Some of winter’s most active mammals are hiding in plain sight. Many are busy after dark and even those that move at twilight are good at staying out of sight.
If the world seems quiet beneath its blanket of white, think again. Hidden in plain sight, or under the snow and ice, there’s plenty of winter activity. Here’s a window into some critters’ cold-weather strategies.
Thank you for outdoor recreation! The nicest thing anyone can do for a volunteer is to say, Thank you!
With most of our foliage now decomposing on the forest floor—or your lawn—we’re entering what is euphemistically called Stick Season or the Quiet Season. There are still ample opportunities for outdoor expeditions and plenty to observe in the animal kingdom.
After a dry summer/fall, recent rains and warm spells have brought on a widespread mushroom fruiting here in the Champlain Valley. For those interested in gathering and eating wild shrooms it’s a great time of year. For beginners there are two tasty ones currently fruiting that are particularly easy to identify, quite distinctive in appearance, and safe/good to eat, as well as many others.
While birdsong no longer wakes us in the early hours, there’s still plenty happening in the great outdoors. A great horned owl recently filled the night with its haunting call; critters are preparing for the long winter ahead; and early foliage has turned the local canvas from green to red and yellow.
I’m still prowling for good news in the outdoors. Rain, for starters. A break from the heat before we put on our down jackets. Both qualify!
There’s no space right now for more grim news. I will leave it to others to write about cyanobacteria blooms in Charlotte and elsewhere, drought and its sequalae, climate change, and species loss. For this moment, through rose-colored glasses, I’m reporting good news in the outdoors.
Several Charlotte residents have mentioned to The Charlotte News that they have been noticing barred owls more than usual this year. Bird Project Leader for Vermont Fish and Wildlife Doug Morin shared some of his knowledge as to why this could be.
It feels like we wait all year for fresh lettuce, and the window seems to close quickly. How can we maximize lettuce season? While lettuce is easy to grow, factors like temperature impact how well it does. Understanding timing and varieties can help yield a continuous supply throughout the summer and beyond.
There’s no shortage of distressing news these days. Let’s take a break from it all for a few paragraphs and savor some positive news.
It looks like we may be socially distancing for a while to come. If the pandemic continues, we will all need to sort out how to stay safe, healthy and sane. For many Vermonters, playing in the outdoors may be the best solution for sanity. Why not take this moment to learn something new about the natural world that lies beyond the reach of our feet or a car trip?
Much of the debate over the years on the Town Link Trail in Charlotte has included the constructive give-and-take that is the hallmark of a healthy democratic process.
Our leashes have been lengthened! Governor Phil Scott and his administration are gradually re-opening Vermont, and with that comes more opportunities to get outdoors at this beautiful time of year. Here are some ideas.
We dress like bank robbers to grocery shop. We can’t visit or hug our loved ones. Too much screen time anyone? Fear. Confusion. Isolation and loneliness for some; way too much togetherness for others. Getting outdoors can help us stay sane—and healthy! Herewith are some ideas, prohibitions, constraints.
With the vernal equinox on March 19, spring arrives. Snow could bury us any day, yet birds serenade at all hours and steam rises from sugarhouses. Crocuses and snowdrops elicit smiles. On warm rainy nights amphibians venture from winter homes to breeding territory- bodies of water.
A trip to Essex, N.Y. on the ferry from Charlotte involves traditions: lunch at the Old Dock, a walk for an ice cream down the street, cocktails at the Essex Inn, and a stroll to the playground.
The old muzzleloader has been put back into the gun cabinet. Unfired for another year.
There is a wave of sadness that I couldn’t bring a deer home this year. But on the bright side there is this: We are sitting in our makeshift shore blind fabricated from driftwood caused by an early November Nor’easter, and we’re huddled behind the twisted branches with cattails and johnson grass woven in between the homemade front.
Celebrate the holidays with gifts of the outdoors.
The first snow storm of the season dropped eight and half inches in Charlotte on Nov. 10 and into the next morning. Schools in the area were closed and fun in the snow ensued.