Maidstone State Park is hosting a loon packed weekend. Activites begin with an interpretive walk on Friday (starting at the B-loop bathhouse at 8:00 PM) and slide show. The next morning, get ready to head out on the lake, via canoe or kayak (both available for rent), and observe these unique creatures in their natural habitat. Other activities include: a sand castle contest, a sack race, a movie at dusk, fishing and hiking opportunities, and more! Programs are free with paid park entry, but if you want to camp, make your reservations by calling the park directly, 802-676-3930.
A pair of loons on Spectacle Pond
in Brighton State Park
In addition, you can help contribute to the Annual Statewide Loon Count. On Saturday, July 16th visit some beatiful ponds and record your findings for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. "Many of the unassigned lakes are small and will likely not have loons, but it is still important to check them occasionally. However, there are are also some high priority lakes in need of volunteers including: Harveys, Jobs, Marshfield, May, Moore Res. (need a motorboat), Nelson, Newark, Pigeon (4-mile hike/bike), Pensioner, Spring, and Woodward." A full list of ponds in need of monitoring and more information can be found at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies' blog or contact Eric Hanson, the Vermont Loon Recovery Program Coordinate, at 802-586-8064.
By Rebecca Roy
Vermont State Parks Conservation Education Coordinator Our white pine trees--taller than every other
tree in the Vermont woods, are heavily laden with cones this year. These giants
of the forest started the summer months growing bright green female cones in
large clumps at the ends of all the upper branches. The cones were so
plentiful, they weighed the branches into curved arches pointing down.
Throughout the summer, the seeds hidden under the cone bracts developed, the
cones turned brown, and the seeds came sailing out with their adapted
wing--hopefully planting some new white pines. At least that is the goal of the
pine tree as it grows more and more cones, and more and more seeds. The summer of 2016 we saw a drought. Remember
how low the lake levels dropped that summer? Well, our trees are reacting to
that stress by producing way more seeds, nuts and fruits than normal. Our pine
trees started developing this year’s cones in 2016, so the drought triggered
them to grow …
Winter is a beautiful time
of year here in the northeast. Everywhere you look there is snow sparkling in
the sun, icicles in the windows, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and
this week, breathtakingly cold weather! In an effort to embrace the
temperatures, we at Vermont State Parks decided to embark on a project that
combines ice, art, balloons, and some freezing temperatures. What could it be? GIANT ICE MARBLES!
What you will need: -Balloons -Food coloring -Water -Freezing air or a freezer How to make them: 1. First, open the mouth of the balloon and place several drops of
food coloring inside. You can use the standard colors or mix your own by
combining two different colors. 2. Stretch the mouth of the balloon around the head of a
faucet. Slowly fill it up with water until the balloon is slightly smaller than a
bowling ball. Note: If the balloon loses grip with the faucet, things can
get messy. Keep afirm hold on the top of the balloon and hold the bottom to keep it
steady. 3. Tightly …
Days are getting shorter, nights are chilly and some stray trees have started to turn red, orange and
gold. Summer may be over, but about half of our parks are open through Columbus Day, and a select few are open even later. So stop by for a visit- fall is a great time for camping, hiking, paddling, or getting in one final picnic before the earmuffs come on.