June 1979


BLACK-EYED SUSANS are flowering over by Lake Champlain and in southern Vermont.

PURPLE FLOWERING RASPBERRIES are in flower. I’m noticing quite a few CHIPMUNKS around. Some MILKWEEDS are already in flower. BLACKBERRIES already in small, tight green berries. Flowers are just passing. BLUETS seem to be long gone, despite Seymour’s late blooming date of July 5. I’m finding YELLOW COCOONS around. I’ve been paying attention to SPITTLEBUGS. I took 5 five off one plant, several inside the same spit mass. They’re green with two brown “eyes” and a rear end that seems to expand (extend?) and contract.

Mickey and Bob were looking at the PHOEBES, when all of a sudden they all flew out of the nest to a nearby tree. Bob thinks there were three or four but not five.

CHICORY is in bloom. We took a Winooski Valley Park District canoe trip down the Winooski River today. It was hot and sunny. We put in at the Forest Hills access and got to play around in the riffles before we paddled over to an island in the middle of the river to wait for everybody else (lots of people on this trip). First bird we saw was a GREEN HERON. About half a mile after we started, we heard church bells ringing from the left bank. Just after the railroad bridge, I noticed a trail on the left bank. There were big EASTERN COTTONWOOD TREES on both banks of the river and lots of COTTONWOOD SEEDS floating in the air. We saw a BLACK TERN and BANK SWALLOWS diving in and out of their nest holes in a sandy bank. A plane flew over just before I caught a glimpse of the big green Beltline signs. Just after an island there’s a big white barn up to the left. At the bottom of the island there’s a lagoon leading back to the McCrea Farm. At the McCrea Farm there’s a red barn and three silos. LATER, BACK AT HOME: The Lookout does it to me every time. The view is vast and fresh and clarifying. I love sitting here with nothing but mountains stretching up from the valley in front of me. Very nice, even on a hot steamy summer evening. HAIR-CAP MOSSES have their hair caps on.

I’m thinking about writing an article about BEAVERS and what a beautiful mess they make of their ponds. Here’s one paragraph of it: “Well I did go back time and again, but somehow I always forgot my hatchet and pruning saw. The place began to grow on me.” LATER: I found two dead BUTTERFLIES on the road today, both with slugs on them. Also found a half-dead WHITE ADMIRAL. The underside of the wings is much more colorful than the top side. The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW sings what I think of as a pure and lonely song.

Roadside flowers are beginning to color up: BUTTERCUPS, DAISIES, BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL, some of the CLOVERS. Ralph Towers has just cut his first hay.

MONDAY JUNE 4, 1979
At the Beaver Pond, I saw two BEAVERS and a MALE MALLARD. The beavers are definitely trying to dam up the drainage pipe. I saw a BALTIMORE ORIOLE up in one of the dead trees. PHOEBES are back in the Upper Blind. One parent is fluttering around chipping and twitching right outside. The other one too. There’s about three inches of head space over the nest. There’s another bird’s nest over the Nature Center door that looks active (it’s big), but I haven’t seen a bird on or near it yet.

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