Pieter’s Lens – An Osprey Sighting in Brattleboro

Pieter’s Lens – An Osprey Sighting in Brattleboro

by Pieter van Loon, VLT forester — You know what’s great about the conserved Retreat Farm in Brattleboro? Just about everything. Sure, it is over 450 acres of conserved forestland, farmland, and water—right in the heart of the seventh largest town in Vermont....
Pieter’s Lens – Following a Loon Family on South Pond

Pieter’s Lens – Following a Loon Family on South Pond

By Pieter van Loon, VLT forester — Earlier this year, I took at photo of a loon displaying on South Pond in Marlboro. Apparently the courtship that accompanied that display was convincing, as the loons I saw that day now have two chicks. All of the shoreline of...
New Milkweed Farm Starts Up in Alburgh

New Milkweed Farm Starts Up in Alburgh

Milkweed has long been considered a nuisance to farmers, since its sap is toxic to livestock. But now it is showing agrarian promise as a cash crop. The fine fibers that accompany the seeds, known as floss, have excellent insulative properties and can also be used to...
Purple Pitcher Plants and Peat Bogs

Purple Pitcher Plants and Peat Bogs

Nutrient-poor bogs force plants to get creative, perhaps none more so than the purple pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. Its dramatic, specialized leaves form multicolored ‘pitchers’ that fill with rain and snow, hosting tiny self-contained ecosystems—like the bogs themselves.