Butterflies Galore!

group under a treeI had the pleasure of going on a butterfly walk with one of the best butterfliers around, and by around I mean the country!  Tom Gagnon took us out on the Bullit Reservation, part of the Trustees of Reservations.  Ah the butterflies we saw were amazing!  Here’s a tawny edged skipper drinking nectar with its proboscis:

and a mother spider with her young:

Here are some pictures as well, remember, click on them to enlarge:

Our fearless leader- into the meadow we go!

Our fearless leader- into the meadow we go!

The wood nymph's were all over this morning.

The wood nymph’s were all over this morning.

 

Even making woopee right in front of us!

Even making woopee right in front of us!

Beautiful Baltimore butterflies...

Beautiful Baltimore butterflies…

baltimore open behind goodbaltimore open 3

Clouded sulfurs were abundant as well.

Clouded sulfurs were abundant as well.

Group w tom

One of my favorites was the pearl crescent!

One of my favorites was the pearl crescent!

pearl crescent 2 close

Lots of different kinds of FRitillaries.  This one is a great spangled.

Lots of different kinds of FRitillaries. This one is a great spangled.

This one is a meadow Fritillary.

This one is a meadow Fritillary.

And of course the eye-catching black swallowtail...

And of course the eye-catching black swallowtail…

Here's a side view.

Here’s a side view.

And lastly an american copper.

And lastly an american copper.

And an american copper on a hawk weed flower.

And an american copper on a hawk weed flower.

Tom also showed us a wonderful orchid, a ragged edged orchid!

Tom also showed us a wonderful orchid, a ragged fringed orchid!

ragged edge orchid close

 

 

Lastly, I love this shot of a baltimore from behind.  Take a look at the orange at the end of its antennae!

Lastly, I love this shot of a baltimore from behind. Take a look at the orange at the end of its antennae!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Hike pictures, training sessions with the experts, Uncategorized, videos, wildlife | Comments Off on Butterflies Galore!

The Peregrines have Fledged!

peregrine fledling profileHello everyone,  Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been out in the field gathering footage for my new web series,  The Nature Nerds.  The first one will be on Vernal Pools with Brandon Abbott and Molly Hale as the guest Nature Nerds!  I’m in the editing process right now but I had to post some of my pictures and video of the Peregrine fledglings at the Calvin Coolidge Bridge (My next Nature Nerds is Falcons of the Connecticut River Valley).  They’re still calling for their parents to feed them and they’re very active at times, flying all over the place, hanging out on the bridge structures, sitting above bicyclists on the bike path bridge.  In colonial times, they were known as duck hawks because of their size but I may have another reason, I got film footage of a fledgling taking a swim in the Connecticut!

Click on the pics to enlarge:

Drying off after the swim!

Drying off after the swim!

 

Very handsome..

Very handsome..

Trying out the new wings!

Just stretching…

And actually using the new wings!

And actually using the new wings!

Those people of those wheels look awfully tasty...

Those people look awfully tasty…

Maybe I'll just have a robin, those people look too much of a problem...

Nah, maybe I’ll just have a starling for lunch…

Posted in videos, wildlife | Comments Off on The Peregrines have Fledged!

Trade in your snow shovels for Northern Shovelers!

Northern Shovelers taking a nap!

Northern Shovelers taking a nap! Click on the pic to enlarge.

Well instead of a quick nibbly at Panera, my friend Ann and I went to the small watering hole across from the horse barns at UMass to see a group of Northern Shovelers.  I’ve never seen them before.  Wow.  They are named appropriately, their bills are huge! They could have helped me shovel all the snow this winter!  It looks like they’re just passing through to the north central states and Western Canada to breed.  These dabbling ducks are sometimes referred to as spoonbill or “spoony” because of the large spatula-like bill.  It has over a 100 projections called lamellae along the edges to strain the water for food particles.
And then, right across the road were a huge number of killdear and wilson snipes!  I thought there were only three but in watching the video afterwards, there were four plus a couple in the foreground. Yahooo!

Here's a broad picture of the snipes.  Click on it to enlarge and see if you can find the others in the foreground...

Here’s a broad picture of the snipes. Click on it to enlarge and see if you can find the others in the foreground…

Here’s some video I took of the shovelers and snipes.  See if you can find the snipes in the foreground early in the video!

northern shoveler bill

What a bill on this baby. No wonder they’re called shovelers!

northern shoveler female bill

They kept pulling up vegetation from the bottom. Hmmm, I wonder if they are vegan?

northern shoveler group from behind

Off to find more gunk to sift through…

 

Posted in videos, wildlife | Comments Off on Trade in your snow shovels for Northern Shovelers!

All you want to know about trees!

michael speakingHey Everyone,
I had the great pleasure of participating in a Kestrel Land Trust Walk and Talk, led by my good friend, Michael Wojtech., author of Bark, A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast. He is the Tree Guy!  Whenever we go out hiking, I’m always looking up at the birds and he’s always looking at the trees!  Between the two of us, we got it covered, except I keep walking into trees, and boulders, and…
Here’s a video of some of his Tree Walk, enjoy!


Here’s a few trees we saw (click on them to enlarge the pic):

This is an oldie but goodie,  a Black Birch

This is an oldie but goodie, a Black Birch

Isn't this one colorful!  It's a pin oak

Isn’t this one colorful! It’s a pin oak

These are both red maples!

These are both red maples!

This one is a hard one, I know it only from its blooms,  a Tulip Tree.

This one is a hard one, I know it only from its blooms, a Tulip Tree.

I know this one!...Sycamore.

I know this one!…Sycamore.

This one reminds me, I gotta get some fresh syrup this week!

This one reminds me, I gotta get some fresh syrup this week!

They make drinks from the roots...sasafras.

They make drinks from the roots…sasafras.

I got this one too....a Hickory!

I got this one too….a Hickory!

Ah, an ash...

Ah, an ash…

Here's a black oak.

Here’s a black oak.

Here's a gray birch. the black area where a branch used to be is called a chevron.

Here’s a gray birch. the black area where a branch used to be is called a chevron.

Posted in Hike pictures, training sessions with the experts | Comments Off on All you want to know about trees!

Lions and tigers and…more like Da Bear and wacally wabbits…

bear image from vid 2Who knows what lurks in  your backyard when you’re not looking?  Last blog, I showed some pictures of bear tracks so I set up my remote camera to see what I could see…

That was part of a song I learned while sitting through my sister’s Bluebird troop-  The Bear went over the Mountain, the bear went over the Mountain.  The Bear went over the Mountain…to see what he could see….

Posted in videos, wildlife | Comments Off on Lions and tigers and…more like Da Bear and wacally wabbits…