I had the pleasure of taking some great hikers up into the Sawmill Hills of Florence, Massachusetts over the weekend. We had a lot of fun! The weather was incredible and the Hills never disappoint! The vernal pools were dry as a bone, waiting or the fall rains and the spring runoff to once again fill up with water and become the wonderfully productive breeding pools for many organisms. Many people on the hike shared that they never saw a fairy shrimp or wood frog.
So, I pulled together some footage I have. Part of it was the amazing wood frog migration I ran into last spring at Mount Tom. If you remember, we had a cold, cold winter that lasted well into April. Well on the first sunny warm day, all, I mean all, the wood frogs on Mt. Tom warmed up and hopped to the vernal pool. There was still ice and snow on the ground but that didn’t stop them!:
Here’s a music video I created a while back, vernal pools are just so awe-inspiring to me:
Oh by the way, visit my new photographic store on etsy: Click Here!
I ran into my friend Tom Gagnon at the Northampton Community Gardens as he was leading a Butterfly Walk sponsored by the Arcadia Sanctuary of Mass Audubon. So I tagged along since any time out in the field with Tom is a wonderful trip! And gosh were the butterlies a flyin’! Remember, to enlarge the picture, just click on it.
I had the pleasure of going out looking for Dragonflies with naturalist Josh Rose as part of a Kestrel Land Trust Walk and Talk. We had a wonderful time, loads of great critters to see and Josh was just marvelous as a guide! Take a look at his great shirt, “Stay Calm…and let the Entomologist handle it”
Here’s some pictures too. If you want to examine them more closely, just click on them to expand:
I had the pleasure of going on a butterfly walk with one of the best butterfliers around, and by around I mean the country! Tom Gagnon took us out on the Bullit Reservation, part of the Trustees of Reservations. Ah the butterflies we saw were amazing! Here’s a tawny edged skipper drinking nectar with its proboscis:
and a mother spider with her young:
Here are some pictures as well, remember, click on them to enlarge:
Hello everyone, Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been out in the field gathering footage for my new web series, The Nature Nerds. The first one will be on Vernal Pools with Brandon Abbott and Molly Hale as the guest Nature Nerds! I’m in the editing process right now but I had to post some of my pictures and video of the Peregrine fledglings at the Calvin Coolidge Bridge (My next Nature Nerds is Falcons of the Connecticut River Valley). They’re still calling for their parents to feed them and they’re very active at times, flying all over the place, hanging out on the bridge structures, sitting above bicyclists on the bike path bridge. In colonial times, they were known as duck hawks because of their size but I may have another reason, I got film footage of a fledgling taking a swim in the Connecticut!
Well instead of a quick nibbly at Panera, my friend Ann and I went to the small watering hole across from the horse barns at UMass to see a group of Northern Shovelers. I’ve never seen them before. Wow. They are named appropriately, their bills are huge! They could have helped me shovel all the snow this winter! It looks like they’re just passing through to the north central states and Western Canada to breed. These dabbling ducks are sometimes referred to as spoonbill or “spoony” because of the large spatula-like bill. It has over a 100 projections called lamellae along the edges to strain the water for food particles.
And then, right across the road were a huge number of killdear and wilson snipes! I thought there were only three but in watching the video afterwards, there were four plus a couple in the foreground. Yahooo!
Here’s some video I took of the shovelers and snipes. See if you can find the snipes in the foreground early in the video!
Who knows what lurks in your backyard when you’re not looking? Last blog, I showed some pictures of bear tracks so I set up my remote camera to see what I could see…
That was part of a song I learned while sitting through my sister’s Bluebird troop- The Bear went over the Mountain, the bear went over the Mountain. The Bear went over the Mountain…to see what he could see….
Well after three postponements due to harsh weather, we were able to run the Tracking Hike for Kestrel Land Trust. We hiked into the Mineral Hills Conservation Area in Northampton. Kestrel has been an important partner in expanding this really great area. It has forests, wetlands, a quarry, and lots of great hiking paths. If you’re interested, there is a group that manages the property called Friends of the Mineral Hills, check them out on Facebook! Here’s a video I made of the hike:
Hey Folks, Well we had to postpone the tracking hike for another week so my friend Mike and I went up into the Mineral Hills to retrieve the remote wildlife cameras. They got some great pics of the porcupines! Take a look:
I had the pleasure of participating in a morning of banding hummingbirds, in West Whately of all places! Bill and Joe have these incredible gardens that draw a mulititude (50 or 60 at least) of hummers. Here’s my video of the really fun morning I had: