August 15, 2012

Impromptu Wonders

Last night's impromptu evening walk was a bit of a gamble.  I offered the hope of seeing herons and egrets come in to roost at Borden's Pond and crossed my fingers.  We were met with a pageant of evening wondrous moment after another!  The afternoon clouds gave way to clear shafts of evening light that set the lotus fields aglow and deepened the colors of all the trailside wildflowers. Then we were greeted by wild whistling and the determined flight of the now famed, but rare black-bellied whistling duck as he took off near us to fly two large rotations around the impoundments, calling all the while.
As we walked up the river trail toward the refuge boundary, we marveled at the bounty of swamp dogwood and elder berries and the great expanse of stunted wild rice plumes out in the marsh (lower water, shorter rice).
Once at Borden Pond, the magic began.  First, a colony of cardinal flower glowing from the shadows.
Beautifully seeded, arching sprays of milk parsley were silhouetted against the smooth, rosy-colored water.  An egret sailed across the pond and alighted in the top of a tall silver maple.
Frogs jumped across our path.  Green herons (4+) flew in with loud "skows" echoing across the pond and a pair of what looked like snowy egrets appeared and settled into a low hanging branch near enough for us to watch them.  A silver ribbon appeared out in the pond, marking the wake of a beaver swimming past.  A common merganser flew in and an unidentified hawk swooped in from overhead.  As the light faded, two screech owls began to call to one another, one from the ridge and the other by the river...a first listening experience for some.  Walking back in the waning light we caught glimpses of a nighthawk's teetering flight just overhead.  A beautiful, peaceful, and memorable walk for us all.

My thanks to Janice Koskey for the use of her beautiful photos.  I mistakenly left my camera card at home last night!

August 13, 2012

Highlights at Midday - Great Meadows NWR

I rarely feel moved to make photographs in the harsh contrasting light of a summer afternoon.  But my visiting sister and I have a brief opportunity for a midday walk today, and summer's magic prevailed and inspired.

Great egret in lotus field
American lotus and pickerel-weed
Monarch feeding on buttonbush...probing each tubular flower
Green frog on lotus leaves

August 6, 2012

In the Zone - Lotus

Inspired by a visit to Ansel Adams - At the Water's Edge, at the Peabody Essex Museum yesterday, I made this lotus image early yesterday morning at Great Meadows NWR in Concord.

Great Meadows Walks - Summer 2012

The refuge hums with life during the warmest months of the year.  Its luxuriance, expansive views, and ever changing moods promises endless delight for our senses and curiosity.  Great Meadows is a magical place to walk, to breathe, and to commune.  Each month this summer, I will be offering one Saturday morning walk, with an additional evening/full moon walk in both July and August.  Additional impromptu evening walks are also possible, which I will announce via my walkers email list.

Full moon over Great Meadows
Cardinal flowers
June Monthly Walk - Saturday, June 16, 9:30-11:30 am

July Evening/Full Moon Walk - Tuesday, July 3, 7-9 pm
July Monthly Walk - Saturday, July 21, 9:30-11:30 am

August Evening/Full Moon Walk - Thursday, August 2, 7-9 pm
August Monthly Walk - Saturday, August 11, 9:30-11:30 am

Swamp mallow
Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist and photographer

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

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

Met at Great Meadows NWR in Concord, MA  (Monsen Road, off Rte. 62, driveway on left where road curves right.  Drive to parking lot at the end.)

For questions, email or call 978-760-1933.

August 2, 2012

Sense of Place - A Personal Journey

Full moon over Blue Hill Bay
When not in Concord, my sense of place and sacred space runs deepest along the DownEast Maine and Maritime coastlines.  This past week, I spent some solo time at our cabin in Surry, ME.  For reasons that may predate this lifetime, I feel the greatest kinship with landscapes above the 44th parallel.  Black spruce, lichens, mosses, long angles of sunlight, and the glacially sculpted terrain all give me a sense of coming home.  Serendipitously, my Concord home of 35 years lies within walking distance of a locally rare northern bog and our summer cabin within a few miles of the homestead of John Peters, one of the founders of Blue Hill, ME and my paternal grandmother's first N. American ancestor -- neither of which I knew at the time we made decisions to settle into each.  Our sense of place is a journey of connection and self discovery that reveals many surprising layers, across space and time!