Today's mystery tree grows wild in much of the eastern United States, including parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and occurs elsewhere in New England as an ornamental tree. These photos were taken on an overcast morning earlier this week, in Unity, ME. Identify this deciduous tree.
I’ll reveal the answer on Monday. For now, leave your guess in the comments below.
Back in August, while wading in knee-deep water at a local beach, I noticed dozens if not hundreds of Northern Moon Snails (Euspira heros) slowly plowing through the sand. Having been familiar with their shells (empty, washed-ashore ones, that is) for years, I was thrilled to find some occupied dwellings.
The almost transparent bodies of Northern Moon Snails appear much too big for their shells, but as I experienced first hand, when picked up, individuals push water out of their shells and bodies and manage to squeeze into their nearly round homes without much trouble. A perfectly sized, flat operculum serves as the snug door a snail shuts to complete this marine magic trick.
These mollusks live in intertidal and, more commonly, subtidal waters along the New England coastline (and elsewhere) where they seek out meals in the form of Atlantic Surf Clams and other shellfish.
Bonus quiz: Find and identify the other mollusk in one of the following photos.
To view the following images in full-size, click here.
1 Glaucous Gull (FOY) and 1 Yellow-breasted Chat at East Point Sanctuary, Biddeford Pool
Sunday morning, I birded many spots in Wells with a fellow birder, tallying 60 species, including these seasonal rarities: 1 American Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 Yellow-breasted Chat, and 1 Eastern Towhee (see eBird checklist)