Outdoors

One spring, following heavy rain, I visited the Saint Michael’s College Natural Area hoping to capture exciting photographs of the rushing Winooski River. Rather than raging floodwaters, however, I found the river’s floodplain was efficiently — and slowly — accommodating the onslaught of rainwater.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department warned Monday that a disease affecting rabbits and hares previously found in Western states may be moving eastward. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease, RHDV2, is a virus known to be extremely lethal to wild and domestic rabbits, including cottontail rabbits a…

ORLEANS — One of the state’s premier wildlife watching opportunities is taking place in Vermont. The steelhead rainbow trout have started their upstream migration, leaping up waterfalls in a spectacular display of determination on their way to their spawning grounds.

Erie was perched on a sunny branch when I met her on a cold day in March. She turned her head this way and that to survey her surroundings at the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS). She is a slender hawk, brown above, with a dark-streaked, buff breast and a long, barred tail. A rin…

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation is reminding hikers to help protect Vermont’s trails during mud season, and to continue taking appropriate cautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On a warm, rainy April night a few years ago, I drove up our muddy, rutted dirt road through the mist, steering around the wood frogs hopping across the road. As I approached the vernal pool, there were more frogs in the road, so I parked to avoid hitting them and walked the rest of the way.

At this very moment, nestled into the sediment at the bottom of your nearest lake or pond, are Daphnia eggs — as many as 100,000 per square meter, according to one Michigan study. A genus of microscopic crustaceans, Daphnia are sometimes known as “water fleas,” and their eggs can remain viab…

MONTPELIER — Vermont’s traditional trout fishing season opens Saturday, April 10, and despite lingering snow cover, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says anglers can still have fun and be successful early in the season while following COVID-19 safety precautions.

Before setting out on climb or hike, people should check to make sure that the area is open, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and Audubon Vermont recommend. In addition to the many trails that are currently closed to limit the spread of the coronavirus and reduce impacts during mud s…

Natural reproduction of Lake Champlain’s lake trout has increased enough to allow a reduction in the number that are annually stocked, according to a recommendation from a working group of fisheries professionals from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, New York Department of Environme…

CASTLETON — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is seeking volunteers to become ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ instructors to pass on Vermont’s fishing tradition to the next generation of Vermonters. The department has rescheduled its one-day training workshop for new instructors to Saturday, May 1…

When my sisters visit from Ireland, I try to play tour guide, but I’m occasionally at a loss for what to do next. During a visit in the late 1990s, my sister Grace said she would love to see a beaver. At that time, I lived close to a beaver pond and often quietly waited for beaver sightings.…

On Valentine’s Day, as I sat down to write, I noticed a burst of blue outside my upstairs window. Looking out with my binoculars, I counted six eastern bluebirds. Clustered on and below my suet feeders, they were a wonderfully pleasant surprise on a chilly February morning. As I watched, the…

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