Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Monday, January 20, 2003
It was very windy today. Big swirls of snow were coming up from the ground and snow was drifting all around the house.

The wind was really roaring. The sound of it blowing through the pines was wonderful.

And, in the midst of it all, I heard a
chickadee singing its "fee-bee" song.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
With all of this cold weather, maybe it's time for some cheerful pictures that remind us of warmer weather.

Check out this beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. And here's something that you might enjoy seeing.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
White Pine Trees with SnowIt's been so cold lately that I haven't been able to get outside to take any photos. But here's a photo from after the last snowstorm.

These are white pine trees on a beautiful sunny day. By looking at the amount of
snow on some of
their branches, it's easy to understand how these trees give protection to wildlife.

Of course, when the temperature gets warm enough, the snow does eventually fall off . My guess is that this only happens after some of the snow has melted, thus leaving less under the trees.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
Saw a hairy woodpecker drumming today - on the limb of a beech tree. Between bouts of intensive drumming, it was waving its bill back and forth. This kept on for quite a while before the bird flew off to another tree. I didn't hear any drumming after that.

For the hairy woodpecker, drumming is used both as a territorial behavior and as part of the courtship ritual. I've read that bill-waving is an aggressive display intended drive off intruding birds of the same species. I didn't notice another woodpecker nearby, but there could well have been one that I didn't see.
Friday, January 24, 2003
Black BearThe black bears are in their winter dens and not looking at all like the one to the right.

Couldn't resist showing you this nice photo though - taken by David Blevins, an excellent nature photographer. Click here to visit his site and see more wonderful nature photos.
It's around this time of year that the
female bear gives birth to her cubs.
Contrary to the myth that she sleeps
through it all, she's awake enough to care for her cubs during this time. Though I wouldn't be surprised if she dosed off now and then while they were nursing
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Saw a purple finch at the bird feeder today. First one I've spotted this winter.

Hadn't seen any fresh deer tracks for several days. But today there were a few, so I guess the deer are out and about again. There were also some fresh red fox tracks.
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Barred OwlThere were two barred owls near the house last night. At first I just heard a few descending "hoo-aw" calls. Then they started making loud monkey-like sounds.

I think this is the first time I've heard two barred owls together since last
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