On Sunday, Jef led a small group of us on an urban nature walk. We started at the Bussey Brook Meadow and moved on to the Arnold Arboretum, ending at the Forest Hills gate. Mosquitoes hounded us, especially in the Meadow.
Jef called the meadow a European wildflower garden. We saw some periwinkle-colored chicory flowers (Cichorium intybus) and bird’s-foot trefoil flowers (Lotus corniculatus) with orange streaks on bright yellow. These were among the many wildflowers native to Europe.
We saw a lot of ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), a native plant that will jump-start everyone’s allergies in the fall.
And we saw some staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) beginning to fruit.
Japanese beetles were everywhere. First introduced in New Jersey in 1916, they have spread throughout the eastern United States.
A stinkbug was crawling on a flower stalk.
We found two types of snails in the meadow. The first one Jef called a striped English garden snail, which may also be known as the brown-lipped snail. But since it lacked a brown lip, it may be a white-lipped snail instead.
We also saw an amber snail, which I see often in the Arboretum. I could not find a lot of information about these types of snails in the Boston area.
Two butterflies spent enough time sitting still that we could photograph them. The first is some type of skipper.
The second is a little wood satyr, with four “eyes” on each side.
There were a few orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) in the meadow. Many more stands of these plants were flowering on the slopes of Bussey Hill.
The Bussey Meadow is an urban wild, where plants are allowed to sprout without too much human interference. We crossed the street to enter the Arnold Arboretum, a more managed area. Jef was happy to find a few kinds of mushrooms in the mulch surrounding the plants. We found bird’s nest fungus, one of the most interesting mushrooms. Each one looks like a bird’s nest with eggs in it. These nests are easy to miss unless you get up close.
Many kinds of bees were buzzing about. I’m pretty sure this one’s a honey bee.
Jef spotted an American toad on the slopes of Bussey Hill, the first time he had seen a toad in Boston.
He also dug aside some of the thatched grass and found this millipede.
We saw an eastern tailed blue butterfly on a white clover (Trifolium repens) flower.
Down by the ponds, dragonflies and damselflies were flitting about. A common whitetail, one of the bulkier dragonflies, was resting on a yellow flower stalk. And a very slight damselfy, the eastern forktail, rested on a leaf.
Before we left and helped ourselves to some black raspberries just outside the gate, I spotted this moth on the bark of a cherry tree.
Other posts from those on the walk: