Observations from the Mill Trail: A Naturalist Journal

To all the spiders at Wiessner Woods: I’m sorry I ruined your day.

I came back to the office drenched in sweat with mud up to my calves, stinging scrapes on my shins, hemlock needles embedded in my hair, and spider webs plastered to my neck and shirt. I even found a transplant crawling on me as I began to write this. Today I monitored the boundary at Wiessner Woods, a Stowe Land Trust fee-owned property and popular destination for dog walking and cross country skiing depending on the season. More...

Green has exploded on the Mill Trail. Bright from rain's kisses and the sun’s embrace, leaves have burst from their buds, scattering husks along the path like forgotten shotgun shells. Ferns have unrolled their fiddleheads into fronds with open arms for blades. The early spring ephemeral flowers have been crowded over in the blitz for space and sunlight. Few trillium flowers cling desperately to their tripod, but they too will fall. Trout lilies have been drowned in shadow by the newly closed canopy. In this new greenwashed world, are there any flowers left? More...

Spring is drenching the Mill Trail. A telltale squish follows me wherever I go, but the cold drizzle that patters my raincoat sounds as delicate as clinking champagne flutes. Although the weather feels like early April, May signs are everywhere. More...

I walked down to the water, stopping every 5 feet to take a picture of a new piece of green breaching up through the leaf litter like a child putting on a turtleneck sweater.  More...

The warring of the seasons continues. A blanket of three inches of snow hugs the Mill Trail. The blanket’s threads frayed right down the middle of the path where one person had walked this morning, like a seam ripper through white cotton. More...

The air is warm and wet. The snowdrops are sticking their necks out for the spring. Although they stand with bowed heads, these first flowers only bring joy: winter is over.  More...

An unlikely spot along the Mill Trail has found me. A level, treeless floodplain down about 100 feet from the Mill Trail at the edge of the Stowe Land Trust property line caught my eye. More...

“There is never a square yard in the forest that does not tell us something about the wildlife within it” –Paul Rezendes More...