Nature Notes

Bobcat, Lynx rufus, back of Joe Dodge Lodge, Pinkham NotchPhoto credit: AMC Staff A few weeks ago our custodian was leaving work mid-afternoon when to his left he saw something the size of a dog.  But it had a five-inch bobbed tail; tufty ears; and large hind feet. Authorities in the area identified it as…

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Springtails, Collembola, or jumping “snow fleas”Photo credit: Ellen Kimbal On a sunny, warm day in late February or early March if you come upon an area of snow where it looks like someone stopped and dumped black ice-cream sprinkles on the ground, take a closer look.  What you see is an insect–nicknamed the snow flea,…

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Pinkham Notch’s staff naturalist, Nicky Pizzo, recorded this chorus of coyotes, Canis latrans, from her back porch in Gorham, NH. Listen here to their distinctive song, which they unabashedly let loose to communicate with other coyote families, to keep track of their own family, and, at this time of year, to find a mate. On January 22,…

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Red Fox Tracks

January 22, 2014

Red fox, Vulpes vulpes, tracksPhoto credit: Meg Skidmore A clear red fox track will be symmetrical–you can draw an X between the toe and metacarpal pads–and has four toe (with nail) imprints. The fox’s natural rhythm is a direct-register trot, so look for a straight line in an open field and then look at the…

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Moose scrape off the Blanchard Loop TrailPhoto credit: Whitney McCann Moose scrape is one way to track moose all times of year.  The moose scrapes the bark of broad-leafed trees with its incisors to get at the tree’s cambium, or nutrient-rich tissue layer.   “Incisor scraping is not done with the largest of the incisors, because…

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White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensisPhoto credit: Whitney McCann The White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis.  This short-tailed, long-billed songbird is best known for its acrobatic tendencies as it descends tree trunks head first.  It searches for insects and seeds under the bark as it makes its way down hardwood trees, occasionally stopping to look around by swiveling its…

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Part I Part II Part III Part IV This Thanksgiving weekend at AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge children guests made a birds’ midwintertree.  Garlands of cranberries, orange and apple slices, and peanuts were strung and hung onthe Mountain ash, Sorbus americana, outside the Visitor’s Center in hopes of attracting anoverwintering chickadee, jay, or finch.  The red squirrel, Tamiasciurus…

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Needle ice Photo credit: Whitney McCann Unlike rime ice, which is influenced by wind, needle ice is influenced by temperature and seen in late fall when there isn’t snow cover but the air is freezing.  When underground cold running water contacts a frozen ground surface, the water freezes at the interface, adds to the ice,…

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2 inch diameter stump withturkey tail fungus Blond beaver stickon north side of Lost Pond Gnawed balsam firon north side of Lost Pond “Beavers are the only animals, other than humans, that will create entirely new ecosystems for their own use. And often, like humans, once they have depleted an area’s resources, they will abandon their…

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Ophyridium versitale, the green jelly blobPhoto credit: Emily Hey We took one of the green jelly blobs, Ophyridium versitale, inside for a week and monitored it under a Swift 80 microscope.  It looks like bumper cars in there.  Hundreds of tiny seed-like black specs are moving waywardly around the jelly mass, bumping into each other.  These…

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