March 11, 2013

Great Meadows March Walk

Saturday, March 16, 3-5 p.m.

March is a month of seasonal transition and the ever-presence of water and wind. 
"Ice out" time brings the prospect of spring flooding and emerging wetland plants and wildlife.  Muskrat and beaver boldly appear, redwings return, birdsong fills the marshes, eagles join the spring feasting, and fat red maple buds burst into bloom in the floodplain forest.  Join me to explore spring's early awakening throughout the refuge.  Dress in warm layers and wear waterproof footgear.

No preregistration required.  A $5/person donation will be gratefully accepted.

Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist and photographer

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

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

For questions, email or call 978-760-1933

March 3, 2013

Harbingers of Spring

First skunk cabbages reported blooming on March 1
The warm waters and protected hollow of Brister's Spring, in Concord's Town Forest, give way each year to some of the first blooming skunk cabbage in Concord.  An abundance of flowers emerge from the gently flowing waters and soft, deep mud.  Walden Woods' Matt Burne reported these primal blossoms on March 1st and I followed with this portrait session on March 3rd, risking a fall into a very wet and gooey spring bed.  Ray Angelo, an authority on Concord's floral history, reports that Thoreau's average date of bloom for skunk cabbage was March 31, based on six annual observations noted in his journals 150+ years ago.

Pollen showing inside this open blossom
Skunk cabbage are a colorful and shapely breed
These beauties were in full glory throughout a significant weekend snowstorm, affirming that spring's progress was not deterred by March's occasional wintery interludes.

Brister's Spring trail
Fairyland Pond trail
Birch branches against pond ice