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Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
 
 
Sunday, November 3, 2002
 
Eastern BluebirdA couple of days ago, one of my neighbors saw six eastern bluebirds near her house. It's likely that they were migrating further south.

However, some bluebirds do stay in New England during the winter - mostly in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and parts of Massachusetts. The Christmas Bird Count map also shows some winter sightings in southern Vermont.
Photo© Mike Danzenbaker   
 
Saturday, November 2, 2002
 
Usually by this time of year most of the leaves have fallen - except a few lingering on beech and oak trees.

This year, a lot of leaves have fallen, but there are still a lot on the trees. Some trees even have green leaves - mostly the beeches. Don't know what would cause this, but guess that it might have something to do with the weather we had this summer or the weather we're having now (cold!).
 
 
Friday, November 1, 2002
 
Evening SkyHere's a pretty evening sky. Seems like we see more colorful skies on fall evenings than during the summer. Not sure why.

Often the color lasts less than a half hour. Took this photo facing to the east, so this is not the sunset,
just the pink/orange glow of light reflected on the clouds. Click to enlarge    
 
 
Thursday, October 31, 2002
 
Was out walking today and noticed a lot of basswood leaves on the ground. The leaves of the American basswood are large and heart-shaped.

The fruit of this tree consists of small nutlets which are eaten by bobwhite, ruffed grouse, and chipmunks.
 
 
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
 
Many ferns have become yellow by now.

Christmas FernBut the Christmas fern - as seen in the photo to the right - remains green throughout the year.

This is a common fern found throughout New England. The fronds grow upright in the spring and then gradually fall down to the ground.
 
 
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
 

This afternoon I noticed a sudden increase in the volume and pitch of the "chipping" sounds that the chipmunks make. I looked outside to see what was going on and saw a hawk fly to a beech tree near the house.

Suddenly the chipmunks were silent. The hawk sat on a branch watching for prey below. I tried to get a picture of the hawk but then it flew to a tree further away. Don't know if the hawk got its meal or not, but it was a long time before the chipmunks started chipping again.

Could only see the hawk's tail and a little bit of its back, so couldn't identify it. (And I was too busy trying to get a picture!). I could tell from the tail that it wasn't a red-tailed hawk, but otherwise it will remain a mystery hawk to me.

 
 
Monday, October 28, 2002
 
Bird's NestNow that a lot of the leaves have fallen, it's easier to spot bird's nests in the trees. Here's one that I found recently.

Not being very good at identifying bird's nests, I'm making a wild guess by saying that it might be a vireo's nest.

It looks like it's constructed of white
birch bark, other bark fibers, and grasses - all held together with spider webs. It's lined inside with pine needles and was hanging about 5 or 6 feet off the ground. The diameter is about 2 inches. Click to enlarge    
 
 
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