Nature Watch

NATURE WATCH: Here Comes the Sun

by Nona Estrin Now comes the time of the year I most love in Vermont. Since Dec. 21 the sun, from our house, has lingered at least 25 compass degrees south of Spruce Mountain. In the next weeks the earth starts it’s tilt “south” in earnest, and within a month will be at the flanks […]

NATURE WATCH: Frigid Air Outside, Cozy Inside

by Nona Estrin   A great mass of frigid air settles over us. Even small tasks outdoors become more challenging. Being inside takes on new meaning. It’s nothing short of miraculous that we can be inside, warm, and buffered against such terrible cold. But it’s more than simply warmth. In Denmark and other northern countries there […]

Nature Watch 12.18.14

by Nona Estrin   The sun has slowed its journey toward the south, about to pause and return. Skiing has been silky, but something is missing. I miss the golden-crowned kinglets.  When snow locks up the land, and hunters pack up for home, the woods always seemed to belong to these tiny birds. I looked […]

Nature Watch – 12.4.14

by Nona Estrin As avian winter residents define their cold-season territories, so do the hawks which stay here and survive on birds. When the blue jays suddenly scream, the doves and smaller birds whoosh up and fly for cover, and the woodpeckers freeze vertically on the trunks, we often catch a glimpse of the majestic […]

Nature Watch: 11.20.14

by Nona Estrin On Monday an icy blast brought bad roads and storm. When dusk began to fall only a bit after 3:30 p.m., my spirits sank. I knew winter was coming but some part of me was clearly not prepared. This feeling had been creeping up on me at end of day since time […]

Nature Watch – 11.6.14

by Nona Estrin I returned this week to find tamaracks in full brassy yellow, and the following report, from Barb Baird, in my inbox. She lives next to the huge ginkgo tree on Barre Street and sends out the word when the old tree begins its dramatic two-hour shed of leaves: “Weird year for the tree […]

Nature Watch 8.28.14

By Nona Estrin-

Nature Watch 8.7.14

By Nona Estrin   Today summer is taking a nap. Berries are ripening; chanterelles are popping up overnight—sun and rain, just right for them this year. The shrubby power line near us is silent, but I know the common yellowthroat warblers and the black-billed cuckoo are feeding fledglings there. If I stand quiet, I hear […]

Nature Watch

Is there any other time of year when I want to sit on a rock in the middle of, say, the Shady Rill, at 5 p.m.—water sounds all around me, the sun making its last visit to the brook—and space out? No, there is not. But today, returning from a sad visit to the veterinarian, […]

Nature Watch 4.17.14

We finally made it into the woods to check the vernal ponds, and a semi-permanent pond used each year by countless Jefferson and spotted salamanders and wood frogs. Well, guess what? For the first time in 30 years, that pond was frozen right down to the bottom and although it has melted on top and […]