1 mile today, 778.75 miles total
Category: blooming

Molly and I walked today along the brook here as the governor just reopened the parks. Blooming we found sassafras, dogwood, geranium, toothwort, violet, celandine, apple, ground ivy, spring beauty, barberry, wintercress and bugle. We also saw a big cranfly I think was Tipula furca and a six spotted tiger beetle.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-3-20. Washington Valley Rd., Warren, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 779 miles total
Category: insects

Today was the socially distant bioblitz. My foot was quite sore from the plantar fasciitis, so I decided to see what I could find entirely at home. I found 177 species, 294 observations. 72 of those (33 species) were arthropods of one kind or another. Interesting finds included mating thistle tortoise beetles, my first winter firefly of the year (with a damaged elytrum), some pretty black and red flea beetles, mating asian ladybeetles, a celery leaftier, an elongate trashline orbweaver, sycamore lacebugs, and a gall on the fringetree that was quite old but I'd never seen it before.

We also skimmed the muck from the top of the (closed) pool, and found a whole lot of mosquito larvae, some waterstriders, a possible blackfly larva (they are not common here) and a predacious diving beetle.

But the highlight of the day was a salamander with blue spots, though folks seem to think it's a red-backed and not a blue-spotted. Still it was neat.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-6-20. Dealaman Farm, Warren, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 779.25 miles total
Category: blooming

It was raining all day but i'd been cooped up inside nagging children into doing their homework and I was fed up. But my foot hurt. So I drove to this local parking lot and walked the wooded perimeter while ordering take out for dinner and then calling my parents. juggling phone, camera and umbrella was interesting but better than being stuck in the house!

Blooming were barberry, spring beauty, blackhaw, and garlic mustard. I also found rust on an ash rachis and some Nabalus leaves, which I didn't know grew here.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-7-20. Gilbride Rd., Martinsville, NJ. 0.5 miles today, 779.75 miles total.
Category: blooming

Today was a stunningly beautiful day and I drove to my favorite closest park to walk. The lot was overflowing with 8 cars in 6 spaces and another nearly dozen along the side of the road.

Blooming were field peppergrass, autumn olive, garlic mustard, spring beauty, saxifrage, violet, celandine, chickweed, blueberry, rue anemone, wintercress, cinquefoil, an unexpected golden alexanders, and the whole point of the trip: long spurred violets.

I also saw an assasin bug (I think a black corsair) and a nomad bee.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-8-20. Middlebrook Park, Martinsville, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 780 miles total.
Category: blooming

Another rainy day, nagging children. I was on duty with the rescue squad but got no calls, so in the evening I went to go to the large parking lot at the big local park to walk, only to find it closed. So I drove on to this park where Washington supposedly camped. I've never seen another person here (and certainly didn't today in the rain).

Blooming I found clover, ground ivy, buttercup, the first trefoil of the year, sedges,garlic mustard, blackhaw, several grasses, jack in the pulpit, speedwell, spring beauty, dogwood, and pussytoes.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-9-20. Whitenack Woods, Liberty Corner, NJ. 0.5 miles today, 780.5 miles total
Category: blooming

Molly and Carl both came to walk with me (a little bit, as my foot was sore) in the woods today. But they annoyed one another and I dont' think anyone really enjoyed the walk. But I did take some photos in the spring woods.

Blooming we found: Jack in the pulpit, geranium, violet, blackhaw, autumn olive, golden ragwort, and a sedge.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/15/20. Pekin Brook Rd, Calais VT and Adamant Music School, Adamant, VT. 2.1 miles today
Categories: birds, arthropods, blooms

This morning I walked along Pekin Brook Rd with the hope of seeing the kingfisher. I heard it, but I wasn't able to shoot it. The first bird I saw was a hummingbird at our feeder, the first time we've seen one at the feeder this year. Other birds included a chickadee, some blue jays, some robins, a pair of wood ducks, a mixed flock of red-wings and grackles, a loon, a kestrel, an osprey, some turkeys, lots of song sparrows, a starling, an ovenbird, and then an oriole in our yard. The oriole was a big surprise--it's the first time we've ever had one in the yard.

In the afternoon I went to Adamant to pick up groceries. I had such a good time yesterday doing a bug safari in Montpelier that I went through the Adamant Music School grounds today searching for more bugs in all the dandelions. I found several moths, a honeybee, lots of ants, some bumblebees, some Andrena bees, a weevil, some globular springtails, a winter firefly, and lots of blackflies (one bit me on the forehead pretty good). There were also clouds of mayflies flying about and landing on everything, as well as mobs of swallows chasing them. Blooming today were blood root and trout lily. Budding was dwarf raspberry. And joy! A yellow warbler greeted me from a bush (he was probably scolding me, but I didn't mind).

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-9-20. Dock Watch Hollow Rd., Warren, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 780.75 miles total
Category: blooming

After the grouchy morning walk I drove up the street across from my house (as my foot was still sore) to the old quarry and walked a tiny bit by myself. I found that the bloodroot was still there (if done blooming) and there were bladdernut trees in full bloom. Hackberry was also blooming, and I don't think I've ever seen its flowers before. A little further up the road was blooming hairy solomon's seal.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-10-20. Mendham and Chester, NJ. 1.25 miles today, 782 miles total
Catgory: blooming

On Mother's Day I drove about half an hour away to 6 different parks I'd not visited before. The first was McVicker's. It was open woods across a brook. The highlihgts here were false helebore (budding), rafts of blooming cuckooflower, and some bulbous bittercress as well.

Next was next door at Schiff Preserve. Next door, but at the top of the hill. It was rocky woods (and very crowded with families; I had to wear my mask). Here there was Jacob's ladder (planted) and golden ragwort (I suspect also planted). Unusual for me were baneberries, though not even budding yet.

Then Mosle Field, where I walked the edge of a sunny gravel parking lot. There was lots in the gravel itself including silver cinquefoil, sandwort, blooming pepperweed, veronicas and, blooming black medic.In the woods were dogwood and lilac (presumably planted) in bloom.

After that was Burnett Brook, swampy woods. The highlight here was a phoebe perched on a rail in the parking lot. I've never photographed one before and didn't recognize it (except as unfamiliar). I found a bumblebee and American elm in fruit, blueberry flowers and Pensylvania bittercress (which is unsual for me) and then my first ever American dog violets. This has been a banner year for me in violets.

Next stop was Tiger Brook, with dryer but still lowland woods. Here there was a nomad bee, spotted wintergreen, and ostrich fern

Final stop was Macgregor Preserve, with a huge field not yet mowed this year and shrubby edges. Not much in the way of surprises here, but the only birds eye speedwell and deadnettle of the day, and there was a honeybee. All in all, though, I had a whole lot of fun.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5-14-20. Seeley's Pond, Berkeley Heights, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 782.25 miles total
Category: blooming

I went Thursday to get an antibody test done for COVID 19 (negative) and stopped here on the way home, so happy to be out of the house. This is a well-used wooded park overlooking a small reservoir. I found trout lily fruit, budding maple leaved viburnum and false solomon's seal, plus a cool leaf gall on some red-type oak leaf. Blooming were speedwell, burning bush, blackhaw, woodrush, smooth solomon's seal, garlic mustard, several sedges, spring beauty, scorpiongrass, mouse ear chickweed, cinquefoil, and ground ivy.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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5/15/20. George Rd, Calais, VT. 1 mile today
Categories: amphibians and arthropods after dark

This evening I went for one more walk after it got dark. I'm taking an amphibians course through North Branch Nature Center. The first assignment was to participate in their Amphibian Road Crossing program to survey 2 transects (1 out and back) on a rainy night. I tried to do this last Sunday night, but the rain turned to heavy snow, and the survey protocol said the temperature must be above 40F. But last night was perfect, with a light mist after a heavy rain, and 62F. We were supposed to count cars as well as amphibians. There were no cars at all, very quiet. But plenty of amphibians. I found 12 woodfrogs, 6-8 spring peepers, some American toads, several green frogs, and 2 red-backed salamanders. Plus lots of purple and gold ground beetles, including a mating pair, and a big spider. There were also several harvestmen, but they were moving too fast to photograph. The walk was quite fun, and I would consider doing more transects, but staying up late when I'm early for bird walks is a drag. I asked in class why there were 3 transects in my neighborhood, including 1 that went right past my driveway. And indeed, they based their transects on iNaturalist reports of dead herps.

Publicado por erikamitchell 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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INaturalist strikes again. Sounds like a lot of fun! I rarely see herps of any kind crossing roads, but today passed a cyclist who was helping an adorable baby snapping turtle across the road.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 16, 2020. Gilbride Rd. Martinsville, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 782.5 miles total
Categories: blooming, insects

Today I asked the girls what kind of park they wanted to go to, and all three, separately, described this one, essentially the closest park to my house, where I have been zillions of times. But off we went, so they could wade in the brook and play, Molly, Becca, Katie and me. I'm still in a boot so didn't go far.

Blooming I found: periwinkle, blackhaw, garlic mustard, cleavers, spring beauty, mock strawberry, ground ivy, wintercress, dame's rocket, violets, honeysuckle, dandelion, white campion, burning bush, perppergrass, autumn olive, clover, sweet vernal grass, buttercup, blackberry, mouse ear chickweed, star of bethlehem, cinquefoil, vetch, 3 sedges, and English plantain.

Insects were 5 bees, a fly, and eastern tailed blue, and an ant.

And there was a pickerel frog in the bushes that apparently made me shriek (according to Molly, I deny everything).

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 19,2020. Glenhurst Park, Warren NJ. ).25 miles today 782.75 miles total
Categories: blooming, insects

I wanted to walk alone after dinner tonight, but when I got to this park I realized I'd forgotten my phone, and here I was in a boot (for the plantar fasciitis). There was one other car in the lot. So I figured, if I got hurt someone would eventually come back and hear me. So I walked but only where I could see the parking lot from the field. Never did see the other person.

Blooming was red clover, medic, spikerush, early wintercress, a bush honeysuckle, autumn olive, thyme-leaved speedwell, fleabane, a sedge, spring beauty, cinquefoil, kidney-leaved buttercup, alsike clover, sweet vernal grass, ground ivy, and vetch

Insects included a rough oak bullet gall, and elm cockscomb gall, box elder pouch galls, spittlebugs, and elm pouch galls.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 20, 2020. Dead River wetlands, Lyons, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 783 miles total
Categories: blooming, insects

This is a swamp under powerlines that has a ton of tearthumb, but luckily it was all under ankle high at this point in the season.

I found a bunch of things I very rarely see: Lance-leaved violet, water plantain, and arrow arum.

But the highlight was low spearwort, Ranunculus pusillus, the only observation of it on iNat north of Washington DC. Even BONAP has it listed as rare here.

Also blooming were highbush blueberry, golden ragwort, wild geranium, and jack in the pulpit.

Not many insects, mostly some aphids being tended by ants on beardtongue, and some loosestrife leaf beetles, hard at work on the purple loosestrife.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 21, 2020. East County Park, Warren, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 783.25 miles total
Categories: blooming, insects

Once again I was looking for a very short walk with lots of species. Basically, I walked around a tiny former farm pond.

Blooming was sweet vernal grass, spring beauty, thyme leaved speedwell, bluegrass, orchard grass, medic, buttercup, ground ivy, mock strawberry, clover, dandelion, fleabane, wintercress, white campion, cinquefoil, and a sedge

Insect-wise (at least I think it was insect-caused) there was a neat stipular gall on beech that I'd never seen before, a fly, an ant, and an eastern forktail damselfy.

In the pond I heard lots of frogs plopping into the water, but didn't see any. but in the background of two photos I did spot them at home, both green frogs.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 23, 2020, Annandale and Pittstown, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 783.5 miles total
Categories: blooming, insects

Today i drove to several different parks I'd never visited in Hunterdon County (about half an hour away). I'm still in a boot so mostly I just checked out their parking lots. I was looking to see which would be worth coming back to when I can really walk again.

First stop was a pull out along Pleasant Run. This is very near the US highway, so kind of junky. Tehre was dame's rocket blooming plus some ground ivy, bittercress, and cleavers.

Next was Echo Hill Park. I'd been here once before, but it was on the way, so I stopped. Buttercups were blooming here, along with more damesrocket, cleavers, and clovers.

But the next stop was neat: Sunnyside Grove. It had blooming woodland stonecrop, cream violets, cow parsely, and Virginia waterleaf, all of which I hardly ever see.

Then I stopped in two spots along the Raritan that don't really have names. One had two separate garter snakes, though, both of which moved and startled me. There was celandine, more cream violet and cow parsley, and lots more waterleaf and dames rocket.

Next was an unplanned stop at Camp Carr, a former (long ago) Boy Scout camp, where it rained on me, but there was more blooming waterleaf, and a neat mushroom I've not IDed.

Then the head of the Landsdown trail, with familiar weeds and tree I had trouble IDing that turned out to be osage orange.

Next was the best stop of the trip, on the Capoolong Creek trail. There was one-flowered coralroot, the second time I've ever seen it, and it was everywhere there. The ground ivy had galls, there was a dryad's saddle, hooked buttercup, tons of mosses, and Christmas fern with leaf curl. Very fun.

Last stop must have been in Kingstown because it was at the junction of Kingstown, Lower Kingstown, and Upper Kingstown Roads. But it sure didn't look like much. However the cowparsley and damesrocket were very pretty.

Despite getting out of the car 9 times I really didn't walk much over a quarter of a mile total. Just think of all the interesting things further down all those trails that I missed!

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 24, 2020. Warren and Martinsville, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 783.75 miles total
category: everything

Today was a "socially distant bioblitz" day, but we also had our first party since the isolation began (8 people who stayed outside) . So I was rather busy.

On the way to the grocery store I pulled over at every public parking lot that was reasonably close to "on the way" that I could think of and did all the plants within a few steps from my car. In the afternoon I stopped at the parking lot of a local park and went a little further, maybe 30 steps away, and then at a local school and did a bit in there parking lot. All in all I posted 440 observations of 147 species.

Probably the most interesting things I saw were tupelo pouch galls, poison hemlock, Japanese maple seedlings, and wild yam. Plus a great big mushroom (maybe a meadow mushroom?) right in my front yard.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 25, 2020 Western Hillsborough, NJ. 0.5 miles today 784.25 miles total
Category: blooming

Molly, Katie, and I went exploring in the western part of Hillsborough Twp. today. First stop was AVM park which has a pond and woods (which they checked out) and a playground (closed) and sensory garden (neglected) where I wandered. Here there was silver cinquefoil, knawel, carolina geranium, the biggest Erodium I've ever seen, and one of my favorite insects: Delphinia picta (they are so homely in the face, and just sit there slowly rotating their pretty wings, letting you take as many photos as you like).

The girls wore themselves out and sat through the rest of the stops, which were a powerline cut (mouse ear hawkweed, sheep sorrel), The side of a river (with tons of people lounging on the opposite bank, and putting in and taking out kayaks), where I found both cutleaved coneflower and cup plant (both very rare for me).

final stop was at a pretty bridge where I saw the first yellow sweet clover of the year.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 26, 2020. Millington, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 784.5 miles total
Category: blooming

I drove Molly up to visit her best friend today. They stood in the yard about 10 feet apart with masks on, as the friend is very worried about the virus. While they were chatting I checked out the local train station parking lot weeds. Brome is flowering now, as is black raspberry. And there were zelkova seedlings everywhere.

I picked Molly up and we stopped at a little wooded park along the Passaic River. Here there was mayapple and Pyrola, false solomon's seal and blooming mayflower (which is unusual here, though I know it's amazingly common in New England). And there was blooming spring avens (which was also fruiting, which is good as that's the only way I know to ID it).

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 27, 2020. Pluckemin, NJ. 0.75 miles today, 785.25 miles total
Categories: blooming, insects

Today I ordered food for the girls for lunch and waited at this local park while it was being made. It's really just a large, mowed field, but it has a nice, brushy edge.

Blooming were dandelion, speedwell, wintercress, rose, blackberry, peppergrass, black cherry, several sedges, woodsorrel, and a grass.

Insects were more interesting, with a beautiful red and green beetle, a hoverfly, goldenbacked snipe flies, elm finger galls, elm leafminers, a rust fly, two flying bugs I can't get even to order, a blackberry stem gall, an orbweaver, three ants, a honeysuckle leafmine, a ghost spider, an evergreen bagworm, a manti ootheca, asian lady beetles, and an oak catkin gall.

After dinner all three girls went with me to explore some woods and watch the sunset at River Rd. Park. I didn't walk far, but Katie dragged me into the woods to see some green frogs. Becca got left behind but eventually came out, weaving a flower crown. Only when I looked closely I saw it had poison hemlock woven in. So for the first time in years I called poison control (which is now the combined COVID hotline and poison control (press this number for a poisoning)). They were not particularly concerned but wanted her to wash her hands for 5 minutes. Right, in the middle of a park. I got out the baby wipes and had her stop weaving the hemlock, and we washed when we got home (she's fine). Meanwhile, Molly was lying on her back in a field of tall grass (and presumbably ticks) and Katie was trying to climb an abandoned silo. I haven't had this much chaos during a walk in the park since they were all under 8 (and they are 13, 16, and 21!) .

At any rate, plant-wise I found ivy leaved speedwell (almost done for the year), Arrowleaved (I think) violets, spring avens, water horehound, yellow flag, some spring beauty with hot pink fruit (they are usually green), lots of sedges, blooming nipplewort (still my kids' favorite), smooth tare, and the first blooming yarrow of the year.

And as far as critters: the green frog, a lightning bug, a nursery spider, hickory galls, a four lined plant bug nymph that actually held still long enough for me to photograph it, mating thistle bud weevils, mating (I think) amber snails, mating asian lady beetles, a (very blurry) red winged blackbird, and some martins hanging out by the conveniently placed martin houses.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 30, 2020. Meadowlands, NJ. 0.5 miles today, 785.75 miles total
Categories: blooming, critters

Molly and I drove to the Meadowlands in Hackensack (and Seacaucus) today to check out three parks that recently reopened. This is near the core of the COVID infections in NJ, and everyone walking in the parks was wearing a mask (though it was not required, it was recommended).

The first park was quite busy and had nearly every trail closed. We didn't stay long. Still, I saw a gadwall, lots of red winged blackbirds, and some far away juvenile ducks that no one seems to be able ID for me (but may well have just been mallards). dwarf mallow and dove's foot geranium were about as exciting as the plants here got.

To get to the next park, the GPS sent us through the parking lots of the Meadowlands sports complex (where all the NY football teams play) even through a parking garage. The whole place was empty and it was very weird. But the second park was also empty, which was great. It had three big cottonwood trees in full fruit, and there were drifts of cottonwood fluff everywhere, like mist among the plants. Molly said it felt like the warmest, softest dog fur ever. There was a paulownia in flower, groundsel tree, seaside goldenrod, and musk thistle. As we were leaving Molly spotted (and photographed) a bird that was "so orange, Mom" and turned out , indeed, to be an oriole. She'd never seen one before.

Last stop was another crowded park, but with the boardwalks open. We found a nesting tree swallow, what turned out to be a question mark butterfly, lots of iridescent groundsel bush beetle larvae, blooming black locust, a milkweed weevil, yellow flag, sweetgum, spring vetch, and leaf mines in goldenrod, gray birch, and hackberry.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)
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May 31, 2020, Mendham and Randolph, NJ. 0.75 miles today, 786.5 miles total
Categories: insects, blooming

I checked out several parks about half an hour north of me today. On the way I stopped by the bridge over a branch of the Dead River but the only interesting plant was virgin's bower.

Next was a park with mostly mowed grass around a pond, but there was a shrub border and the brook leading away was wooded. Here I found pneapple weed, scorpiongrass, water chestnut (I wonder if the powers that be know they have waterchestnut in their pond; by midsummer there will be no water visible if they don't get it out of there), plantain flea beetles, willow leaf beetles, mating lady beetles, highbush cranberry (planted), and river birch (also planted).

Then I stopped at the wooded banks of India Brook with witch hazel galls, linden galls, beech galls, blooming burning bush, hickory galls, aphids on roses tended by ants, a ladybug with beetle hanger, ironwood galls, christmas fern with leaf curl, a lot of sedges, some blue eyed grass, a blooming tulip poplar, and pearlwort.

Next was a field with a mowed path down the center. It's the start of the long path to Buttermilk Falls (the shorter path I passed later and it was so overflowing with cars there were two police officers directing traffic). Here I found the first oxyeye daisy of the year, as well as the first birdsfoot trefoil, golden ragwort with leafminers, plantain leaf miners, and a mint I can't ID (but found by scent when I stepped on it).

I made a wrong turn and ended up at the access to another rail trail, where I found a garlic mustard leafmine, some peregrine speedwell, and beardtongue (not yet blooming).

I had to skip the park with the police, then hit another section of the railtrail, by a stream, where there was coltsfoot, meadow buttercup, some narrow leaved and tiny flowered forget me not, teasel, and fringed sedge.

Another section of trail had cherry finger galls, arrowwood, and sanicle.

The last stop was the lot for Clyde Potts Park. There were little kids playing in the lot here , so I wore my mask. In contrast to the day before when everyone was masked today I saw hardly a single person in a mask, all day. This area is wealthier and much more rural. I guess folks just feel safer here. Not a lot of interest in the parking lot, some spruce saplings were unusual; they rarely reproduce in NJ.

Publicado por srall 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)

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