Showing posts from January, 2013

Put Your Message on our Bottle

Put Your Message on our Bottle Vermont State Parks Announces Graphic Contest: This season, we’re seeking a fresh, new look for Vermont State Parks water bottles that are sold all over the state and on the web, and we’re asking for your help! We invite you to participate in Vermont State Parks’ first ever Water Bottle Graphic Contest! Come up with a graphic design that is, or can be shrunk, to 3” x 3” that embraces the personality or feeling of Vermont State Parks.  The design should use only three colors and will need to fit a variety of and materials and colors (green, blue, plastic, stainless steel, etc.). We’d like graphics submitted in high-resolution digital format, if possible. We’ll post entries on our facebook page and you can let us know which designs you like the best.  We’ll award first, second and third prizes. Third prize will be a punch card good for 10 park visits, second prize will be an individual pass that will get one person into the parks for d

Timber Harvesting with Birds in Mind Woods Tour

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, Audubon Vermont and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation will be hosting a woods tour of an active logging job that demonstrates concepts and practices developed through a unique and innovative partnership between the two organizations: the Foresters for theBirds project.  The tour will take place at the 255-acre Green Mountain Audubon Center in Huntington, Vermont where a timber harvest designed to improve timber and forest songbird habitat for species including wood thrush and black-throated blue warbler is underway. The tour is open to the public and press, and will run from 9:00 am to noon.  Space is limited; pre-registration is required.  Forest landowners, municipal volunteers and officials, foresters, and other natural resource professionals with an interest in applying similar practices on land they manage are especially encouraged to attend.  Featured highlights of the event will be meeting with the foresters, biologists,

Snow Rollers

What are snow rollers? Snow rollers are a rare phenomenon where snowball form naturally by a very strong wind blowing across a flat, snow covered field when the snow is easily compacted. It's natures way of making a snowballs. They started appearing Sunday in many fields around Vermont. The conditions were perfect mid-day. Thanks to our friends at WCAX , News Channel 3 we got to see some photos from all around the state.    Snow rollers in Plainfield. Photo by Janet Steward. This in Chelsea. Thousands in the backyard of Rebecca Mattoon. Snow Rollers from Craftsbury Common. Photo by Harry Miller.

Birding in the Parks

Looking to enjoy the VT State Parks in the Winter? With all of the birding activity at DAR we have plowed parking spaces and of course in the winter time there is no entrance fee. So head on out and go birding. Here is the latest information from VTBIRD on what's going on in the bird world in Southwestern Vermont!  With all the birders focusing on the Common Pochard near the southern end of open water in Lake Champlain over the last 10 days, Ron Payne and I thought it time to do another careful count of the most abundant waterfowl and gull species.  We viewed the region from four locations from the Champlain Bridge to DAR State Park. Lighting was good and waters with only minor ripples.  From our viewing locations we were able to count these same species in New York ice-margin waters as well.  Nearly all the counts were made utilizing clicker counters, and counted the birds by individuals. As anticipated, Common Goldeneyes have increased mightily in numbers (300 or so

Becoming An Outdoor Family

Your whole family will have fun learning outdoor skills, including tips for wilderness survival, geocaching, kayaking and identifying trees in the forest. Located on Groton Lake in the 28,000-acre Groton State Forest, you’ll also have free time to enjoy the park’s recreational activities such as fishing, swimming and hiking. Each camper can choose three workshops led by expert instructors, with each session offering more than a dozen different choices, including some geared to younger children. Topics range from outdoor cooking, orienteering, mountain biking and wild woodland edibles to introduction to archery, basic firearm safety and muzzleloader. SCHEDULE Friday, May 31—Sunday June 2 LOCATION Stillwater State Park in Groton State Forest, Groton, VT (between Montpelier and St. Johnsbury)

Odd Ducks at DAR

We have been eagerly following the news of these two ducks along with you.  Here at Vermont State Parks understand that DAR is probably now the best viewing location and that there's not enough room to park at the gate. We have asked one of our maintenance staff to go up to DAR early to open the gates and plow out some spaces for birders to park.  If you haven't heard the news Ron Payne went to the Lake Champlain Bridge, which crosses Lake Champlain between Chimney Point, VT and Crown Point, NY, for some New Year's Day birding. While there, he found a Glaucous Gull, White-winged Scoter, two Barrow's Goldeneyes, and a male Tufted Duck. After viewing Payne's photos, Jeremiah Trimble identified it instead as a Common Pochard, which like Tufted Duck, is a Code 3 species, though it is actually much more difficult to find in the ABA Area. Most sightings are from Alaska. There's only one previous record from the East, a bird in Quebec in the spring of 2008,