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Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
 
   
  Saturday, October 25, 2003
   
  Black-capped ChickadeeSaw a small flock of chickadees in the woods today.

They were flitting around in an area of mixed hemlocks and hardwoods and I could hear their high-pitched "tseet" calls. This call is thought to be used by chickadees to keep in
  contact with each other.

My neighbors saw a black bear cub yesterday. They said it wandered around for a while in a fairly open field. It also climbed a hemlock tree, walked out on a branch, and looked as though it were trying to reach some apples in a nearby apple tree. My neighbors didn't see the cub's mother anywhere.
   
   
  Thursday, October 23, 2003
   
  Looks like we're having an early start to winter. We had a few snow flurries yesterday morning, about an inch of snow last night, and flurries most of the day today.

The chipmunks must have retreated to their underground burrows - at least temporarily. Didn't see or hear a single one today.
   
 
  Tuesday, October 21, 2003
   
  Foliose LichenI found this little twig in the woods with some lichen on it. This type of lichen is very common in the area.

I believe it's a foliose lichen. To make a wild guess, the species might be Platismatia glauca, which is known by the common name of Varied Rag
  Lichen or just Rag Lichen.
   
   
  Sunday, October 19, 2003
   
  I've seen many, many species of mushrooms this year that I haven't been able to identify. Part of the problem is that it's hard to see underneath some mushrooms without uprooting them - which I am reluctant to do. And, evidently, the underside is important for identification.

However, I have found a great website that has both a database of different species, along with photos, and a handy identification tool. (Please do not use this site to determine which mushrooms are edible.)
   
 
  Friday, October 17, 2003
   
  Maple LeavesWhen I was walking in the woods today, I saw these beautiful maple leaves showing their color against some evergreens.

We've had some high winds over the last couple of days, which has brought down a lot of leaves. But
  there are still a lot hanging on!
   
   
  Wednesday, October 15, 2003
   
  When I was out walking today, I saw a ruffed grouse - for the first time this year. I usually see them quite often during the summer, but they haven't been frequenting their usual territory this year.

Since the grouse I saw was fairly small, I think it might have been a juvenile. This is the time of year that the juveniles disperse, so perhaps this one was seeking out its own territory.
   
   
  Monday, October 13, 2003
   
  Fall Foliage on MountainsideThe fall foliage looks like it's getting close to peak.

We started out with a lot of brown leaves this year, so it didn't look very promising early on. But now the colors are really beautiful.
 
   
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