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 pixelyne

Week 31

The large, white flower heads of boneset can be seen at the edges of wetlands. Its opposite leaves are fused to one another across the stem, a feature that may have given rise to the name / The tiny woodland jumping mouse can jump more than eight feet. Its nest is a ball of shredded material under a fallen tree / Jewelweed seeds are being propelled up to four feet from their explosive capsules. Jewelweed is an annual, unlike the vast majority of wildflowers.


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.


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