Nature Watch

NATURE WATCH: Fox Are Out And About

by Nona Estrin Every day with good tracking provides glimpses into the secret life going on around us. I’m seeing fox tracks nearly every day now as they hunt, pair, mate and search for future den sites. This lovely, effective mouse-consuming animal provides an unexpected bonus: good numbers of red foxes are correlated with a […]

NATURE WATCH: Hibernation Time? Mais, Oui!

by Nona Estrin   Big thanks to Chip Darmstadt for writing this piece while I was in southern France, where every day was a bit cooler than Vermont during November and December! Now we grumble about the cold, but bear, jumping mice, bats, woodchucks, raccoons, skunks, and chipmunks, and reptiles and amphibians too, have finally […]

NATURE WATCH: Time For White Fur Coats

by Chip Darmstadt At last some whiteness out there! A walk with the dog this morning yielded some interesting tracks in the woods — including fisher and snowshoe hare. The hare, with its white winter coat, is probably appreciating the cover now provided by the snow. Fishers, large members of the weasel family, prey upon […]

NATURE WATCH: Waterfowl Tarry As Warmth Continues

by Chip Darmstadt Our snowless landscape and warm weather have been an inevitable topic of conversation lately. Ponds and other water bodies are still ice-free. A recent ramble around Berlin Pond yielded eight different species of waterfowl, including a very rare Ross’s Goose. This diminutive arctic species closely resembles the much more common Snow Goose. […]

NATURE WATCH: Finches Arrive With Frosty Mornings

by Chip Darmstadt   Our frosty mornings are now coinciding with the arrival of winter finches. Our resident American Goldfinches have been joined by Pine Siskins, Purple Finches and Evening Grosbeaks. Listen for the nasal, ascending calls of Pine Siskins and the loud chirps of Evening Grosbeaks as they fly overhead — and perhaps stop […]

NATURE WATCH: Colors Change; Dry Leaves Cling

by Nona Estrin Now focus changes. The eyes adjust to a narrowed color spectrum, to the subtle gradations of color, and the punch of bright green as moss seems to be suddenly  everywhere. The quality of low light touches our memory of all previous Novembers we have lived these cycles. Listen….an occasional chip note from […]

NATURE WATCH: Time For A Bog Walk

by Nona Estrin A beautiful week to catch our collective breath before snow flies. “Late peak” is in full swing, with tamaracks, beeches and poplars brightening to gold; oaks to deep sienna. Robins, song and fox sparrows are passing through and many types of “hunter moths” can be seen night or day in the woods. Time […]

NATURE WATCH: The Hills Are Ablaze

by Nona Estrin This fall red maples brightened without a spoiling wind or rain for long enough, that in many areas, ash leaves had time to color alongside them, the sugar maples not even in the picture yet! Whole hills, entire mountains, where soils are too thin to support many sugar maples, are still blazing […]

NATURE WATCH: Robins In The Rain

by Nona Estrin Rain just starting at last, and around 200 robins here suddenly, as afternoon wanes, calling, gathering up energy, sounding as if they may fly again tonight, at the leading edge of rain. Not a great flying night but we’re losing 15 minutes a day of light here and that puts the pressure […]

NATURE WATCH: Time for Hawk Migration

by Nona Estrin Made my annual trip to Putney Mountain for Hawk Watch last Saturday, trying to hit a good migration. That is, wind, but not from the south. Enough sun to create thermal rises for hawks to circle up, up, up.  Then, at the top of the thermal, for them to soar or “stream” […]