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 Rick Leche

Week 48

Red-breasted nuthatches are territorial in winter; a pair will defend about 10 acres / Look for evergreen wood fern and Christmas fern in the woods and for rock polypody on rocky outcrops before the snow gets deep. These ferns stay green all winter / Noisy flocks of pine grosbeaks (chee-chip or chee-chip-chip) will leave the hulls of white ash seeds on the ground after feeding on the seeds / Roadkill may account for an increase in the winter crow population.


Photo by dmott9

Week 47

Mice will move indoors after a heavy snow. Considering their size, they make a lot of noise / Until snow covers them, blueberry bushes will be browsed by deer / The glossy, toothed leaves of pipsissewa, or prince’s pine, stay green all winter. Its botanical name, Chimaphila, is from the Greek and means “to love winter”.


Photo by dmott9

Week 46

Mice will move indoors after a heavy snow. Considering their size, they make a lot of noise / Until snow covers them, blueberry bushes will be browsed by deer / The glossy, toothed leaves of pipsissewa, or prince’s pine, stay green all winter. Its botanical name, Chimaphila, is from the Greek and means “to love winter”.


Photo by Ed Gaillard

Week 45

At over 100 pounds, this year’s male bear cubs have well outgrown the females / The brown, fertile fronds of sensitive fern will release spores in spring. Gray fronds are two years old, and their spores are already gone / Chipping sparrows have big appetites: each one will eat 160 times its weight in seeds over the course of a winter / Bullfrogs and green frogs spend the winter in ponds, insulated against freezing by the layer of ice on top of the pond.


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