Category Archives: Nature Notes

17.27 | Nature Notes (Jul 2-8)

Photo of Common Tern
Common Tern | St. Agatha, ME | 5 Jul 2017

Highlights of the Week

I spotted various butterflies, including Baltimore Checkerspots, Viceroys, Monarchs, White Admirals, and Canadian Tiger Swallowtails.

My nose located several patches of ripe Common Strawberries.

I heard and eventually saw my FOY White-winged Crossbill in Stockholm. Later that day, I bumped into at least 4 more.

Wild Edible of the Week

Common Milkweed bud clusters featured prominently in my meals.

Moon Challenge Report

I met my Movement Moon goal this week by walking 3+ miles or biking 5+ miles or some combination thereof, on 5 out of 7 days.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Find a family of dabbling or diving ducks.


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17.26 | Nature Notes (Jun 25 – Jul 1)

Photo of Blue Lupine
Blue Lupine | Sandy River Plantation, ME | 28 Jun 2017

Highlights of the Week

In southern Maine, Staghorn Sumac, Black Elderberry, and Partridge-berry are flowering.

In Franklin County, Blue Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) is lighting up roadsides and fields, including the lower ski slopes of Saddleback Maine.

I heard/saw one FOY bird: a Black-billed Cuckoo at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth. (Note: I'm leading a wild edibles walk there on July 16th.) Two days later, I heard another one at California Fields Wildlife Area in Hollis.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate dozens of flower bud shoots of Fistulous Goat's Beard.

Moon Challenge Report

I met my Movement Moon goal this week by walking 3+ miles or biking 5+ miles or some combination thereof, on 6 out of 7 days.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Identify 3 flowering shrubs using Newcomb's Wildflower Guide or another trusted resource.


 

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My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!

17.25 | Nature Notes (Jun 18-24)

Photo of Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican | Scarborough, ME | 21 Jun 2017

Highlights of the Week

I noticed Common St. John's-wort, Wild Radish, Little Yellow-rattle (Rhinanthus minor), and a new-to-me plant called Canada Frostweed (Crocanthemum canadense) flowering.

Ebony Jewelwings are now fluttering along wooded streams.

FOY birds included a very rare (for Maine) Brown Pelican off Prout's Neck in Scarborough; a rare White-faced Ibis in Cape Elizabeth; and a rare (at least for late June) Stilt Sandpiper at a farm pond in Clinton. All three birds were first located by other birders.

Wild Edible of the Week

I processed down a couple dozen Cat-tail (Typha sp.) shoots to obtain the tender, white hearts, which I boiled for a few minutes, before letting them cool and eating them. I also picked, boiled, and ate (minus the tough cores) about a dozen immature male flower spikes.

Moon Challenge Report

On Friday (the new moon), I began my Movement Moon Challenge. I'll either walk 3+ miles or bike 5+ miles, 5+ days a week from now until the next new moon.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Spend 10+ minutes observing an ant colony.


 

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My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!

17.24 | Nature Notes (Jun 11-17)

Photo of Snowy Plover (left) and Piping Plover
Snowy Plover (left) and Piping Plover | Georgetown, ME | 13 Jun 2017

Highlights of the Week

Early in the week, I twitched three very rare birds (meaning I observed birds found and reported by other birders). On Monday, I traveled to Windham, NH to see the state's first Brown Booby (a tropical seabird). That evening, I witnessed a Magnificent Frigatebird (another tropical seabird) flying off Prout's Neck in Scarborough, ME. Then, on Tuesday, a first for the state of Maine Snowy Plover at Reid State Park in Georgetown was my third Life Bird in 30 hours! And two days later, I heard my FOY Yellow-billed Cuckoos at the Brownfield Bog.

I saw a few female Snapping Turtles traveling to/from their nesting sites.

I identified my first-ever Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in Kennebunkport. Unfortunately, the slim creature was found dead on a roadside.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate a number of clusters of Black Locust flowers, in salads, soups, and simply fresh off the tree.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Stop and smell the wild roses (or other fragrant flowers).


 

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17.23 | Nature Notes (Jun 4-10)

Photo of Spruce Grouse
Spruce Grouse | Roque Bluffs, ME | 4 Jun 2017

Highlights of the Week

Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) -- a carpet-forming species native to Europe -- and other related yellow-flowered Hawkweeds are blooming in nutrient-poor lawns.

I crossed paths with many butterflies, including Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, an Eastern Comma, and many tiny, mostly unidentified, skippers.

I observed 4 species of ducklings (Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Mallard, and American Black Duck) at the Sanford Lagoons. My only FOY bird sighting was a male Spruce Grouse seen during an Acadia Birding Festival van trip.

Wild Edible of the Week

I added immature pollen cones of Eastern White Pine to several of my meals this week. I also gathered extra to put up in my freezer, some of which will be tinctured.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Identify (using Newcomb's Wildflower Guide or some other resource) 3 herbaceous wildflowers who have yellow flowers.


 

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My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!