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Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, October 20, 2002
Red Foliage Against EvergreensCame across these pretty fall
colors in the woods today. The
red leaves of the maple show up brilliantly against the evergreen trees.

Quite a few leaves have already fallen, but there is still a lot of nice
foliage color on individual trees -
especially the red maples.
Click to enlarge    
Saturday, October 19, 2002
Learned today that acid rain may be contributing to the decline in the population of songbirds.

This article describes a recent study by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology which shows a definite link between the increase in acid rain and the decline of the wood thrush in its breeding range. Hames, the scientist who reported the findings, goes on to say that acid rain could also be a factor in the decline of other songbirds.
Friday, October 18, 2002
This morning, a flock of about 25 ravens settled on a tree outside my kitchen window. They stayed there for a while, then they left the tree and started soaring around in the open area to the south of the house.

They would flap their wings for a while, then soar for a while. The sun reflected off their backs making them look almost white.
Suddenly, as if on signal, they all settled into another tree close to the first one. Then they repeated the whole exercise - soaring again and then settling in a tree. This went on for about 20 minutes or a half hour. After that the ravens were out of sight.
Thursday, October 17, 2002

Today I was lying on the ground (taking a picture of the treetops) when two chipmunks ran by - about 6 inches from my head. One was chasing and scolding the other.

Gave me a chuckle. Guess I'm getting to be just part of the landscape around here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Fall FoliageThe fall foliage has been just about at its peak in southern Vermont over the last couple of days.

It's been raining and a bit windy today - which has been bringing down a lot of leaves. So it's likely that we will see less color on the trees tomorrow and
thereafter. Click to enlarge    
Here are some fall foliage photos from a previous season.
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
If you are interested in learning about insects and spiders, you'll like this website. It contains descriptive information and a photo for almost 100 different bugs. (Click the "B" button on the home page.)

You'll also find a facinating section on butterfly wing patterns here.
Monday, October 14, 2002

White-throated SparrowA flock of juncos and tree sparrows came by again today. Not sure if it's the same flock as last Friday.

This time I saw a white-throated sparrow among them. There was
probably more than just the one

that I saw. Photo © Robert Royse   
  Click to enlarge   

It's a nice-looking bird with the yellow spots
near its eyes and pretty white throat. The one
I saw was the form with the black and white head stripes
(vs. brown and tan head stripes). It was doing its "chink...chink...chink" call.

I've been hearing its melodious whistle-like song in the mornings during the past week or so. I wonder if this flock is going to stay in the area or if it's just passing through?

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