June 22, 2015

Summer Solstice Refreshment at Great Meadows

Several monthly walkers and I stepped out onto a puddled trail last evening where lush June foliage hung heavy from some 2.25" of Solstice rain that had fallen throughout the day.  Silky dogwood buds were bursting open, bird chatter filled the humid air, and the heady fragrance of milkweed and white sweet clover blossoms permeated our senses.  A tattered bronze copper (Lycaena hyllus) butterfly tucked into the thick clover growth for the night.

Puddles lined the dike trail like runway lights, a rare sight during this drought stricken spring.  Still with all the dryness, we found abundant blooms of silky dogwood, winterberry, yarrow, milkweed, common St. Johnswort, milk parsley (just beginning), curly dock, yellow avens, and white sweet clover.   

An approaching cold front piled clouds along the western and northern horizons dramatically catching and deflecting the setting sunlight.

As darkness approached, green frogs began their low groan, great blue herons flew in for dusk-time feeding, and young wood ducklings appeared with their mom skittering among the rain-bejeweled lotus leaves feeding and exploring.  Toward the end of our walking, the male and female beaver from the eastern-most lodge swam up to us and circled close in the rosy water, without a tailslap.

Our evening ended with the twinkling light of fireflies filling the woodland borders of the parking lot...all a perfect beginning to summer days ahead.

June 3, 2015

Summer Evening Walks at Great Meadows

Monarch butterfly on buttonbush

 Part of a continuing series of walks led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist, exploring the seasonal wonders and landscape of Great Meadows NWR in Concord, MA

Sunday, June 21, 6:30 pm   Monthly walk  Walk is on tonight!
Sunday, July 19, 6:30 pm   Monthly walk
 Sunday, August 16, 6:30 pm   Monthly walk

Wednesday, July 1, 6:45 pm   Full Moon walk 
Friday, July 31, 6:45 pm   Blue Moon walk

All walks run about 1.75 hours

Warm summer nights and full moon light...join me for a series of six evening walks to explore the refuge on the edge of a long summer's day.  Birds and beavers stir and settle, herons feed, and great egrets fly to their roosts.  Hawk moths come out to feed on evening primrose blossoms and lotuses glow in the moonlight.  The air is heavy with floral scents and rainbows may appear as storms pass along the horizon.  It's a magical time to be out together.  Donations will be gratefully accepted.

Open to all ages.  No pre-registration required. 

Co-sponsored with Friends of the Assabet River NWR

Please note:  Refuge headquarters waives the entrance fee for these walks.  However, I encourage everyone to consider purchasing a $12 annual pass to help support critical visitor service needs at Great Meadows - Concord.

Meet at the information kiosk at Great Meadows NWR in Concord.  Take Rte. 62 to Monsen Rd.  Follow Monsen Rd. and turn left into refuge driveway when road turns sharply right.  Follow refuge road to the parking lot at the end.

For questions or to be added to the emailing list for notice of these and impromptu evening walks, contact Cherrie at cherrie.corey@verizon.net or 978-760-1933.