Journal archives for July 2021

01 July, 2021

June 2021 Photo-observations of the Month

On left, Enchrysa dissectella, a new moth for the state of Vermont! © Sarina. On right, a Walking Fern spreads across a mossy boulder. © Tom Norton.

Congratulations to Tom Norton and Sarina for winning the June 2021 Photo-observations of the Month for Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Sarina’s photo of Vermont’s first record of a moth called Enchrysa dissectella and Tom’s photo of a large patch of Walking Fern tied for the two most-faved observations in Vermont this month.

The moth known as Enchrysa dissectella has no common name and is known to range from southern Canada to North Carolina. Little else is known about this species besides its identifying markings, which most noticeably include two curved orangey stripes on the outer half of the wings. This is the first time this moth species has ever been documented in Vermont, contributing to the vast and ever-expanding Vermont Moth Atlas which includes more than 2,200 different species. Interestingly, Sarina returned a few days later to the site where the moth was first spotted and encountered the same moth species, perhaps even the same individual!

Tom Norton, better known to many iNaturalist users as simply ‘tsn’, is an identifying machine. He has provided more iNaturalist identifications than any other Vermonter, and his nearly 65,000 iNaturalist identifications in Vermont alone have helped out just about anyone who has submitted an observation to the Vermont Atlas of Life. No slouch, Tom also submits many iNaturalist observations himself, including his winning photograph of a Walking Fern spreading across a glacial erratic boulder covered in lush moss. Walking Fern is often found on mossy boulders or rocky hillsides and has a fascinating way of spreading across a patch of suitable substrate, as seen in Tom’s photo. By rooting anywhere the tip of a frond touches moist soil, new ‘children’ can begin to grow in an expanding circle around the original ‘parent’ plant. These tufts of ferns “walk” across boulders and hillsides slowly but steadily, and this unique style of growing gives them their name.

With 29,048 observations submitted by 1,900 observers in June, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Posted on 01 July, 2021 21:36 by nsharp nsharp | 0 comments | Leave a comment

12 July, 2021

Join the Vermont Moth Blitz 2021 (July 17th to 25th)

Explore Vermont's astounding moth diversity! By participating in our annual Vermont Moth Blitz, you will help the Vermont Moth Atlas develop a better understanding of the moths that call the Green Mountain State home. Join our project at Over 2,200 moth species have been documented in Vermont with new species being found all the time. Who knows, maybe you will find one! We encourage everyone, from experts to amateur enthusiasts, to find, photograph, and share their moth discoveries with the Vermont Moth Blitz during National Moth Week (July 17th-25th). Can we beat last years' tally? Check it out at The Vermont Moth Atlas is a project of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies' Vermont Atlas of Life.

Posted on 12 July, 2021 17:40 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comments | Leave a comment

22 July, 2021

Join the Vermont Mission Monarch Blitz (July 23-August 1)

Join the Vermont Mission Monarch Blitz starting tomorrow! Our aim is to contribute a snapshot of the status of Monarch populations across Vermont each year during this critical time in their life cycle. We need your help to gather this data!

For one week, the Blitz invites people across North America to look for milkweed plants and survey them for monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies. This information helps us understand changes in breeding populations and productivity in different regions each year and to identify priority areas for Monarch conservation actions.

Mission Monarch is a community science program to gather data on Monarch and Milkweed distribution and abundance each year during the breeding season. Participants find milkweedlook for Monarchs and share their observations with us on the Mission Monarch website.

Participation is simple! Just complete one or more missions during the Blitz between July 23 through August 1 and add your observations to Mission Monarch. Conducting a mission is easy and fun! From backyards to mountain meadows, all you need is a place where milkweed is growing. Learn more at

Posted on 22 July, 2021 18:36 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 1 comment | Leave a comment