Vermont: Flora and fauna

p8132818chipmunkftf.jpgWe saw lots of interesting animals on our hikes and bike rides, but I was never quick enough with the camera then (or camera-less entirely). But there was plenty to see close to home, too.

On the deck behind our cottage is a huge wooden bird feeder. It’s more like a trough, really, and we keep it filled with sunflower seeds. (The cottage owners make sure to keep the place stocked with a large bag of seeds.)

p8132835chipmunkcheeksftf.jpgThe feeder is visited by plenty of birds, but it also gets a fair number of chipmunk visitors, who brazenly climb in and sit inside while stuffing their cheeks full of seeds. (Click on the picture of the feeder, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Here’s one little guy, just after he visited the bird feeder. It almost seemed as though he stopped to pose for this photo, the little ham!

p8132827hummingbirdftf.jpgThere were two hummingbird feeders out there, too. And they were both very popular! I’d never been this close to hummingbirds before—they were literally a foot away from me at time. The buzzing of their wings sounds a lot like bees.

p8122458berriesftf.jpgDuring our outing to the beaver pond, we spotted lots of blackberry bushes with not-quite-ripe berries. “D’oh!” we thought. “We’re a week early!” And then, on our way back to the cottage, Jan spotted a likely blackberry patch. Ka-ching! We hit the mother lode. Wild blackberries have plenty of thorns, but if you’re willing to put up with a few scratches here and there (well, okay—maybe a lot of scratches), you end up with one of the best-tasting things in the world.

p8132756grasshopperftf.jpgThis year, Sylvia had two firsts in the animal-catching department. She caught her first frog, and she caught her first grasshopper. In both cases, she was absolutely tickled pink with her accomplishment—and extremely gentle with the animals, both of which she released. She held the grasshopper (pictured here) for a few seconds. And then, with no prompting from Jan and me, she said, “It’s time to let the grasshopper go,” opened her hands, and watched it hop away.

img_0260smokeysmall0809.jpgAnd of course you can’t have a proper vacation without at least one encounter with a pantless Smokey the Bear, right?

5 Responses to “Vermont: Flora and fauna”

  1. ariannaon 02 Oct 2008 at 10:27 am

    Haha that Smokey is WEIRD!

    Great pictures and lovely documentation of your vacation. Looks like you all really got the most out of your foresty trip. You did all of the nature things one ought to while in VT, at least in my opinion. :)

  2. Chrison 02 Oct 2008 at 4:20 pm

    *blink blink* That’s definitely a unique interpretation of Smokey!

  3. Ginaon 06 Oct 2008 at 7:53 pm


  4. Frankon 09 Oct 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Great pictures – and Smokey looks like he was lighting a cigarette!

  5. Bethanyon 18 Oct 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Heehee! We did that with the berries in Vermont too — thought we missed them, then hit the mother lode too, three of us collecting 2 gallons! Where in Vermont do you visit?