Dark-eyed "Slate-colored" Juncos

Oct. 24, 2014    Our driveway is filled with juncos.  They are everywhere this year and as I took a walk this morning, I kept driving little herds of them ahead of me.  It has stopped raining but the clouds are still low. It was remarkable how many birds were singing this morning.  I guess, like me, they love a rainy day.    LRL 


Oct. 23, 2014   There were over 120 crows in the hayfield this afternoon.  We thought that was a lot until I read on VTBIRD that one avid birdwatcher in Stowe counted over "3906 crows streaming down the valley."   I wonder how she counted them?   LRL  

Lake Salem, Derby, VT

May 30, 2014   Sally and Linda spent a night at the cottage on the lake and in the  morning when the sun began to warm the lake and the fog began to dissipate, Sal set up a mini art studio on the table and said "I'm going to capture the morning."   LRL 

Salem Lake, Derby, VT

Mount Olympus

July 26, 2014    R and I took a ride to the top of Mount Olympus.  It was the first time that I had been to the very top which is  2480 feet above sea level.  There are many  bright red elderberries up there.     I saw a monarch butterfly flitting around Joe Pye weed -- the first that I have seen this year. There is an excellent view of the fields that Tom Kennett of Liberty Hill Farm  has plowed and  planted to corn on the Luce Farm.  It was a beautiful afternoon ride with views that feel like forever.    LRL

Last bat?

July 28, 2014   Today was a dark and rainy day and when I looked out one of my upstairs windows, there was a black splotch on it.  Upon close inspection, I saw that it was a bat clinging to the screen.  Fortunately the bat was on the OUTSIDE of the window and flew away after a few minutes.  One evening three years ago, I stopped counting after 32 bats flew out of our attic.  Two years ago, I counted seven bats exiting and last year it was only one.   LRL  


Apr. 21, 2014    We are late putting up the  birdhouses but today it is finally done.  One pair in the opening in the stone wall between Casa M and Chez Lunna completes a bluebird trail between our homes.  The tree swallows are delirious with so many choices.  The bluebird pair kept flying to the spot where a favorite box stood  for the last few years and so I asked Rich to move one of the boxes back to that spot.  Within minutes, the bluebirds were in and out, sitting on the roof and demonstrating a marked preference for that house in that spot.  Now it's time to order mealworms to seal the deal.   LRL  

The Voice

Apr. 22, 2014    An early singer perched at the top of the white birch between the house and the garage was positively identified as a Brown Thrasher.  This virtuoso repeats each  whistle-like phrase once or twice creating an endless repertoire and an absolute joy to hear on this overcast spring morning.  Hopefully the rain that is predicted for later in the day  will help to wake up the grass.   LRL  


Jan. 17, 2014   A coyote passed by Sal's Wild Garden last  night,  circled around to the pond outlet and then apparently spent some time searching in the thick grass that grows on the berm.  It is not unusual to hear their yips and mournful howls in the night.   LRL

Snake Grass

Jan. 13, 2014   Late morning walk up the road, through the woods and around the hayfield.  Found an interesting segmented plant which I have always called Snake Grass.  Upon returning home I contacted the botanist at the Vermont Fish & Game Dept. for some help with identification of the plant. 

I was surprised to flush a Snipe and posted this on VTBIRD.  I consulted Birdwatching in Vermont by Ted Murin and Bryan Pfeiffer.  They indicate that the Snipe has a rare presence in Vermont during January and February and is “extremely unlikely to be encountered.”  I was reassured when I received an email reply to my post stating that one Snipe was recorded on January 1st in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Norwich/Hanover area.    LRL

Jan. 16, 2014   I received an email from the state botanist  concerning the "snake grass."   He wrote: " Linda, your photos appear to be Equisetum hymale, common scouring rush.  It is not protected; thanks for checking."