Nature Watch

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” […]

NATURE WATCH: Betwixt and Between

NATURE WATCH: Betwixt and Between

by Nona Estrin The dreamy sounds of crickets, the bumble bees noisily visiting a tangle of Japanese anemones, put me into a bit of a trance. Until, whoosh, a merlin cuts through the air, doves scatter, then silence, before the crickets start up again. Hawks are on the move! It’s that in-between season, defying label, […]

NATURE WATCH: With Kingbirds and Robins Among the Blueberries

by Nona Estrin Birds are suddenly quieter in the mornings, the plant kingdom is focused on seed, yet summer is still in full swing. We’ve had our first cool morning fog and on hot afternoons thunderheads billow up and can be seen for miles. This morning I was in a big commercial blueberry field in […]

Nature Watch: Stop and Smell the Lilacs

With summer projects in full swing, the only way I know to slow down is to stop everything, stand, sit or lie down and let the flow of activities stop! This early morning  while picking cucumber beetles off the squash plants, and in a big hurry, I did that, and let in the fog, the […]

NATURE WATCH: Bobolinks Lose Homes to Haying

NATURE WATCH: Bobolinks Lose Homes to Haying

by Nona Estrin Now, the sad side of our wonderfully vibrant farming community: It’s haying weather and crop lands here are under a great deal of pressure. Haying starts earlier and it’s not unusual to take four cuttings off a field in a year. The sad part is the bobolinks. This extraordinary bird, with it’s […]

NATURE WATCH: The Sweet Fragrance of Spring

Up on our hill, the apples are still blooming and spring is boasting its most beautiful weather in years, with gentle slowly soaking rains setting off days of sun. Wild plum fragrance has given way to apple and lilac. The air is sweet, the days are long, while gardens demand we turn our energy to […]

NATURE WATCH: Grateful for Bird Songs

by Nona Estrin This time of year, I’m grateful for good hearing. There is nothing prettier to my ear than the spring song of migrating fox sparrows. They stop here to scratch in the brush, adding their alto melody to the warbler-like trills of northbound juncos. Neither of these birds sing until on their way […]

Nature Watch: Bird’s Din: The Sound of Spring

by Nona Estrin A tree full of red-winged blackbirds with their glorious din! And robins returning! Now is the time to learn the unforgettable high chatter of that fabled, once rare bird of prey, the Merlin. Because any day now, the Merlins of Montpelier will return for another year of pigeon hunting and nesting! And you […]

Nature Watch: Creatures Come Out For a Breath of Spring Air?

by Nona Estrin   Today the snow finally collapsed sufficiently to hold a skier and out I went, visiting places I haven’t been able to get to all winter. Tracks on a big field led me to a freshly dug-out skunk den, the dirt and snow plug lying next to it. Further on, in a […]