June 26, 2010

Thoreau Farm Opens to Public

This weekend marks the opening of Thoreau Farm at 341 Virginia Road in Concord.  Having long sat vacant and deteriorating, Thoreau's birthplace has been preserved through an ambitious fundraising effort and fully restored by local architects and artisans.  Set in the historic landscape of his childhood neighborhood, Thoreau's birthplace is now appointed with period gardens created this spring by Concord's Debbie Bier.  For a schedule of opening events, see http://www.thoreaufarm.org/lib/category/general/ and for a detailed article on the Farm's renovations, go to http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/massachusetts/articles/2010/06/27/farm_updated_with_thoreaus_love_of_environment_in_mind/

During your visit, take a walk out back to the inspired growing fields of Gaining Ground and don't miss their new sugar house on the circular driveway.  For more on Gaining Ground, see http://www.gainingground.org/.

June 19, 2010

Carnivorous Plants at Great Meadows!

Common bladderwort (Utricularia macrorhiza) makes its home in the shallow waters at Great Meadows.  This delicate and inconspicuous plant traps insects to supplement its diet, through small bladders attached to its submerged leaves.  When tiny swimming insects brush against the trigger hairs around the mouth of a bladder, it opens, sucking in its prey.  At best, these special plants are uncommon here, so please do not disturb them.  For more on common bladderwort, see http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/aquatics/utriculariamac.html

June 17, 2010

Snakes in Concord

Three snake encounters this spring seem worth sharing.
A northern watersnake threesome, found mating in mid-May at Great Meadows.  The smaller snakes are the two males.

A 4.5 foot long milksnake crossed my path on the historic cart path behind the Ripley School and near the shoreline of Gowing's Swamp.

A tiny screaming voice in the grass brought my attention to this drama between a garter snake and a frog.  This encounter occured in the exact same spot crossed by the milk snake a few days before.

June 15, 2010

REMINDER: Great Meadows Walk, Sunday, June 20, from 7:30-9:30 am

Marsh Wren
An early start on this first summer walk, brings us the wonders of the lush landscape at its freshest.  Enjoy the lingering dew, choruses of birdsong, wildlife encounters, and many new summer blooms before the heat of the day arise.  Bring binoculars and repellent.
No pre-registration required. A $5/person voluntary donation will be gratefully accepted.
Co-sponsored by Musketaquid and Friends of Assabet River NWR
Meet at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, MA
(Monsen Road, off Rte. 62, driveway on left where road curves right)