April 1979

BLUETS — they grow like little surprises amidst the grass. Four petals, yellow center. From a distance they look like one last sprinkle of snow — or maybe a promise that it won’t snow again for half a year. GOLDFINCH MALES are now in full color. Saw a FLICKER yesterday and several today.


Bob spotted a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET in the shrub outside the kitchen window today. Mickey and Bob saw both the RUBY-CROWNED and the GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET when they were up in the woods last week.

Can hear a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW singing from my front door. FROG’S BELLY is edible. I’m hearing a new bird song: 3 to 5 clear notes followed by lower jumbly notes. Saw a CHICKADEE with nesting material in its beak. Saw a HUGE ANT MOUND (active) at Debbie and Ed’s. Have seen other ants around for about a week or more. Think I saw a FIREFLY hanging onto the house last night. Finally found some TROUT LILIES in bloom in the woods near my house, but they’re on my absentee neighbor McCauley’s (or MacAuley’s?) (sp) property. They’re on the bank above the brook along the boundary. FALSE HELLEBORE growing by the brook near my stepping stones. I finally spotted a few TROUT LILIES in bloom on MY property by the brook.

When I opened the door to let Hussy in this morning, I heard a ROBIN SINGING. It’s feeling almost like full season.

Noticed lots of COLTSFOOT along the road at the bottom of the hill yesterday. Bob’s been seeing SPRING BEAUTY and HEPATICA up on Lucius Saxton’s hillside on this side of the road. Bob and Mickey picked WILD LEEKS from Henry Moultroup’s side of the ridge on Monday.

At the Nature Center the TRILLIUMS behind the upper blind are in bud. Haven’t noticed any trout lilies yet. I’ll bet bloodroot is blooming down by the river, but I haven’t walked down to see it yet. Saw a side yard full of DANDELIONS in South Burlington yesterday afternoon. Have noticed one set of leaves at my house. Saw BLUETS!! en route to Essex Junction. In bloom at Debbie and Ed’s in Charlotte: SPRING BEAUTY, HEPATICA (several colors), BLOODROOT, TROUT LILY, DUTCHMAN’S BREECHES.

More and more EARTHWORM CASTINGS showing up near my front path. Have also noticed FALSE HELLEBORE coming up here and there.

Beautiful spring day. Spotted a POLISTES WASP outside Bob’s shop. Watched her until she flew into an opening in one of the cinderblock steps. She has a sizable nest going in there. Last Wednesday (4/18) I saw an orangish butterfly, raggedy edged wings with eyespots. Today I think I saw a dark butterfly. Bob spotted a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW feeding in the front yard with a few JUNCOS this afternoon. I got a good look at it: black and white stripes on top of the head, yellow dots between the eyes and beak, white throat, unstreaked breast. Kicked backward with both feet — like the fox sparrow. Later in the afternoon I saw two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS on the front lawn.

At the Nature Center, MARSH MARIGOLDS are IN BUD by the walkway across the beaver ponds. KINGFISHER at the beaver pond. 4:30 or 5:00 p.m.: a new FROG has joined the chorus–breeeep, breeeep. Heard a PHOEBE. Over in the Hemlock Swamp I heard another amphibian–a flute-like trill. It may be a variation of the breeeep I heard over at the beaver pond. Saw a POLISTES NEST in the upper blind. As far as I can tell she’s building right next to a large nest from last year — or maybe she was just crawling around the top of last year’s nest. I don’t seee any larvae. Saw ONE BIG BEAVER from the blind. Found some more wildflowers almost in bloom: narrow, pointed, opposite leaves; 5 or 6 pinkish flowers in bud hanging from the stem like bells. Also YELLOW VIOLETS in bloom.

BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS — male and female — feeding on mixed seeds in the front yard. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD flew in to join them just before they all flew off. Bob just saw a PHOEBE in the back woods. He also noticed one a few days ago. FOX SPARROW still here. The ARBUTUS I’ve been watching is growing out of shallow soil on a rock near the base of the rotting stump. There is no litter directly on top of the plant, but it’s surrounded by rotting wood, moss, and lichens. The leaves feel like fine sandpaper. I heard a PHOEBE this afternoon.

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