Journal archives for April 2015

07 April, 2015

Vote for the March Photo-observation of the Month

Last month's winner, Joshua Lincoln, selected 7 photo-observations as finalists from over 400 March images. With your help, one of these will be crowned the March winner. Please comment indicating the numbers of your favorite shots. You get 3 votes. Place them wherever you'd like. You can put them all with one photo-observation or spread them out. The choice is yours. And be sure to get your photo-observations entered this month for a chance to be the April winner!

Posted on 07 April, 2015 13:45 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 13 comments | Leave a comment

11 April, 2015

Atlas of Vermont Odonata Updated

The atlas of dragonflies and damselflies of Vermont has been updated at Odonata Central by the Vermont Atlas of Life. Two new discoveries in 2014 now brings the total number of Odonata, the order of insects containing dragonflies and damselflies, to 142 species.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of odonate experts Mike Blust and Bryan Pfeiffer, the atlas covers the distribution of all 142 species known from Vermont, including all of the resident and regular migrant species, as well as all known vagrants - individual insects appearing well outside their normal range. Blust and Pfeiffer conducted fieldwork across Vermont for years, with the help of other enthusiasts, and compiled an amazing dataset of Vermont's odonates. Their work will soon be published in Dragonfly Society of the Americas journal Bulletin of Odonatology.

Since 2013, biologists and citizen naturalists with the Vermont Atlas of Life have contributed new records to the effort through iNaturalist Vermont and directly to Odonata Central. And there have been some remarkable finding over the last few seasons.

Read more... 

Posted on 11 April, 2015 14:20 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comments | Leave a comment

14 April, 2015

March Photo-observation of the Month Winner

Congratulations to Larry Clarfeld for winning the March iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. Last month's winner, Joshua Lincoln, selected 7 photo-observations as finalists for popular vote by iNaturalist Vermont users. Larry's image of a Ring-billed Gull with a fish in its bill among the turbid waters of the Winooski River was by far the most popular shot. He has more amazing shots of these gulls on the North Branch Nature Center's blog too.

Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you and submit it to iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, and you could be a winner this month!

Posted on 14 April, 2015 15:21 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comments | Leave a comment

19 April, 2015

Mission: Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Phenology

Spring ephemeral wildflowers are perennial woodland plants that sprout from the ground early each spring, quickly bloom and seed before the canopy trees overhead leaf out. Once the forest floor is deep in shade, the leaves wither away leaving just the roots, rhizomes and bulbs underground. It allows them to take advantage of the full sunlight levels reaching the forest floor during early spring.

Long-term flowering records initiated by Henry David Thoreau in 1852 have been used in Massachusetts to monitor phenological changes. Phenology, the study of the timing of natural events such as migration, flowering, leaf-out or breeding, is key to examine and unravel the effects of climate change on ecosystems. Record-breaking spring temperatures in 2010 and 2012 resulted in the earliest flowering times in recorded history for dozens of spring-flowering plants of the eastern United States.

We have the opportunity to start long-term monitoring across Vermont. We've chosen 10 common spring ephemeral wildflowers for everyone to monitor. Find a plot to monitor in a forest near you or simply record the status of those you find around Vermont. When you enter them on the Vermont Atlas of Life, please include a photograph(s) of the plant and in the box next to "Add a field" type in Flowering Phenology (select bare, flower, or fruit).

Focal Wildflowers (click to see field guide):

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana)
Red Trillium (Trillium erectum)
Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum)
Starflower (Trientalis borealis)
Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis)
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Posted on 19 April, 2015 23:09 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 6 comments | Leave a comment