April 22, 2010

Estabrook's Sweet Spots

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima)
Emily Wheeler shares photos of two, rare Concord wildflowers found in Estabrook Woods.  These species were initially introduced here by Minot Pratt in the mid-1800s because he thought they might thrive in the lime-sweetened soils unique to these woods and Concord's otherwise acidic terrain.

April 19, 2010

Prairie Wildflowers

Two new discoveries for me while visiting my daughter at college in Richmond, IN...toadshade or sessile trillium and prairie trout lilies.  Redbud's are blushing along the woodland edges. Virginia bluebells,spring beauties, and violets carpet the open woodlands, and lilacs are already blooming.

Prairie Trout Lily (Erythronium mesochoreum) top,  Toadshade (Trillium sessile) bottom

April 15, 2010

Spring Walk at Great Meadows -- Sunday, April 25, 9-11 am

Shadbush (Amelanchier sp.)
Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist and photographer.

A continuing series of monthly walks exploring the landscape, plants, and seasonal wonders of Great Meadows in Concord.

The warming earth and receding waters give way to delicate blossoms, perfect new leaves, greening shoots,  and the hot pink buds of our own Concord grape.  Come explore and celebrate the floodplain's renewal.  Wear rubber boots.

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

Co-sponsored by Musketaquid Arts and Environment Program and Friends of the Assabet River NWR.

Meet in the parking lot at Great Meadows NWR in Concord (Monsen Rd., off Rte. 62, driveway on left where road curves right).

For questions, email cherrie.corey@verizon.net or call cell 978-760-1933.

April 14, 2010

New Concord Wildlands Photo Album

Fairyland - Concord Town Forest
A walk around Fairyland Pond in the Concord Town Forest discovering the first signs of spring... see photo album at Fairyland Pond Spring.

April 8, 2010

All Warm and Fuzzy

Pussywillows, whose buds and emerging reproductive parts are protected by a fuzzy coat for their cool breeding season, surely felt overdressed this week.  As they sped through their flowering in the last few days, pollinators were pressed to keep up.  Usually willows, the heat absorbing flowers of silver and red maples and alders, and the heat generating blossoms of skunk cabbage are the few wild flowers in our landscape in early April - with wind-waggled catkins of birch and poplars following next.  But this spring's extreme weather of excess water and heat has brought on an explosion of bloom that's precariously ahead of schedule. 

I like time to savor the unfolding of spring in its perfected rhythms of sun angle, temperature changes, and progressions of bloom and mating. Frosty temperatures remain a threat for premature bloomers right through mid-May, not all of which have built-in warm and fuzzy protection.  It will be interesting to explore what the heat-hastening and flood-suppressing effects have had on our landscape and wild life come May.