17.47 | Nature Notes (Nov 19-25)

Photo of Orange Sulphur
Orange Sulphur | Biddeford Pool, ME | 24 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

On Tuesday, an unexpected flock of 10 Red Crossbills flew over me at a horse farm in Kennebunkport. Other farm observations this week: Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, Wilson's Snipe, a late Killdeer, and 3 American Pipits.

On Friday, a surprisingly late Orange Sulphur butterfly fluttered along Ocean Avenue in Biddeford Pool, periodically stopping to feed on Common Dandelion blossoms.

Saturday morning, I twitched a rare Yellow-throated Warbler (FOY) at the Sanford Lagoons.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate some Soft-shell Clams (Mya arenaria) purchased from a local seafood counter.

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

Locate 3 abandoned bird nests in deciduous trees/shrubs.


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Fern Allies: Common Interrupted-clubmoss

Photo of Common Interrupted-clubmoss

Common Interrupted-clubmoss (Spinulum annotinum) is a spore-bearing vascular plant who grows in forests throughout much of New England. This plant creeps by horizontal stems that often hide just below the leaf litter. Upright stems are ~6" tall; often branched near the base; crowded with narrow, bristle-tipped leaves (another common name for this species is Bristly Clubmoss); and have noticeable interruptions that indicate where one year's growth ended and the next began. Each fertile branch is topped with a stalkless, solitary, 1-1.5" long cone-like reproductive structure, called a strobilus.

To learn more about this evergreen fern ally, visit Go Botany. To view the following images in full-size, click here.

17.46 | Nature Notes (Nov 12-18)

Photo of American Mink
American Mink | Biddeford, ME | 17 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

The first snow of the season fell Monday night into Tuesday.

I spied an American Mink at the edge of a salt marsh in Biddeford.

I twitched two male Hooded Warblers and an "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler (a Lifer subspecies) at Southpoint Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate a wild fruit jello made with Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruit juice (from fruits I foraged/froze in September) and a bit of raw honey.

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

Visit a patch of clubmoss (family Lycopodiaceae, e.g., Flat-branched Tree-clubmoss and Southern Ground-cedar).


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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!