2015: Naturalist Goals Review

Photo of Little Blue Heron (Old Orchard Beach, ME) 12/18/15
Little Blue Heron lingering in Old Orchard Beach, photographed 18 Dec 2015

My focus for 2015 was two-fold: to sink my roots deeper into local soils and to venture north to explore the boreal forest.

In York County, I made repeated visits throughout the year to a nearby bog (see my Bog Plants series) and spent hours observing ducks, warblers, sparrows, shorebirds, and many other winged ones at places like the Sanford Lagoons, the Kennebunk Plains, Hills Beach in Biddeford and various locations in Biddeford Pool. Along the way, I ate my fair share of wild fruit!

My explorations to the north were few in number but worthwhile. In April, Jenny and I went to Farmington to gather Balsam Poplar buds to make a healing salve, and in June we hiked Mt. Blue in Weld and camped a couple of days near Rangeley.

I also ventured east, into the Atlantic (by boat) to see my first Atlantic Puffins, Common Murres, and several pelagic species. In fact, this year, I observed 28 life birds (all in Maine), including most recently a Yellow-breasted Chat (#302) on Christmas Day.

Additionally, in 2015, I completed some moon challenges (like my Mushroom Moon) as well as some month challenges, like observing 100+ bird species (all in southern Maine) in both November and December.

What will you remember about 2015?
Did you see any new birds or butterflies?
Did you taste any new wild flavors?
Did you witness any breath-taking sunrises?

Photo of Sunrise on 12-26-2015

Thank you for sharing in my journey and supporting my work. I wish you all the best in 2016.

--Josh

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