Autumn Calls of Spring Peepers

Many people associate the call of peepers, the smallest frog in Connecticut, with the arrival of spring. Recently, while hiking on a warm fall day, I heard the “peeping” of Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer). It wasn’t the huge chorus you usually hear at vernal pools and shallow ponds in March and April. It was justContinue reading “Autumn Calls of Spring Peepers”

They’re on the March

We often think of migration as long-distance treks by birds, mammals, and fish traveling to wintering or nesting grounds. Animal migrations, however, can be short. They can even happen right in your own yard or neighborhood. Right now, Banded Woolly Bear caterpillars (Pyrrharctia isabella) are on the move to find places to overwinter, such asContinue reading “They’re on the March”

Is Connecticut Their Florida?

Retirees who want to escape the cold and ice to spend the winter down south are known as “snowbirds.” Actually, this nickname describes the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). Juncos are arriving here now after spending the summer nesting in the mountains of New England and in the Canadian Boreal Forest. They will head back northContinue reading “Is Connecticut Their Florida?”

Autumn Colors Were Already There, Mostly

They’re changing now. It’s that time here in Connecticut when deciduous trees change color and add drama to our forests and landscapes. Most of the colors we see in beautiful autumn foliage have been there all along. As day length and temperature decrease, the cells between the leaf and the petiole (stem) develop a corkyContinue reading “Autumn Colors Were Already There, Mostly”

Plant Extra Parsley Next Spring

Last week I found some late stage, or instar, Black Swallowtail caterpillars on my parsley plants. I couldn’t believe that I missed seeing them earlier. If you have sunny, meadow-like areas nearby, as well as gardens with flowering perennials, there a good chance you’ll see them, as these are the larvae of the most commonContinue reading “Plant Extra Parsley Next Spring”