Plant Trees with 350Vermont this Spring!

Rewild Brattleboro
Planting trees, sowing justice, growing community

350VT’s statewide Rewild Vermont project builds on synergies between food justice, climate action, and ecological restoration, and we’re excited to dig in locally! Fill out this google form to reserve trees to be planted this spring, either as an individual or as an organization.

The Much-Needed Snow

snow person head

I think we all needed this snowfall. There’s something calming about a big blanket of snow that keeps people inside, vehicles off the road, and so on.  

It purifies. Think how happy Dorothy and friends were to have Glinda cover them in snowy flakes. It took away the witch’s spell.

Isaias Heading Toward Vermont

Tropical Storm Isaias is pounding the Mid-Atlantic as I type this, and is heading our way. And although it is centered over Maryland right now, we’re getting hit with the outer bands of rain already. This storm stretches from Virginia to Canada at the moment.

Originally it was tracking to the east of us, then directly over us. Unfortunately for this area, the storm track has shifted west and the center is aiming at Albany. That puts us in the “worst” quadrant of the storm – the 12-3 o’clock positions. The heaviest rain and winds are usually in this section of a storm like this.

Oh, Yeah. The Climate… New IEA Report Offers Sustainable Recovery Plan

Coronavirus. Protests. Police. Elections. Masks. There is a lot to be thinking about right now.

Add that pesky climate emergency back on the list:

“The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe, one of the world’s foremost energy experts has warned.

Baby Robins – From Egg to Fledgling

In addition to the baby foxes this spring, we were treated to a robin’s nest outside of our dining room window. An enterprising pair of robins built a really great nest in the rhododendron bush, and three blue eggs were sat upon by mom.

I got a bit of video every day, from egg to feathered baby robins leaving the nest.

Friday Fun – Fifteen Minutes of Family of Four Furry Fox Kittens (video)

We had a real treat last week. I was looking out the back door as I often do and noticed a few little heads peeking out from under one of our outbuildings. One, two, three… oh my… four baby foxes!

From last Friday through Wednesday we got to watch them come out for the first time to explore the world. Mom came back at regular intervals to check on them, but she’d leave them for extended periods while she went off hunting.

A Ballet of Rain

I found myself standing in the upstairs window, watching the rain fall in the meadow outside and humming “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”  Clearly, I thought, I want to ride away on a sunshiny day in search of adventure.  Realizing that wasn’t likely, I continued to watch the rain as it fell, gradually noticing the budding silver maple just outside the window.

Emerald Ash Borer Preparedness & Management Workshop

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a destructive and invasive forest pest that feeds on all species of ash trees in North America. Over 99% of ash trees will likely succumb to EAB and die. With EAB confirmed recently in Windham and Bennington Counties (Londonderry and Stamford, VT), communities in the region are encouraged to prepare for the impacts of the pest. Windham Regional Commission, in coordination with the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program will hold a Emerald Ash Borer Prepardness & Management Workshop on January 29, 2020 from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the Newbrook Fire & Rescue Community Room at 698 VT Route 30, Newfane, VT.

Moose Sighting in Brattleboro

On Friday October 11, 2019 I encountered a bull moose off the beaten trail of some woods in Brattleboro.  Earlier in the week on Monday, I had seen the same moose, or perhaps a different one, in the exact same location.  Before I saw the moose, I had encountered a pile of his fresh poop, and marveled over how each piece was the size of an acorn! 

Autumn Crickets — Singing Their Way Back Home

Mr Cricket In Cup

At first, I thought our cat was bringing them in.  There seemed to be a cricket in every corner — crickets behind the bookcase, crickets in the sink, crickets behind the refrigerator, all chirping away.  As fast as we could catch them and put them back outside, more would arrive.  One cricket even had the temerity to hop back in the moment his feet hit the welcome mat on the other side of the door.  What was up with the crickets?

Some Thoughts On Climate Strike Day

Today there is a world Climate Strike. It is amazing, and amazing that it took this long.

As kids almost 50 years ago, we were already concerned about the environment. Earth Day got started, we read Ranger Rick and National Geographic World, and we knew that littering made an old Native American by the side of the road cry. We knew about animals going extinct from hunting and pollution. We used to plant trees on Arbor Day each June. We read the Lorax.

Brattleboro Conservation Commission hosts Source to Sea Cleanup in the West River Park on September 24

Join the Brattleboro Conservation Commission on Tuesday, September 24 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. to clean up trash along the West River as part of the annual Source to Sea Cleanup of the Connecticut River system. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and should meet in the West River Park at the entrance of the trail to down to the West River.

Butterfly Season

Cabbage Butterfly on Zinnias

One of the consolations of the late summer season is the abundance of butterflies who flock to the open fields and gardens to enjoy the sunshine, sip the dew, and drink the nectar from the last of the summer flowers. We’ve had butterflies all summer long, but not in the numbers or variety that we have now. Earlier, Tiger Swallowtails prevailed, fluttering on their exotic yellow wings to the daisies and phlox where they made a long zig-zagging circuit of every promising flower. We saw at least one Zebra Swallowtail, bigger than its cousin the Tiger, out browsing red clover in the field next door. Silver Spotted Skippers were ubiquitous in midsummer. And later, I was happy to see a few Monarchs, with whom I have a long friendship going back to when I raised one from an egg as a child.

Oak Street Tree Removal

 On Wednesday, September 4th, the Highway Division will be working with Green Mountain Power to remove a tree near the corner of Oak St. and Chapin St. 

In preparation of an upcoming paving project, this tree was inspected by the tree warden to consider trimming. Upon inspection, it was determined that the tree is in poor health with significant rot. Due to the concern for nearby utilities, buildings, and traffic it was determined that the tree should be removed. 

Wild Blueberries on Wantastiquet in late July

It’s a good year for wild blueberries on Wantastiquet. A week ago, I picked a cup of blueberries at the lower lookout. The photo is from July 30 with downtown Brattleboro in the background. There were plenty still ripening, so there should be a modest crop of ripe blueberries about now.

To get to the lower lookout, just go straight at the sixth hairpin turn. The spur trail is a quarter mile and pretty easy to follow. The view is historic and much better than the view from the summit. The ripe berries are in the sunniest spots, so you’ll have to explore the outcrops a bit to maximize the harvest. There is no poison ivy on Wantastiquet, but do take tick precautions. Don’t forget the binoculars.

Fireflies and Starry Skies

The 4th of July brings us the stars and stripes and the sparkle of fireworks, evoking (among other things) America’s victory over Britain and “the rockets red glare.” But long after the last brilliant explosions have subsided, another kind of “fireworks” continues. These little bursts of light are significantly quieter — silent, in fact — but they can be just as impressive. I’m talking, of course, about the fireflies.

Rescheduled Japanese Knotweed Work Session to be held at West River Park on Thursday, June 6

The Conservation Commission will conduct a work session in the West River Park on Thursday, June 6 at 4:30 PM. The purpose of this work session is to manually control Japanese Knotweed along the West River in the West River Park. Conservation Commission members will be cutting Japanese Knotweed.

Participants should wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves and loppers or another garden cutting tool. Extra loppers will be available. Interested participants may arrive at any time and can find Commission members along the riverbank with the West River. The path to the riverbank is near the kiosk at the end of the parking lot.

Brattleboro Conservation Commission Seeks Community Stewards to Help Manage Japanese Knotweed at West River Park Swimming Hole

The Brattleboro Conservation Commission is kicking off a summer long effort to manage Japanese knotweed along the banks of the West River in the West River Park. Join us on Tuesday, May 28 at 4:30 PM to learn how to control this invasive as well as lend a hand in stewarding this important local resource.

Participants of all ages are welcome. Wear clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather, and bring loppers or pruners to use for removing knotweed. You will also want to have good gardening or work gloves. Volunteers should meet at the entrance of the trail down to the West River. The Conservation Commission will have extra supplies available and is willing to show participants how to identify and cut the knotweed. Water and snacks will be provided.