A slow start for snapping turtles

A slow start for snapping turtles

by Brett Amy Thelan One moonless May evening, my husband and I walked down to our local pond, flashlights in hand, to look for toads. We were delighted to discover hundreds of them, floating, darting and jockeying for position in an explosion of courtship. Their surround-sound trills left our ears ringing. The toads were frenzied,… Read More »

Emerald ash borers eat their way through Vermont’s ash tree population

Emerald ash borers eat their way through Vermont’s ash tree population

Jim Fuller, a former park ranger at Vermont’s Grand Isle State Park, described this interaction with a tourist from New Jersey after he confiscated their out-of-state firewood. Ranger Jim: “We are trying to keep the forests clear of invasive insects.” Tourist, as beetle fell from firewood: “You mean like that one there?” In this instance,… Read More »

April’s warmth and rain triggers nighttime march of the salamanders

April’s warmth and rain triggers nighttime march of the salamanders

By Brett Amy Thelen There’s a myth environmental educators like to tell, and it goes something like this: After every long northern winter, spring returns. Days lengthen, temperatures rise, the snowpack slowly disappears, and one afternoon, it begins to rain – a soaking, 45-degree rain that continues well into the night. On that one big… Read More »

Coyotes prepare for winter

Coyotes prepare for winter

  by Susie Spikol Faber Eight years ago, my husband and I planted 128 fruit trees on a hillside, mostly apples, but the back few rows included stone fruits. Our apples began producing with gusto after only a few years. We made gallons of cider and sold bushels of heirloom apples. But the plums have… Read More »

Summer house guests

Summer house guests

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul Perhaps the phoebe selected her nesting spot during the few days my family was away from home at the end of April. Otherwise, I can’t quite figure her decision to build a nest atop the back porch light, right next to a doorway used regularly by three children and a rambunctious… Read More »