Login

Nature's Notebook

Some numbers

There are 3,135,360 acres in Connecticut. 
The highest point in the state is on the south side of Mount Frissell, in Salisbury: 2,380 feet above sea level.
The lowest point is on the coast near Long Island Sound: 0 feet.
There are 1,301,670 households in the state.
Forested Connecticut-owned land consists of 107 state parks (37,741 acres) and 32 state forests (169,394 acres). Plus unmeasured land beneath a canal and rail trail. And two fish hatcheries and 16 wildlife management areas, for which an acreage listing is elusive.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Habitat networks as a conservation key

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Caillé au fromage

There’s a handful of thriving dairy farms in North Canaan, others are scattered around the Northwest Corner, but this can hardly be called farm country in comparison with the Eastern Townships of Quebec, around Sherbrooke and extending to Montreal.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Potatoes

I dug the potato crop last month. It seemed early, but the tops drooped and browned, so I hoed out the underground nuggets. I only purchased three seed taters this year, cut them in half, got six plants and got modest results — better than the previous year.
I’ve stopped putting our yard mulch in the garden, as the soil was getting too dense. We’ve spread a bag or two of sand on part of the garden each spring  for the root vegetables. 
The last two years, the results were scabby and had insect bite marks. This year they were better.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

The puzzle of ‘native’ invasives

A number of years ago, I was part of a working group that developed criteria for determining whether a plant should be considered invasive or had the potential to become so in Massachusetts. 
Our assessment criteria considered whether a species had the biologic potential for rapid and widespread distribution and dispersal across spatial gaps in minimally managed habitats, but we only evaluated plants that were non-indigenous to Massachusetts. 
In other words, to be classified as invasive in the Commonwealth, a plant had to be non-native.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Pilings

I live nowhere near the ocean, but I’m fond of abandoned pilings, remnants of long-gone wharfs and docks. So I read with great interest a recent newspaper story about a community disagreement over removing 150 or so tilting pilings off Popham Beach in Maine.
A developer wants to clear the beachfront below his new home, asserting the pilings there could contribute to flooding, what with expected rising ocean levels due to climate change. This is according to a piece in the Aug. 15 Boston Globe. 

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

The slow shift has begun

August has a lot more in common with April in these latitudes than one might expect. Each month is the hinge on which the season pivots but, like a door, the weather can swing back and forth from one extreme to another. It can snow or exceed 90 degrees in early spring, and plunge between heat wave and cold snap when the calendar insists it is still summer. The earliest frost I can remember in the last 20 years was in early September, but there are always signs, even when the days are warm, that the flood has crested and the tide has started to ebb toward autumn.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Ants go marching

Recent travels on the Massachusetts Turnpike have been less than enjoyable. Taking a sister to a medical appointment in Boston in late winter, we encountered traffic blockage just before the Sturbridge exit. A truck had T-boned a tractor trailer exiting a service area. We inched off the Pike onto a secondary highway — and inched forward on that road for an hour and a half. 
Fortunately, a cellphone call to Mass. General Hospital confirmed the surgeon would reschedule for later in the day.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Roadside mowing

It pleases me to see roadsides being mown this time of year.One reason is nostalgia for my teenage summer days driving a Farmall (or, one season, a John Deere with a hand clutch) and cutting hayfields and old pastures. 
Another reason is the mowing sometimes exposes stone walls and other roadside features that tell a story.
The best reason is, without the mowing, roadside vegetation quickly creeps close to the pavement or gravel.
Some complain that the mowing wastes money and gasoline and impedes Nature.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Lightning bugs & bears

It is a hot summer night and the fireflies and bears are out in my neighborhood. I caught a glimpse of one of the latter, ambling into a side yard two houses from mine, after I heard dogs barking and my neighbors across the street yelling at something to get out of their garbage. 
As for the lightning bugs, they generally go about their business unremarked, singly in the shadows. We used to have more fireflies and fewer bears, but this is the fourth bear I’ve seen this year and fireflies are few.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.