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UVM Blogs

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  • Blue jays and bird colors

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    by Nancy Olmstead The woman who lives downstairs from me feeds the pigeons almost every morning.  I know she’s out there when I hear a great swooshing of wings: dozens of pigeons flutter down to our driveway to greet her.  She’ll also put out peanuts for the squirrels.  Sometimes a crafty blue jay slips in [...]
    Posted October 16, 2011.
  • Fern Surgery

    Fern Surgery
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    by Carly Brown The hand saw sits on the disinfected countertop. Fresh fern-appropriate soil waits in a bucket next to my workstation.  I wheel the ferns in on their ‘gurney’, a garden cart that I pull through the greenhouse to the office. I pass by the succulents, the lipstick tree, and finally the cacti. I am [...]
    Posted October 15, 2011.
  • Witch-Hazel: The Honeybee’s Last Forage

    Witch-Hazel: The Honeybee’s Last Forage
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    by Leah Mital-Skiff We extracted honey this weekend from our backyard hive.  The late date of this final extraction is evident in the density of the deep-amber goldenrod-dominant honey.  Its slow movement through the series of filters on a cold day reminds our family that we should be out apple picking rather than forcing our bees [...]
    Posted October 11, 2011.
  • New Life Storms into the Forest

    New Life Storms into the Forest
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    by Liz Brownlee The roots stretch high into the sky – ten feet, maybe fifteen.  Soil hangs midair, clinging to the roots. A tiny white pine sits in the depression, reaches for the warm, gaping hole in the forest canopy. The red maple once towered ninety feet tall, spreading its arms wide into the canopy.  Screech [...]
    Posted October 09, 2011.
  • A Conversation with Norman Myers

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    by Liz Brownlee UVM Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning (FNEP) students sat down with Dr. Norman Myers this week for a casual conversation.  He is on campus this week for multiple talks, including a “Gund Institute Tea” this Friday.   We bantered back and forth about biodiversity, social engagement, and the future of the planet.  Dr. Myers…[Read more]
    Posted October 06, 2011.
  • Canada mayflower – more than meets the eye

    Canada mayflower – more than meets the eye
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    By Nancy Olmstead What is an individual plant?  It’s pretty clear when you are looking at an individual squirrel, or an individual blue jay: it starts at the tail and ends at the head.  The question gets harder to answer when you look at some kinds of plants, including many of our New England forest wildflowers.  [...]
    Posted October 04, 2011.
  • The Fall Migration of Raptors

    The Fall Migration of Raptors
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    By Emily Brodsky Just about when the leaf peepers begin flocking to the roadways to observe Vermont’s spectacular autumn foliage, an equally-enthusiastic set of nature lovers is trekking up the peaks to watch a different seasonal event: the fall migration of raptors.  Also known as “birds of prey,” this majestic group includes the eagles, falcons,…[Read more]
    Posted October 02, 2011.
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit: The Forest Floor's Hermaphrodite

    Jack-in-the-pulpit: The Forest Floor's Hermaphrodite
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    By Leah Mital-Skiff I don’t want to make any controversial statements about whether it is easier to be ma le or female, but it is tempting in this case. When times are good on the forest floor, Jack turns into Jackie and when the going gets rough, Jackie turns back into Jack.  We could say that Jackie likes [...]
    Posted October 01, 2011.
  • Doll's Eyes

    Doll's Eyes
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    by Sophie Mazowita A dozen eyeballs, dangling from their sockets, stared up at me on my last walk through the woods.  I was strolling through the forest on a gloomy Sunday afternoon, seeking out plants for a botany project, when I came across the startling sight.  The small eyes stood out from ten yards away, stretched [...]
    Posted September 29, 2011.