Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, September 22, 2002
Highbush ViburnumThis is a highbush cranberry (viburnum) bush that I see on one of my usual walks. Its fruit is the preferred food of ruffed grouse and cedar waxwings, but is also eaten by many other birds.

What puzzles me about this particular bush is that the birds don't seem to touch it. The fruit stays on it long into the winter.

There used to be another highbush cranberry about 20 feet away - until it was cut down along with some other brush. Each year, THAT bush would be picked clean by the birds during the fall. Hmmm...

Now that the other bush is gone, maybe the birds will go after this one??
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Haven't heard any warblers in a while.

But when I woke up this morning, I heard a black-throated green warbler singing outside my window.

It just sang its song a couple of times and then was gone. Must be on its way south with the rest of the migrating birds.
Friday, September 20, 2002
Sulphur PolyporeThis mushroom, Sulphur Polypore, breaks down the cellulose of dead trees.

Also called Chicken of the Woods, it is a fairly common mushroom in New England. As it ages, it becomes paler and paler, until it finally becomes
white. Click to enlarge    
Thursday, September 19, 2002
Here's an interesting web page about bird migration. Explains about the classification of birds as permanent residents, summer residents, winter residents, and transients. Tells about why birds migrate and how they prepare.

Also has a map showing the flyways of migratory birds.
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Clearing with goldenrodThis is a photo of the clearing below my house. The yellowish glow is from sunlight hitting the goldenrod. I often see the whitetail deer in this clearing - at all times of the year.

In the early summer, I saw my "local" whitetail doe at the far edge of this
clearing. She was licking her rump and Click to enlarge    
kept raising her tail. These are signs that a
doe is going to give birth soon.

Several weeks later, I saw the bedding spots in the clearing where she had been hiding her fawn(s). The whitetail doe only visits her newborn fawns a few times each day - to nurse them and move them to a new location. The fawns don't bed together until they are three or four weeks old. This helps protect them from predators.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Have been hearing the blue jays a lot lately. As is true with other birds, they become more vocal once the nesting season is over. Also hearing the northern flicker, especially in the mornings.

And the black-capped chickadee is now singing its "chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee" song most of the time. In the spring and summer, its "fee-bee" song (first note higher than second) is more commonly heard.
Monday, September 16, 2002
Daddy-long-legsHere's a photo of a female daddy-long-legs. I found the male and female on a goldenrod plant.

This daddy-long-legs is not a true spider. True spiders have two body parts (head and abdomen) and produce silk.
  Click to enlarge    
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