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: reptiles
Ward’s Pond: Signs of Spring
Yesterday, on a truly spring-like day with warm temperatures and bright sunshine, we took a walk around Ward’s Pond, a small pond in Boston’s Emerald Necklace. Signs of spring abounded.
Red maples were in bloom. And our migrant birds from the south were out and about. A very noisy flock of grackles was foraging in the leaf litter.
Arboretum: First Warbler of the Year
We walked the Arboretum yesterday in search of spring activity. Despite the gray skies, birds were in spring mode. We were lucky enough to see our first warbler of the year, a palm warbler, near the beech collection on Bussey Hill. The warbler migration has begun!
Arboretum: Stink Bug Prey and Snake Eyes
I found a stink bug nymph in the Arboretum this morning. It is probably an instar of the green stink bug (Chinavia hilaris), although it lacks the orange shoulder pads that I see in every other photo of green stink bug nymphs.
Arboretum: Encounter with a Snake
On Wednesday, I heard something rustling in the grass near the Arboretum’s hickory collection. Turned out to be this garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), a skinny fellow who was quite afraid of me.
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.
Forest Hills Cemetery on a Spring Day
Yesterday was the last in a long streak of sunny and dry days in Boston. I visited Forest Hills Cemetery to see what I could find.
I saw this eastern forktail damselfly resting on a reed at the edge of Lake Hibiscus. Damselflies rest with their wings closed or only slightly open. According to A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts, eastern forktails emerge early in the spring and are very common in this area.
Spring Walk Around the Pond
We saw a couple birds for the first time this spring on yesterday’s walk around Jamaica Pond. A spotted sandpiper was hopping along the banks, trying to keep its distance from us. When it flew away, it flew low over the water.
We also saw a yellow-rumped warbler. We could easily see the yellow patch under the wing but had to wait until the bird ruffled its feathers for us to see the namesake yellow patch on its back.