I had the pleasure of watching an immature little blue heron fish at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. Little Blues almost never get this far north and when they do, they are usually only found along the coast. What a treat! And it posed for some get pictures as well. Click on images to enlarge.
I celebrated a beautiful morning on the 4th of July at Fitzgerald Lake with Butterfly Club of Western Massachusetts. Led by Tom and Bill, we went out looking for the Dion Skipper, an endangered butterfly here in Massachusetts. It can be found on marsh milkweed, especially on the dam. Success, we found a beautiful specimen hanging out right where they thought it would be. But along the way, we saw an Appalachian brown, great spangled fritillaries, a monarch butterfly and a caterpillar, and a silver spotted skipper. As we were leaving, a red admiral showed up on the parking lot to add to the fireworks of the morning! Remember, if you click on a picture it will expand it:
Look down because there are wonderful early spring wildflowers just asking to be admired! Take a look, and remember, click the image to enlarge…
I had the pleasure of going out on a hike with my good friend and fellow nature nerd, Michael Wojtech, author of BARK! Since there wasn’t fresh snow for tracking animals, we decided to track trees! Its not a simple as it sounds. They may not move very quickly, well not at all, but there are so many kinds! He gave me a quick tutorial on how to identify four of the many trees we were seeing. Take a look:
I knew it was going to be a great day when we spotted bobcat tracks before we even got to the trail! Plus a river otter slide as we crossed the bridge. Then, 10 feet in, we saw great tracks of a porcupine going from a hemlock tree to its den in a culvert. Over the course of the morning, we saw Deer, turkey, bobcat, and coyote tracks! And the weather was just stunning! Thanks everyone for a great hike! It was sponsored by Kestrel Land Trust. Below are some pictures, click on them to enlarge:
Well, tracking season has officially begun with lots of snow on the ground! I had the pleasure of hanging out at the Trustees’ Bullitt Reservation with some great people over the weekend. The program was sponsored by The Hilltown Land Trust and featured a presentation by Laura Marx, forest ecologist for The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts, focused on the very important Wildlife Corridor in the Berkshires. The Nature Conservancy has been researching this are for some time now. Here is a link to a very cool map. We then went out tracking with Jess Applin, a master tracking who actually worked on the Berkshire Corridor project! Below is the presentation and some pictures of the hike. I also set up my remote camera and got some great shots of a hefty raccoon and a beautiful red fox! Click on the images to enlarge:
I had the pleasure to video-tape David Foster from Harvard Forest speaking on New England Conservation in the Era of Global Change. Fantastic! His presentation was sponsored by Kestrel Land Trust and the Environmental Studies Department at Amherst College. Check out Wildlands and Woodlands website as well. I’ve included a couple of very cool graphs below (click on them to enlarge), as well as the video. Enjoy!