The brook floater mussel

The brook floater mussel

SUSIE SPIKOL Freshwater mussels are not exactly charismatic. They don’t flit gracefully about like a Karner blue butterfly or munch on clover like a cottontail. They aren’t known for their sweet songs like a wood thrush, and they don’t close down traffic on the first rainy night of spring like spotted salamanders. They are fish… Read More »

Early summer nights great for luna moth watching

Early summer nights great for luna moth watching

SUSAN SHEA On early summer nights I sometimes see large, pale green moths with long, twisted tails fluttering near our porch light. Later, I often find them dead on the ground. These beautiful moths are luna moths, named for the Roman goddess of the moon. Each of their four wings has a transparent, moon-shaped eyespot.… Read More »

Lovely lupines: Not native to New England

Lovely lupines: Not native to New England

LAURIE D. MORRISSEY Lupine is one of the most spectacular flowers of early summer, painting long stretches of roadside with shades of purple and blue. Thanks to this tall, showy plant, even a stop-and-go drive to Boston’s Logan Airport has its moments of beauty (as I recently had occasion to observe). Full sun and dry,… Read More »

The humble hornpout: a bottom-feeding delicacy

The humble hornpout: a bottom-feeding delicacy

JOE RANKIN Consider, for a second, a fish that can live in turbid, low-oxygen water. It can breathe through its skin, eats almost any-thing, has a wickedly effective defense mechanism and is a really focused parent. Plus, it’s good to eat. We’re talking about the humble hornpout, or “horned pout,” if you prefer. Or “mud… Read More »

Keep distance from fawns

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says fawns are being born this time of year and asks that people avoid disturbing or picking them up.  Most fawns are born in late May and the first and second weeks of June, according to Vermont deer biologist Nick Fortin.  Fortin says it is best to keep your… Read More »

Fish scales and the American shad

Fish scales and the American shad

TIM TRAVER It’s tempting to simply view fish scales as armor, but there’s more to them than that. They provide camouflage; they also play a role in locomotion. For scientists working on the recovery of American shad in the Connecticut River, scales provide a record of a fish’s life history and a way to measure… Read More »

Be on the lookout for frogs, salamanders crossing

One of the great wildlife migrations is happening right now in Vermont, and it’s taking place right at our feet. You may have already heard the spring peepers or wood frogs calling in your backyard. Amphibians are on the move, but their spring breeding migration can too often become deadly. Amphibians migrate by the thousands… Read More »

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