December 31, 2010

GMNWR Autumn Walks Wrap-up

Common threeseed mercury (Acalypha rhomboidea)
In October, our monthly walk explored the floodplain forest, wizened by the summer's long drought.  The identity of two vigorous and unfamiliar plants with lingering blooms puzzled us.  Three-seeded mercury and climbing hempvine (Mikania scandens) found enough moisture by the river's edge to flourish.

Leaf miner trails
Wild cucumber fruit cross-section
Numerous mushrooms, including the beauties shown above, grew from still moist and rotting logs.  Leaf miners left their calligraphy on the forest understory.  And the loofa-like fruits of wild cucumber vines fascinated everyone.

November walkers encountered several mysteries, some of which have since been solved...a deer scrape, the still robust leaves of rough avens, an inexplicably large wad of cattail fluff resting in the shoreline shrubbery, muskrat strewings, and a Canada goose egg!  Our walk ended in a celebratory gathering with refuge staff on the new observation deck.

And in December, we explored all of the beaverworks at Great Meadows....
December in the beaver yard

December 24, 2010

Season's Blessings

Last embers of 2010
As this year circles to the next, I want to thank all of you who have walked with us and shared your revelations, wisdom and love for our beautiful wild places...by river, bog, forest and field.  May you find the light that burns, sparkles, and reflects in these darker days and let it dazzle you!

Thanks to walker Anne Whitaker for letting me share her serendipitously ember-like image of a Great Meadows sunset taken on our December walk.

December 8, 2010

Beaver Works and Sunset Walk, Sat., Dec. 11, 2-4 pm

Active beaver lodge on the Concord River
Over the last few years, the beaver have been active at Great Meadows.  Three very different lodges, tunnels, tracks, and many a gnawed tree offer testimony to their eager engineering.  Join us for an exploration of these beaverworks and discover the many creatures and colors that come alive as the sn goes down.  Dress warmly!

No pre-registration required.  A voluntary donation of $5/person will be gratefully accepted.

Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist and photographer

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Assabet River NWR

Meet at Great Meadows NWR in Concord, MA.
(Monson Road, off Rte. 62, turn left where road turns right)