Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Friday, May 21, 2004

Today I noticed a robin searching for materials for its nest. It seemed to mostly be gathering grasses. At one point it picked up what looked like a small crumpled-up leaf, but then put it down. Another time, it picked up a vine-like plant and put that down also.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies seem to be everywhere. They've been flying for about a week now. Sometimes I see them in pairs and sometimes singly.

The Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea), Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium, I think...), and some early asters are blooming. The asters are a light lavender color, but am not sure which species they are.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Mountains in AfternoonHere's a recent photo of the mountains in the late afternoon.
The setting sun gives the mountain in the foreground a beautiful purplish red glow.

Over the past few days, a wood thrush has been singing near the
house. I so enjoy this bird's song! Last
spring and summer was the first year in a long
time that I didn't have the company of a wood
thrush close to the house.

The summer before last, I saw that year's "local" wood thrush sitting on its nest. But during the next winter, the branch where the nest was located blew down. And the following spring was the year of the "missing thrush." So I'm very pleased to again hear a wood thrush singing nearby.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Yesterday afternoon, I heard the calls of two indigo buntings. I spotted a male bunting close to the ground in a brushy area. Although I could tell it was close by, I couldn't locate the other bunting - which I presume was a female.

Have been hearing the song of the veery over the last few days. And there are more warblers singing now than I can keep track of!

The Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) and Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex) have just begun to bloom. The wind has been blowing the seeds of the Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) off their stems. Almost looks like swirling snow!
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Rose-breasted GrosbeakThe rose-breasted grosbeaks arrived four or five days ago. There's one near my house and it's been singing from dawn until dusk. It sings in one spot for a while, then moves a little closer - or a little further away - and sings some
more. It seems to stay within about an acre.

Today, I spotted what was either a Spring Azure or Eastern-tailed Blue butterfly. It flew by too quickly for me to get a good look.

Also saw an Eight-spotted Forester moth, a common moth in New England. It can be mistaken for a butterfly because it flies during the day and looks more like a butterfly than a moth - well, to me anyway