April 2009

Had a picnic lunch and took a walk with Marilyn Webb Neagley and two of her women friends today. They came to see Bob’s Museum, so we walked around here–up to the pond, on up to the Thinking Bench, across the wet trail above the pond, and back to the Museum. We saw a TROUT LILY in bloom and what I think was a WIND FLOWER (WOOD ANEMONE), but I need to check my wildflower guide.


Saw the FIRST SHADBUSH in bloom along the back roadsides between here and Williston

7:00 a.m. Heard my first HOUSE WREN OF THE SEASON this morning. Bob saw the FIRST ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK at the Museum feeders today. I saw the flock of WILD TURKEYS along I-89 again this afternoon.

10:15 a.m. Beautiful sunny day: Heard a BROWN CREEPER and CHICKADEE, caught a glimpse of a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH near my Root Handle, heard the GOSHAWK and a BLUE JAY, heard and saw a BROAD-WINGED HAWK. Noticed FALSE HELLEBORE coming up along the brook. Around the beaver ponds I saw a CROW and a RAVEN and heard a SONG SPARROW, PHOEBE, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, NUTHATCH, GOLDFINCH, and ROBIN. Saw a MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY in the White Pine Meadow. Total of 15 birds for this year’s Audubon’s Birthday
Walk. LATER, on my way to Shelburne: Saw lots of COLTSFOOT IN BLOOM along Sherman Hollow Road and some MARSH MARIGOLD IN BLOOM closer to Shelburne. When I got home I finally noticed a DANDELION in bloom in my own yard. It was under the living room window near the front door growing right up against the foundation.

FIRST TREE SWALLOW OF THE SEASON perched on the wire across from the house. 3:00 p.m. Sunny, clear, and warm: Discovered quite a nice bed of WILD LEEKS right near my side yard, at the beginning of my Dogleg Boundary Trail. Saw a SMALL BAT flying around near chute where I cross the brook when I’m hiking down this way. I recently read  that if you see a bat flying around in broad daylight, it might be sick, but this little bat didn’t look or act sick. Maybe I just startled it since no one except me ever comes down this way. The RATTLESNAKE PLANTAIN leaves are looking good. Maybe I’ll see a flower bloom this year? We’ll see. Saw two big RED TRILLIUMS with fat buds almost ready to open. The red petals are already visible. Also saw two lonely WHITE HEPATICAS in bloom.
As I wander here in the early spring woods, I realize that the Earth knows what it’s doing and would do just fine without us. But I’m here too and want to feel welcome as I wander along quietly, wondering and jotting down my eternal notes on it all. I think wandering and wondering are definitely approved activities for human beings, and I just discovered a new sitting rock right here, which confirms that I am welcome in this place where I have paused to think these thoughts. So this rock, which I’m sitting on right now, will henceforth be my Welcome Rock–to go along with my Hanging Around Tree and Root Handle along this same trail. 4:05 p.m.: I’ve just arrived at the Nature Center’s chute and can hear PEEPERS peeping loudly from the lower beaver ponds. As I reached the top of the big rock at the Observation Pool, I encountered a beautiful metallic green beetle. Henry’s cows are lying down in the late afternoon sun. Saw a MALE WOOD DUCK on the beaver pond just above the bridge to the Heaths’ back meadow. The BEAVERS managed to cut down a sizable ASPEN that was growing on the steep bank of the back sugarbush. The work looks recent. A KINGFISHER flew over just as I was approaching the main crossover from the back to the front sugarbush. Spotted a PHOEBE on the far side of the crossover–TWO OF THEM. There’s a CANADA GOOSE in the water near the beaver lodge. I just heard a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER–FIRST OF THE SEASON. DUCKWEED is just starting in the Hemlock Swamp, and MARSH MARIGOLD LEAVES are coming up. Heard TREE SWALLOWS twittering overhead as I approached the far side of the swamp.

Saw a FLOCK OF TURKEYS along I-89 again. They were in approximately the same place, but the flock seemed smaller today.

Saw a FLOCK OF WILD TURKEYS right beside I-89 between South Burlington and Williston–not far from where the cars come onto the I-89 from I-189. It was a sizable flock.

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