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Showing posts from February, 2017

Guest Blog: Lichens And Gaining The Edge On Winter Weather

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By Rebecca Roy
Hardy Vermont State Park fans have been out exploring their favorite parks, even in the sometimes chilly, sometimes icy winter world we are experiencing this year. My friend Amy, who loves state parks so much she completed our Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge with her little daughter last year, was recently hiking around in Underhill State Park. Amy came back with wonderful memories of the smell of a fragrant spruce, fir forest in winter, and a photo of an unidentified lichen specimen.
To cope with harsh winter weather, and to prevent harmful freezing, most plants in Vermont lose leaves in autumn, and enter a dormant period. Deciduous trees, herbaceous plants, wildflowers, and many shrubs spend the winter leafless, waiting for spring. However, there are some hardy organisms possessing adaptations giving them the edge on winter weather. The winter landscape is like a cold desert, freezing temperatures bring an unavailability of water.
I was running long in Gifford Wood…

Vermont State Parks' Top Spots For Romance

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  Are you looking for a romantic spot to take your current, potential, or totally imaginary sweetie? During the summer months, many parks host weddings, receptions and marriage proposals, and other creative types find romance year-round. In honor of the holiday, here are some picks for a park-related romantic rendezvous.
Falls of Lana hike from Branbury State Park
Lots of people find waterfalls to be romantic. Stands to reason, right? Nothing captures warm and fuzzy feelings more than the action of water violently cascading against rock. The Falls of Lana are only a short hike from the day-use area at Branbury, and offer several spots to view the falls from various angles. The park setting by Lake Dunmore is a more mellow, less dramatic place to walk along the beach or have a picnic.
The Fire Tower at Molly Stark State Park
There’s also something about the view from a fire tower (as long as neither you no your sweetie is afraid of heights!) From the top of the fi…

White Pine Tea In Winter

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After skimming the latest Northern Woodlands magazine, I stumbled across an article about brewing native winter teas, naturally high in vitamins A and C. This was an intriguing idea, and I decided to take a stab at brewing my own tea from white pine. That was an activity I’d heard of before in passing, but hadn't considered in depth, and I decided to give it a try.
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a well-known and common native of the northeast. Its’ range stretches from eastern Canada though the northeast U.S. states as far south as Georgia. White pine grows large and lives a long time, and historically, even played a small part in the events leading up to the American Revolution. The British Navy needed sturdy wood for its’ ships to defend their ever-growing empire, but faced a shortage of trees at home. They discovered that tall white pines in the American colonies worked very well, and forbade anyone but the crown to cut down pines of a certain size. This was a deeply u…