Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Saturday, August 16, 2003
A few early warblers have begun their journey south. In New England, some American redstarts will be seen leaving their breeding grounds around this time. Late August through mid-September is usually the peak time to observe this warbler's migration. If the recent period of wet weather continues, this may cause some delay.

Other early migrants are the black-throated green warbler and the black-and-white warbler.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Spotted Touch-me-not (Jewelweed)Found some Spotted Touch-me-not the other day. This is a such a beautiful wildflower! It's also known as Jewelweed, and the flowers do look like little jewels.

Also blooming now are the Common Mullein, Bittersweet Nightshade, and
various species of the mint family. The
Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
is about to bloom.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Lately, there have been quite a few reports around Vermont of sightings of "hummingbird moths." Some people may be speaking of the Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe).

However, there are quite a few species of moths in this same family (Sphingidae) that are found in Vermont. See this list of Moths of Vermont from the USGS website.

Not to leave out our other New England states, here are lists of moths found in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The lists include links to photos and species accounts for each moth.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
Viceroy ButterflyLots of Viceroy butterflies around these days! Found this one on a young white pine tree.

The Viceroy enjoys the nectar of the goldenrod, joe-pye-weed, and asters - as well as many other flowers. This butterfly can be distinguished from
the Monarch butterfly by the black lines
across its hindwings.
Friday, August 8, 2003
Haven't seen any whitetail deer recently. But this morning, I noticed a deer's freshly-used bedding area in some brambles near the house. I wonder if it was made by this buck that has been frequenting the area around my house.

Later in the day, I saw a family of robins ground-foraging in the open area behind my house. The juveniles were recognizable by their spotted breasts. After a while, some of the young birds flew around to the other side of the house and started eating fruit from some bushes.
Wednesday, August 6, 2003
Steeplebush?This is a wildflower that I've been having trouble identifying. I think that it's a Steeplebush (Spiraea tomentosa), also known as Hardhack. The leaves are whitish on the underside and the stem is a reddish-brown.

The flower clusters on the Meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia), a woody shrub in the same family, are also beginning to open.

A late-summer goldenrod started blooming recently, along with a very light lavender aster.
(Hmmm... those goldenrods and asters are hard to name.)

Among other wildflowers that are still in bloom are the Black-eyed Susan, Purple Clover, Yellow Clover, and a few Oxeye Daisies.
Monday, August 4, 2003
There were three wild turkeys behind the house yesterday. And this afternoon I saw a female with at least 7 chicks. There were probably more but they all moved into the woods before I finished counting! The chicks were about half the size of their mother.
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