What a lazy day for me! My only outdoor experience today was the quarter-mile walk across Congress Park to St. Peter's Church and back. Since today is my husband's and my 47th wedding anniversary and we're going out to dinner tonight, I didn't feel like changing out of my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes to put on my snowpants and longjohns for just a couple of hours. Instead, I curled on the couch with my cats and caught up with my favorite magazine, Northern Woodlands. Intended to promote forest stewardship, this quarterly magazine published in Vermont is chock full of articles that would interest all kinds of nature lovers, not just those in the timber industry.
Hawthorn fruits are nobody's favorite, but they stay on the tree and are valuable emergency food/ With body temperatures now near 40 degrees, woodchucks awaken in their burrows every few days, raise their temperature to over 94 degrees and urinate/ Beginning of the nesting season for great horned owls, our earliest nesters/ The viburnums, such as nannyberry and hobblebush, have naked buds, with no bud scales. You can see their miniature leaves all winter
A male secretes a viscous material which, by raising his posterior, is drawn up into a stalk, on top of which he deposits a spherical packet of sperm . . . called a spermatophore. . . . If a receptive female happens by, she takes the sperm packet up through her genital slit. Liquids inside her body cause the packet tissue to swell and burst, releasing the sperm for egg-fertilization duty.If this system for combining precious genetic material seems to us haphazard, it apparently strikes a few springtails that way as well. Males of certain species build a fence of spermatophores around a likely female, a strategy presumably designed to ensure reproductive success by prompting the "eenie-meenie-miney-moe" response.