We walked around Jamaica Pond on Christmas Eve. Our unseasonably warm December weather continued. Boston hit a high of 69° F (about 21° C). Many plants in the area have been behaving as if it were spring. A cherry tree in Jamaica Plain was in full bloom. And a few plants near the boathouse were unfurling new leaves.
Tag Archives: jamaica pond
Bald Eagle on Jamaica Pond
Last weekend, as we were birding around Leverett Pond, we noticed a lot of commotion among the birds. Gulls took to the air and Canada geese and mallards walked off the ice into open water, huddling together. Soon afterward, we spotted a large dark bird flying overhead, our first bald eagle sighting in Boston.
Today, we noticed something similar on our walk around Jamaica Pond. This time, we spotted the bald eagle first as it approached the Pond. Then, we noticed that all of the gulls on the Pond had taken off and were flying helter-skelter.
The Coot is Back in Town
American coots migrate north for the summer. Their return is a sign of autumn. As of Sunday, at least one of them has returned.
The trees and shrubs around Jamaica Pond are slowly catching up to the coots, but remain green for the most part.
Pockets here and there, though, show clear signs of fall.
An Arctic Afternoon at Jamaica Pond
Our first storm of the new year dropped about a foot of snow on us starting on Thursday. We braved temperatures around 10 °F/-12 °C to check in on Jamaica Pond.
Return of the Winter Moth
Heavy fog rolled into Boston on the evening of Thursday, December 5. A thick blanket of darkness lay over Jamaica Pond.
Unusual warmth accompanied the fog, and winter moths (Operophtera brumata) were out in force. I saw one on a shrub covered in Christmas lights. Continue reading
Red Sox Victory Parade
Boston celebrated the Red Sox victory in the World Series by throwing a parade on Saturday. I joined the crowds at one corner of the Boston Common, with bright fall color in the background.
Jamaica Pond: Dashers and More
We attended the Landmark Orchestra performance at Pinebank Promontory Sunday evening. Quite a number of people came out. It didn’t take long, however, for my three-year-old nephew to get restless. So, off we went searching for bugs. Turns out he is excellent at spotting dragonflies.
Giant Black Beetles at Jamaica Pond
We came across two large black beetles yesterday just off the path around Jamaica Pond. The beetles were possibly engaged in the act of mating. If so, the female beetle was much larger than the male and her orange belly was showing.
Bats at Jamaica Pond
Last week, we headed to Jamaica Pond at dusk to see if we could find any bats. Two friends with a bat detector joined us. This device picks up the echolocation calls that bats use to create an image of their surroundings in the dark.
We started detecting the bats around 9:30pm on the north side of the Pond near the old Pinebank mansion. The calls got louder as the bats approached us. We even managed to see a few, although it was too dark to take photos.
We climbed the stairs and proceeded to the baseball field. More bats!
Most of the bats called at around 30 kHz which, according to this chart, makes them big brown bats. This squares with Mass Audubon, which says that big brown bats prefer urban areas.
Thanks to Kieran and Sandy for teaching us how to detect bats.
Toadflax and Spindletrees
On our Friday walk around Jamaica Pond, we came across both a plant and a tree in flower. The plant, yellow toadfloax (Linaria vulgaris), has a spike of yellow flowers with orange centers.