Welcome to Summer in the Valley

Well, I’m staying in the Valley for the summer, instead of running dune tours on the Cape.  If this is what summer will be like in the Valley, bring it on.  I knew it was going to be a great hike with my friend Ann when I got this shot of the “Owl Property”, a field across from the UMass stables that Valley Land Fund preserved and then transferred over to Kestrel in the merger.  Click on pics to enlarge.

The Owl Property looking towards Mount Warner.

The Owl Property looking towards Mount Warner.

We then went to a Leverett Conservation Area in which Kestrel Land Trust was instrumental in preserving, in hopes to see some wood ducks.  It seemed like the water was too low for them?  We did get a wonderful show of small (about the size of a nickle) butterflies that Ann later identified as European Skippers.  A type of butterfly accidentally brought to North America from Europe in 1910.  I like their European name better, The Essex Skipper.  It makes them sound more special, less common.  We also got a great look at a flicker, a family of tree swallows, and a brown creeper!  If that wasn’t enough, on the way home I got this beautiful shot the first hay harvest on a field in Hadley.  All in all, a great way to celebrate the coming of summer!

Summer in the Valley begins with the first hay harvest!

Summer in the Valley begins with the first hay harvest!

A very cute European Skipper.

A very cute European Skipper.

Their double wing structure was just amazing.

Their double wing structure was just amazing.

Skippers everywhere!  It was wonderful to watch them "basking" (as one writer put it) in the morning summer sun.

Skippers everywhere! It was wonderful to watch them “basking” (as one writer put it) in the morning summer sun.

A beautiful Flicker calling.

A beautiful Flicker calling.

Where's my brunch, cries an immature tree swallow...

Where’s my brunch, cries an immature tree swallow…

Ahhh, there it is, a dragonfly, over easy... with a side of mosquito...

Ahhh, there it is, a dragonfly, over easy… with a side of mosquito…

The fern path at the Conservation Area.

The fern path at the Conservation Area.

About John Body

I live in Western Massachusetts, in the incredibly beautiful Connecticut River Valley. I've been hiking, kayaking, and tracking wildlife throughout the Valley with lots of photos and videos that people may like to see. Whenever I travel I also take my cameras just in case I see great scenery or wildlife. My passion is wildlife conservation so I try to attend wildlife workshops and land preservation events (Habitat, Habitat, Habitat!). When I get a chance, I videotape the experts, they're just so knowledgeable and inspiring. I hope you enjoy my posts.
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