Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Saturday, August 2, 2003
Spotted some Black Swallowtails down near the river. I don't see them in the wooded area around my house. They prefer more open areas.
The adult butterflies feed on nectar, especially that of clover, milkweed,
and thistle. They also gather at the
edges of rivers and lakes to feed on the
minerals in the sandy mud.
Thursday, July 31, 2003
In general, the birds near the house seem to have quieted down for the summer. I rarely hear warblers these days.

However, the crows have been much more vocal over the past three weeks or so. And I hear a phoebe singing near the house most evenings. Sometimes the song of a wood thrush can be heard in the distance.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Blue JaySaw a family of blue jays today. I couldn't tell how many fledglings there were but it looked like there might be four or five - and sounded like a lot more!

The young ones were almost as large as the adults, but they were still making loud begging-type sounds. I assume they were hoping to have some food delivered from their parents to supplement what they

were able to gather themselves.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Lately, I've been seeing a whitetail buck near the house on almost a daily basis. It's the same one that I saw a couple of weeks ago. I recognize this buck because it has one antler that's much longer than the other.

I haven't seen much sign lately of the doe and fawn whose tracks I'd been seeing. Just one glimpse of the doe about 3 or 4 days ago. She was down in the clearing below the house at the same time the buck was up here next to the house.
Friday, July 25, 2003
Artist's ConkHere's a mushroom I found growing on a tree stump. I believe this is an Artist's Conk - a common mushroom in New England.

This fungus grows on living trees, stumps, and logs. Its surface has a tough, woody texture and the
underside is completely white.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Have been seeing the red fox's scat along the driveway lately. Haven't seen the fox itself at all this year, though. One of my neighbors heard its territorial call several weeks ago.

The adult foxes are busy now with their young. The pups venture out of the den by the time they are 4 to 6 weeks old and are weaned when they are between two and three months old. Over the course of the summer they will learn to hunt by themselves and, at the age of about six months, they will be fully grown.

Monday, July 21, 2003
Herb RobertI found this pretty little wildflower in the woods recently. It's an Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) and was growing in its favorite habitat - near a rocky ledge. I also found some Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) not too far away.
The Red Raspberries have been ripening
over the past week - much to the delight of
the birds. The Purple-flowering Raspberries are
forming but won't ripen for a while yet.
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