Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Yesterday afternoon I kept hearing an unusual sound outside, so I opened the window to take a look. As a deer bolted away, I realized that it had been pawing at the snow to get at the acorns on the ground. Felt sorry that I had scared it away.

We had another small snowstorm Friday night, so all the best browse and nuts were covered with snow. This makes it hard for the deer (and other mammals) who are trying to fatten up for winter. Fortunately, it was warmer today and most of the snow has melted.
Saturday, October 26, 2002
Heard the whinny-like call of a pileated woodpecker this morning. It's one of my favorite birds.

For several years, I had been seeing it come and forage for insects in a dying beech tree not far from my house. Last year the tree finally fell down and now I don't see the pileated woodpecker as often.
  © 2002    
Friday, October 25, 2002
I've been seeing scat from a red fox along one of the paths that I walk. This summer, I saw the red fox quite a few times - unlike other years when I rarely would see one.

I remember a winter night several years ago when the moon was very bright. I looked out my window and saw a red fox trotting by the house. It was so beautiful in the moonlight! I can still picture it in my mind today as though it had just happened.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
Hemlock and BirchFound this hemlock tree and birch tree growing together in the woods.

Whenever I see two trees growing so closely together, I'm always amazed that they can both survive with their roots so closely entwined.

You would think that there wouldn't be enough nourishment in the soil to sustain
them both. But I guess nature knows better. Click to enlarge    
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
We had about 4 inches of snow last night! Pretty early for that. We rarely get snow when there are leaves still on the trees. After the snow stopped, leaves started falling on top of the snow. An unusual sight, but pretty.

The chipmunks were quiet this morning for the first time in a long time. They must have temporarily retreated to their dens. (I would too!) But by mid-afternoon, I heard a few of them making their "chipping" sound again.
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Found this mushroom on one of my walks in the woods. It's a Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) and is NOT edible.

This is a common mushroom in New England and throughout North America. Its color can be red, orange, or yellow - or occasionally white. In the eastern U.S., the orange and yellow forms are the most prevalent.
Monday, October 21, 2002
Saw a yellow-rumped warbler this morning - feeding on the seeds of a goldenrod just outside my kitchen window. It must have just stopped by on its way south. During the summer, I hear a lot more warblers than I see. So, for me, it was special to see that yellow-rumped warbler so close up.

A flock of juncos and sparrows also came by around the same time this morning. The sparrows were pretty well hidden in the brambles, so I couldn't positively identify the species. I'm guessing that some were American tree sparrows.

Between the juncos and the sparrows, I was hearing so many different songs and calls that couldn't pick out any one of them. I've been spending a lot of time lately listening to the different sparrow songs on my bird song CD, but I think I'd better go listen some more. : )
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