SPRING TRAIL WORK Although “overnights” require taking more gear, they have a special quality, partly due to evenings and mornings in the mountains as well as relaxed time with other GMCers. Lorna recalls....
Trail Work is the major focus of the Bennington Section of the GMC in spring, so here's a look back at some of the highlights and memorable experiences of previous trail clearing years:
Terri Armata's Spring flora and Wildlife notes
If we have a warm, rainy evening, watch for amphibians (frogs, salamanders) as they journey across roads to pools to breed. If you find a vernal pool, take a look for jelly-like masses of frog and salamander eggs.
Look up! Raptors are making their way north too. The Broad-Winged Hawks should be moving through our area in mid-April to the beginning of May.
Be on the lookout on nice warm days for Mourning Cloak, Eastern Comma, and Compton Tortoiseshell Butterflies on dirt roads or forest trails. In rich hardwood woods, the white butterfly seen weakly flying is either the West Virginia White or the Mustard White.
Check out an exciting new Citizen Science website: eButterfly! Now you can enter your observations just like eBIrd. Vermont Center for Ecostudies is coordinating it in this State.
So... Binocs, field guides and pencils in hand everyone. This is an exciting time of year.
On February 24 Hamilton led a larger group than usual, 13, on the 8-mile cross-country ski to Heartwellville. The trip had had to be cancelled in 2006 but this year blue skies, golden sun, and enough snow (Valentine’s Day gift to us!) to ski on the river - made for perfect conditions. Even some comic relief, as our leader was the one to break through and make a moose-sized hole, from which he accepted help in getting out.
(Note: the Heartwellville trip was traditionally one of our more ambitious winter outings, until a hurricane in a later year created a tangle of brush that made the route impassible.)