Thursday, March 10, 2016
52 degrees here on the mountain above Peacham Pond. The sky is dark and some more rain is en route for later today. I just checked an old weather journal I used to keep and the entries were interesting. Today in 1977, it was 57°. In 1999, March-to-date was 18° below the norm. March 10th was -3° to start that day but it ended at +30° with sun. That year had a year-to-date accumulation of 61.9" of snow in Burlington, more here, and still had 83" of snow on Mt Mansfield. This week often has had snow, rain, freezing rain, slushy roads and mud. Today the first grackles appeared.This is the last day that we will have the feeders out as the birds are actively taking down all the remaining suet.
There was a prediction a month ago that the months of March, April and May would be much warmer than usual. Clearly the winter has been on track with the warmest conditions since 1912. The warmer temperatures have been a more recent situation with talk of climate change supported by the readings we have seen. I have noticed the warming trends by way of insect populations. Bad insects. Different insects. Unknown insects. Lots of insects.
Today's Entomology Today has an interesting article on an insidious insect I don't like. The stink bug. Take a look at the accompanying link and read on. There are a few different stink bugs in New England and research suggests they are impacted differently by warmer weather. Some findings are encouraging, some not so good for the summer to come.
Some place in my folders I have pictures of the brown marmorated stink bug that I really dislike.... but.... I cannot find them today. These are pictures (above) of the green stink bug but should suggest what you might have seen in your gardens. The next image is one copied from the article to remind you what to look for during spring garden clean up. Don't be surprised to find masses of stink bugs just hatching out but still piled on top of each other as shown here.
We are a while away from spring clean up here in Marshfield. Lots of storms are expected before we get better weather but some readers are already well into clean up. Keep in mind your weather conditions and what insects you see as you rake leaves, pick up branches, see damage from voles or deer. If you live in this time zone, don't forget the clock this weekend.
Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where I just watched a neighbor unload car passengers, say a prayer and then gun the engine to get through the mud and to the top of the hill. If you're coming to see me today, park at the top of the hill and walk. A tow truck operator I do not aspire to be.
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