To our great surprise, we crossed paths with a wild turkey yesterday on Spectacle Island. We knew turkeys weren’t strong fliers, so how does one get to the Boston Harbor Islands?
Tag Archives: Massachusetts
I saw this pair of Lixus weevils yesterday clinging to a plant stalk. They look like anteaters crossed with grasshoppers, only twice as ridiculous. They appear to be black yet covered with an orange or rust-colored powder. They continued to mate as I pointed the camera at them. The lower one, however, would slide around the stalk to hide from me.
After a few cold, cloudy, rainy days, we took advantage of today’s brilliant sunshine to walk through the Arboretum. We spotted a Baltimore oriole nest in the Meadow hanging on a silver maple branch. A female oriole perched next to it and watched us.
I found two eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies (Papilio glaucus) on a mulch bed at the Arboretum last week. They appeared to be basking in the sun. At times, both would shiver their wings. I assumed one of these butterflies was a male and the other female but, judging from the lack of blue chevrons on their hindwings, they both appear to be male.
Monday was a fine day for birding at the Arboretum. Spring migrants are everywhere to be found. I managed to see seven species of warblers alone!
I saw and heard a number of catbirds, many of them hiding inside bushes. The red underneath the tail feathers caught my attention for the first time.
American woodcocks, a bird we had never seen, had been spotted in the Fenway Victory Gardens. So, on this sunny spring day, we went looking for them. About 45 minutes into our walk, we saw one fly right by us and land in one of the garden plots. It paced back and forth, bobbing its breast up and down.
I went for a walk as soon as the clouds cleared this afternoon. Judging from the forecast, spring has finally arrived and the plants at the Arboretum are starting to show it. The flower buds of red maples are ready to burst. Snowdrops are the only form of snow left in the area. And crocuses have joined the snowdrops in flower, two weeks later than last year.
The snowdrops are out! We found them near the Explorers’ Garden on Bussey Hill, along the road near the sassafras, and in the marsh, poking out amongst grass and leaf litter.
This gorgeous variety of witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Hiltingbury’) also impressed us.
We have endured a colder-than-normal winter in Boston and so any sign of spring is much celebrated. On March 1, we counted over a hundred American robins near Meadow Road in the Arboretum. While the number might be unusual, robins in and of themselves are not a true sign of spring. Many overwinter in the area.
Today, however, we saw and heard our first male red-winged blackbirds. These birds are a more reliable indicator that winter is waning. Coincidentally, today was the nicest day we have had all year, with balmy temperatures and clear skies. The cold will soon return, but so will more of the red-winged blackbirds, and spring will win out.
Today was one of the nicest days of this new year in Boston: sunny and around 55 °F/12 °C. Even after our mid-winter thaw the last few days, Leverett Pond was mostly frozen and its banks covered in snow. The wood ducks I had seen early in the winter are still around.