August 2020: Describe your walk by adding a comment below

Each time you go out and make observations for this project, describe your walk by adding a comment to this post. Include the date, distance walked, and categories that you used for this walk.

Suggested format:
Date. Place. Distance walked today. Total distance for this project.
Brief description of the area, what you saw, what you learned, who was with you, or any other details you care to share.

Posted by erikamitchell erikamitchell, August 01, 2020 15:38



8/1/20. Lightening Ridge Rd, Calais VT, 0.2 miles today
Categories: birds, road kill
This morning I walked along Lightening Ridge Rd in search of birds. Unfortunately, I forgot to check my camera battery before I left home, and I also forgot my spare battery. I had just gotten started when the battery in my camera blinked out, so I ended up turning around almost right after I started. Nevertheless, I found an indigo bunting, some chickadees, some song sparrows, some yellowthroats, and a mysterious warbler that is probably not so mysterious to someone who really knows birds. This one was greenish yellow on top and light on the bottom with an eye ring and wing bars. I wonder if it’s actually a female blue-headed vireo. Road kill was a frog/toad and very large, very fresh garter snake.

8/1/20. #10 Pond, Calais VT, 1.8 miles today
Categories: bees, birds, road kill

Later in the morning I went out to #10 Pond to meet up with our Saturday morning hiking group. Except, I was the only one to show up. Still, I had a very pleasant walk around the edge of the pond. On my way back, I did the loop around the end of the pond through North Calais village to check out the gardens and invasive plants there to see what might be attracting bees. There were extremely few birds around the pond, especially mid-morning. Oddly, even though this is a pond, bird life here is quite sparse. I did see the loon on the pond, heard 8 red-eyed vireos, and saw a single song sparrow. Down in the village, I saw a robin, and then when I was standing beside a roadside flower garden checking the echinacea for bees, a hummer came right up beside me to inspect the bee balm. That was a thrill! It nearly made up for getting scolded for not wearing a mask. That happened as I walked the dirt road around the end of the pond on G.A.R. road. A beat-up cabin there got sold recently to some out of state folks who put a sign up on it that says “Magic Mirror Lake”. Mirror Lake is the state’s official name for the pond, but locals continue to call it #10 Pond. The new owners of the cabin don’t like the fact that locals keep coming by to swim at the tiny clearing across the road from their pond, as they have for generations. This morning as I walked by the cabin by myself, a bandana around my neck and mask in my pocket in case I actually encountered anyone else on the road, I noted huge piles of junk beside the cabin—apparently, the owners are ditching everything that was indoors. Just then, a woman came out of the cabin, 50’ away growling. She muttered under her breath, “I thought everyone was supposed to be wearing masks today.” Maybe she’s just bitter about vandalism to the cabin over the winter. Or maybe just a bitter person in general. Perhaps the woman lives in a state that has a much more strictly worded mask mandate. I guess I am a little more appreciative of the governor’s wording of the mask mandate that goes into effect today, which says that people must wear masks if they cannot avoid being 6’ away from others, but they don’t have to wear them while exercising outdoors. I thought I was strict about mask wearing, but I guess not strict enough for everyone. In any case, I was quite successful in my bee hunt, finding masked bees on Queen Anne’s lace, honeybees and bumblebees on those blue prickly pointed flowers, and lots of sweat bees and lasioglossum on fleabane. Lots of road kill around the pond: frog/toads, 2 small turtles, a small garter snake, and a short-tailed shrew.

Posted by erikamitchell about 14 hours ago (Flag)

8/2/20 Marshfield Pond, Marshfield VT, 3 miles today
Categories: insects, birds, roadkill

I skipped my morning walk this morning because we kept having rain showers. In the afternoon I drove out to Marshfield Pond with my husband. While he rode up and down the old railroad bed that pretends to be a road on his unicycle, I did a combination bee and bird walk. Except, it was cloudy and barely 70F. The only bees out were a few bumbles. And most of the birds were asleep. I managed to shoot some cedar waxwings, a song sparrow, and a robin. I also found common eastern and tricolored bumblebees, plus a few wasps. The road kill, on the other hand, was quite plentiful, mostly toads, with a perhaps a flattened frog and a very flat garter snake.

Posted by erikamitchell about 14 hours ago (Flag)

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