My first two articles moonlighting as a freelance journalist appear in today's issue of the Lakeville Journal (readable on-line with free registration). One is a regular feature called Nature Notes that appears below the fold on page 1 that I write on weeks alternating with Fred Baumgarten. The other covers the Open Forest Day held two weekends ago at Great Mountain Forest on Canaan Mountain. A taste:
Of seeds and serpents
October, 09, 2008
This appears to be a mast year for oak trees, a time when there is a dramatic increase in acorn production. More small rodents will survive the winter after a mast year when food is plentiful, and that in turn could mean a bonanza for their predators in the coming spring.
I was musing along these lines while hiking in the mountains recently when I came upon two timber rattlesnakes. Nothing sets the heart to racing quite like finding a fat-bodied pit viper, more than 4 feet long and thick as your forearm, lying beside the trail or coiled in your flower bed...