Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Photopost: Wachusett Meadow

For Father’s Day this year, we once again visited one of the most beautiful places on earth, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton, MA.  I guess it’s a tradition now.

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Frog on a log. Far fewer than we saw last year.

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We had no idea what these red bumps were so we showed this picture to the naturalist. He believes it’s the remains of a slime mold.

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Looking out over the Beaver Pond.

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Daisy in the meadow.

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The Meadow changes with every step as the contours shift with a new perspective.

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Purple flowers (I’m an archivist, not a botanist, all right!)

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More wildflowers.

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The stone wall, a New England tradition.

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Frog on a lily pad.

Previously: Photopost: Wachusett Meadow (2012)

Book Review: Cape Cod by Henry David Thoureau

Author: Henry David Thoureau
TitleCape Cod
Publication Info: New York, NY : Penguin Books, 1987 [originally published in 1865]
ISBN: 0140170022
Summary/Review:

This book collects essays Thoreau wrote on several trips to Cape Cod and was published after his death.  Thoreau’s great journeys were rarely far from his home in Concord, and yet the descriptions of every day detail are as if he’d traveled around the world.  No more so than his writing about Cape Cod which after a century and a half of time passed sounds like it could’ve been a journey to Mars.  The writing is beautiful whether he’s describing a shipwreck, beachcombing, or the people who populate the sand-covered villages.

Rating: ***1/2

Photopost: Wachusett Meadows

We celebrated Father’s Day with a hike around the beautiful Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton, MA.

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Book Review: Get Out!: 150 Easy Ways for Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future by Judy Molland

Author:  Judy Molland
Title: Get Out!: 150 Easy Ways for Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future by Judy Molland
Publication Info:  Minneapolis, MN : Free Spirit Pub., 2009.
ISBN: 9781575423357
Summary/Review:  This book is a short reference book with a list of 150 suggestions of what children and families can do to experience nature and participate in environmental conservation.  I was a bit disappointed that the book is literally a list with just a few paragraphs per item and that it is less about “what kids can do outdoors” than “things you can do to save the Earth.”   Not that that is a bad thing, it’s just there are many other books on that topic.  Still, this could be a good reference to keep on hand for parenting ideas regarding nature and the environment.
Rating: **

Lilac Sunday

Jamaica Plain continued welcoming in the spring with Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum.  We took some time to pedal our bikes and sniff the petals.  Here are a few photos.

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Photopost: Franklin Park Zoo

A few animal portraits from a holiday Monday visit to Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo.

It was completely unexpected to see a Black Swan at the zoo.

Crowd of Budgie birds at the new Aussie Aviary.

An attractive blue Budgie.

Another attractively colored Budgie.

FREE Tour of Jamaica Pond on Saturday!

Saturday June 19th at 11 am, meet at the Jamaica Pond Bandstand near the intersection of Pond Street and Jamaicaway for a 90-minute tour around Jamaica Pond.   Yours truly will be one of the guides for this Jamaica Plain Historical Society walking tour.

Official description of the tour from the JPHS website:

Once a gathering point for Boston’s elite, the Pond had previously been put to   industrial use as tons of ice were harvested there each winter. Learn about the movers and shakers such as Francis Parkman who made their homes on the Pond’s shores. Discover how the Pond was transformed from private estates and warehouses into the parkland we know today.
Leaves from the Bandstand, Pond Street and Jamaicaway.

Come join us for a fun and informative tour.  Last year I lead this tour for 27 people and 4 dogs.  It should be a nice escape on a hot day.  Don’t forget that the price of this tour is FREE, although you may want to sign up for a JPHS membership starting at $15.

Audubon Nature Festival

Today we attended the 13th Annual Audubon Nature Festival at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA.  It was a great family event with a great number of activities for young children.  Not that my young child took much interest in a lot of the activities, but that’s okay.  Sometimes it’s just as fun to run up and down the path.

The highlight of the festival were the presentation by Eyes on Owls.  The wife-husband team of Marcia and Mark Wilson brought their menagerie of live owls for display and discussion.  It was a very interactive program and many audience members came up to practice their owl calls.

The video below shows the Wilsons at work in a program very similar to what we saw today.  My owl photos follow:

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Book Review: Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn

Author: Marie Winn
Title: Central Park in the Dark
Publication Info: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008.
ISBN: 9780374120115 

Summary/Review:

This series of essays follows Winn and her cohorts over a decade spent observing the wildlife of an urban place, New York City’s Central Park.  Winn tells of encounters with red-tailed hawks, grackles, moths, slugs, robins, and owls and brings to life the excitement of waiting patiently to be there for the fly out of your favorite bird.  The title comes from the need to be in the park before dawn or after sunset to observe the natural goings-on, something that is perceived as a dangerous thing to do.  There are a lot of elements to this book that make is natural for me to like – New York, Central Park, quirky people with unusual hobbies, discovering the unexpected in a very accessible place – and yet I didn’t like the book as much as I want to.  Perhaps its the heavy detail offered by one who’s into intensive scrutiny whereas I just want a general overview or perhaps its the bad jokes that get less funny with repetition.  One things for sure, this book is best read like birding – slowly and with great patience over many days, not rushed through.

Recommended books: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, Outside Lies Magic by John Stilgoe, and Pigeons by Andrew Blechman
Rating: **1/2

FREE Tour of Jamaica Pond on Saturday!

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society debuts its newest neighborhood tour of Jamaica Pond this Saturday, June 27th at 11 am.  The 90-minute walking tour will discuss the residential, industrial, and recreational history of this scenic gem.  The tour departs from the bandstand near the intersection of Pond Street and Jamaicaway, and yours truly will be one of the guides.

Jamaica Pond Panorama, copyright Steve Garfield.  From Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Jamaica Pond Panorama, copyright Steve Garfield. From Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Official description from the JPHS website:

Once a gathering point for Boston’s elite, the Pond had previously been put to industrial use as tons of ice were harvested there each winter. Learn about the movers and shakers such as Francis Parkman who made their homes on the Pond’s shores. Discover how the Pond was transformed from private estates and warehouses into the parkland we know today.

Come one come all and get some fresh air after being cooped up inside all these days.  Don’t forget that the price of this tour is FREE, although you may want to sign up for a JPHS membership starting at $15.

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