The Mountain Log

A week-by-week look at what is happening in nature.

A special thanks to Virginia Barlow’s Ginny’s Calendar in Northern Woodlands Magazine.

photo by Marie Carter

Week 30

Look for hummingbirds in patches of jewelweed / Young mink are on their own, but young otters will stay with their parents for several more months / Red-bellied snakes usually give birth in August. Their four to nine offspring are born live / Chipmunks are taking a break, staying underground and eating stored nuts and seeds / First blackberries are ripe.

photo by Nikopol_TO

Week 29

Raccoons are shifting from a diet that includes a fair amount of animal food to one of mostly fruits, grains, and seeds / Barn and tree swallows are migrating / Live-bearing female garter snakes spend much of the day basking, incubating their developing young at between 29 and 32°C / Red eft is the name given to the juvenile red spotted newts that leave the ponds where they were born and live on land for up to five years before returning to the water.

photo by jluscher

Week 28

At one month old, little brown bat offspring are becoming self-supporting / Monarch butterflies begin to return, just as milkweed flowers begin to open. They will soon lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves / Flickers on the ground are probably eating ants. They eat more ants than any other North American bird, using their long tongues, which have a strongly alkaline, sticky surface and may neutralize the formic acid that ants contain.

photo by tkw954

Week 27

Antlers on whitetail bucks have grown almost full sized / Syrphid flies, often boldly patterned in black and yellow, feed on flowers and are sometimes mistaken for bees / The cabbage butterflies now seen in gardens have spread across most of the U.S. since arriving from Europe in 1860. Chemicals the larvae pick up from their food make them distasteful to birds / When robins cock their heads, they aren’t listening for worms, they are looking for them.

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