We had a wonderful tracking hike today into the Mineral Hills. Mother Nature was spectacular while we saw coyote, fox, rabbit and porcupine tracks, as well as the porcupine condos. The hike was sponsored by Kestrel Land Trust. Thanks for all you do to conserve our natural world so that generations in the future both human and wild can live and thrive in beauty! Click on pictures to enlarge.
Well, today I took my first butterfly walk with Tom Gagnon of the season. And what a walk it was. We went looking for the Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus) and found it in the juniper stand on Mt. Tom. We also saw a wild indigo duskywing, a dreamy duskywing, american lady, a tiger swallow tail, and newly out of their chryalis, an american copper and a pearl crescent! And if that wasn’t enough, great eyes caught site of a peregrine on the side of the cliff in the quarry! A wonderful day! Remember to click onto the pictures to enlarge!
I led a winter tracking hike into the Mineral Hills for Kestrel Land Trust. There wasn’t much snow or mud even so there weren’t a lot of tracks to see. But what a beautiful morning to be out in the woods! The ice and snow was melting away, leaving the sun to warm up the lichen. The name British Soldiers comes from the late 1700’s when colonists were still having a bit of a problem with british soldiers. To me, they look like miniature tulips blooming. The pink earth lichen were also blooming all over the place! And we enjoyed some horsetails as well. Click on the photo to enlarge.
I had the pleasure of attending and videotaping the morning sessions of the 3rd Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference at Berkshire Community College. What a gem! Listen to this line-up, Tom Tyning answering the question Who Was Ralph Hoffmann?, Julie Richburg giving a tour of The Trustees’ Reservations and their Natural Communities, Bob Leverett giving us his top 8 Great Trees, Joe Kravitz exploring Global Climate Change in the Berkshires, and Jim Cardoza celebrating the Great American Turkey Success! Yehaa! Take a look down below for each of the videos:
So I was hoping that, like last year, I’d see the hundreds of tree swallows feasting on the waxy bay berries. But alas, the bay berries were still intact. BUT I did get to see hundreds of very cute surf scoters (colorful bills and white dots on the back of their heads), white-winged scoters (white eye liner), black scoters (all in black), and eiders fishing off of High Head. Scoter is pronounced like voters. Here is the video of the scoters, my video from last year, and some pictures from this year.
I had the great pleasure of going out on another butterfly walk with the great butterfliers, Tom Gagnon and Bill Bonner. We visited the Northampton Community Gardens on Burt’s Pitt Road. Wow, what a day. Tom and Bill led a fantastic walk through the Gardens, sponsored by the Massachusetts Butterfly Club. Take a look (click on any picture to enlarge):
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: