*+-In Vermont, it’s not the robin that tells us spring is on its way, but the blackbird.
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Audrey Clark writes articles on climate change and the environment for VTDigger, including the monthly column Landscape Confidential. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from Prescott College in Arizona, she worked as a field ecology research assistant and college teaching assistant for five years. Among her adventures during that period, Audrey identified tiny flowers while kneeling on the burning ground in the Mojave Desert in the summer, interviewed sea turtle poachers in Africa, and tracked wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. Audrey began studying the nature of Vermont in 2010 and received her master’s of science from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program in 2012. She has worked as a freelance environmental journalist since then. She also works at UVM’s Pringle Herbarium, where she handles 100-year-old plant specimens. Audrey is learning fiddle and scientific illustration and lives in Burlington with her partner, cat, several dozen guppies, a few shrimp, and too many snails.
Email: [email protected]
*+-As Thomas Visser details in his book, “Porches of North America,” a porch is a place where social and domestic activities meet and merge, a place that communicates our social standing and offers security, and a place where we seek health and comfort.
*+-The three-year, $130,000 grant will fund research into which hops varieties are most resistant to pests.
*+-The science of freezing creates the beauty of hoar frost, rime ice and snow rollers, as well as the dangers of power outages and slipping on ice.
*+-Red squirrels are perhaps the greatest devourers of mushrooms, fresh and dried. A 1924 article by William Cram in the Journal of Mammalogy is apparently the first scientific report of red squirrels drying mushrooms.
*+-Three of the 15 bumble bee species found in Vermont are thought to be extinct and at least one other species is in decline.
*+-Forged by melting glaciers, ancient deltas can be found all over Vermont, perched along the slopes of every major valley in the state.
*+-While it is the time of year to celebrate Vermont’s foliar beauty — oh, the colors! — it is also the time of year to note the many ways insects make a living off of leaves.
*+-In 2011 spring floods and the tropical storm pummeled the forest, uprooted trees, bashed bark, devoured soil. How do trees survive such an assault?
*+-Because many invasive plants are highly adaptable, they are poised to respond to climate change more quickly than most native plants.
*+-Some scientists say climate change will help invasive weeds spread and thrive. Others aren’t ready to take a stand.
*+-Not only is Vermont’s climate getting warmer, which allows cold-blooded pests to do better here, but the changes in water availability stresses trees and lowers their ability to defend themselves.
*+-The “grandmother of Vermont’s endangered species law” and VINS founder leaving after 32 years on state committee for endangered species.