October 1978

The birds have eaten the whole Maine Manna suet cake in three days–either that or something other than a bird has carried it off.


MOSSES growing on the rocks along the brook. They’re close fitting like tight green fabric. Mosses that look like small ferns growing on a stump beside the brook. HAIRCAP MOSS growing on the forest floor surrounded by leaf litter. Haircap moss seems to grow intermixed with a more ferny looking, lighter green moss. The haircap is better anchored. Found a bed of haircap moss with some spore stalks and capsules still attached in the cabin meadow. Took a spore capsule apart: (1) lifted off the cap (2) removed lid (3) removed additional covering (a thin membrane) (4) shook out green spore dust (5) looked inside the 6-7 parted spore capsule. The spore stalk grows right out of the tip of a single moss. The haircaps I’m looking at are growing in a thick, plush mat that would make a tempting mattress. There’s another lighter colored moss that looks a bit like the haircap growing intermixed with it above the cabin meadow–younger? a different species? REINDEER MOSS (a lichen), one of the CLUB MOSSES (WOLF’S PAW, I think), and MUSHROOMS growing in the same bed. PINCUSHION MOSS growing on the rocks under some oaks–little rounded tufts that look like pin cushions. Another moss that looks as if its hair is all brushed in the same direction growing on a rock under beeches and maples. Mosses help create soil and help hold soil and moisture. Haircap moss seems to like the soil under white and red pines with a few deciduous leaves mixed into the litter. My lookout has reindeer moss, one of the haircap mosses, and a club moss all growing together and intermixed. Haircap moss seems to grow in openings or clearings.

GRASSHOPPERS still active and singing at Sauders’ near Brandon Gap.

Started putting out seeds for the birds today. CHICKADEES, BLUE JAYS, and a WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (or maybe more than one) were the first comers. They seem to go through the seeds as fast as I put them out.

Saw LADYBUGS while we were climbing Mt. Abraham today. I began noticing them when we were up high. Saw one on the summit.

FROST this morning. Snow on Camels Hump yesterday and today.

Saw a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET  in the shrub outside the kitchen window this morning.  Saw two RUFFED GROUSE on the old logging road that goes up the hill, one with tail fanned and ruff raised, the other kind of ordinary looking. The ordinary looking one flushed first. It didn’t fly very far. When I took another step the other one flushed. Now a RED SQUIRREL  is chirping and squeaking at me. Scared some small birds out of a brush heap. They’re hiding in a white pine where I can’t see them. Still some CRICKETS chirping in the meadows. Flushed another RUFFED GROUSE just beyond the cabin meadow on the extension of Spear Memorial Highway. Another grouse–maybe the same one I just flushed–scared me by flying up right next to me.

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