September 26, 2012

Harvest Moon Evening Walk

Great egrets heading to roost at sunset
Great Meadows NWR/Concord
Saturday, Sept. 29, 5:30-7 pm

The Harvest Moon is the first full moon after the autumnal equinox, occurring in either September or October each year.  What makes the Harvest Moon special?  It occurs when the moon's annual orbit makes a narrow angle to the Earth's horizon, giving us several evenings in a row when the moon is visible shortly after sunset.  Great Meadows is donning it fall splendor, the impoundments are once again being filled with water, and the twilight skies fill with flocks waterfowl flying in for a night's rest in the protected marshlands.   As we walk down the Dike Trail, we'll explore the profusion of autumn blossoms and seeds, evening feeding birds, spiders spinning their evening webs and enjoy the sounds and pungent smells of the approaching dusk.  Whether clear or cloudy, we'll enjoy the heightened and brightening effects the full moon has on the landscape and all its wild inhabitants.  Dress warmly for the quickly cooling temperatures as night closes in.

For more natural history about Great Meadows NWR, updated plant and bird lists, and other Sense of Place Concord programs, go to

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

Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist and photographer

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

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

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

September 8, 2012

September's Floral Wave

Waiting for liftoff - Pilewort or Fireweed (Erechtites hieracifolia)
 Each September, I am reinspired by the wave of new wetland and trailside fuits and blossoms that crowd the edges of the Dike Trail at Great Meadows NWR.  While many of these early fall beauties can be found throughout Concord, they are all easily seen here in a virtual glossary of late blooms that stretches along the trail that runs from the parking lot to the Concord River's edge.  Here is a sampling to whet your curiosity!

Small-flowered gerardia (Agalinis paupercula)
Jewelweed or Touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)
Buttonbush fruit (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Sweet everlasting (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium)

Nodding bur-marigold (Bidens cernua)
Calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum)
Climbing false buckwheat (Polygonum scandens)
Tall lettuce seed cluster (Latuca canadensis)
Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
A late blooming meadowsweet (Spirea alba)