Nature Watch

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 […]

Nature Watch 4.3.14

Went downtown around 6 p.m. tonight on March 31 just to look at our rivers. The temperature was 37 degrees, no rain in the forecast. In the forty-five minutes it took me to do the rounds, channels were opening in the flat ice, and the river was moving along everywhere without a jam in sight, […]

Nature Watch 3.20.14

Nature Watch 3.20.14

Tonight the Full Crow Moon rose majestically over the eastern mountains, gleaming on the snow and casting shadows on the night landscape. And sure enough, this afternoon we saw, sitting peacefully in a tree not far from the house, two crows side by side, a sure sign that the large flocks of winter are breaking […]

Nature Watch 3-6-14

This time of year everyone knows someone who either is, or was just, or is about to leave on vacation. It’s always to escape the unpredictable, the cold, those last storms, or to stow away a bit of vitamin D before the skin and bones deteriorate any further! Our human family in the far north […]

Nature Watch: 2-20-14

by Nona Estrin March already, just ahead. Looking at the snow, I would never know it. It’s not the relatively hard, freeze-thaw snowpack of late winter, with it’s big separate diamond-like crystals, but the relatively low-moisture, fluffy stuff of earlier winter storms. It’s hard to imagine it now, but one or two sunny, warm days, […]

Nature Watch

Signs of spring in the snow! Ruffed grouse are walking long promenades, sometimes dragging their wings beside them. Barred owls have started waking us at night with short but intense duets of sorts. And of course, we are looking for spring everywhere, almost willing every broken maple twig to drip sap on these few warm […]

Nature Watch

Our earth has now tilted as far away from the sun as it does. These last days do not add noticeably to the length of night, nor to the low angle of the sun. But on clear days, it often shines with that gold and orange hue of low light, unless the air is dessicatingly […]

Nature Watch

Less and less sun, more and more dark. Every year at this time, I reawaken to why our species loves the sunlight and has perhaps always found sheltered, south-facing sunny locations for winter basking. Not just our species. I know a fine south-facing rock ledge, set about with hemlock, the ledges high enough to catch […]

Nature Watch

  Relearning an in-between season. Brassy tamaracks begin to lose their needles. Balsam fir is at its most fragrant, as some of the older needles dry and fall to the ground. Birds, from tiny ruby-crowned kinglets to Canada geese, are still pouring through Vermont, leaving colder weather and shorter days behind them. And sound, without […]