Seasonal Signs
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dennis Curtin's journal of natural events in and around Marblehead, Massachusetts

Saturday, July 31, 2004
The Emerald Necklace
Friday morning was our very first humid, hazy early morning. The light was beautiful and there was no wind. Definitely a time to hit the path at sunrise.

Frog found crossing the site where Conservancy plans on putting in a gravel road

Marblehead's Abbott Hall from the top of Legg's Hill


Hedge Bindweed in white

Nightshade berries

Slime Mold


posted by Dennis 2:00 AM
. . .
Thursday, July 29, 2004
The Emerald Necklace
I walk the Emerald Necklace almost daily but haven't carried the camera in almost a month. Today I tried to catch up on the things I've been seeing.

Stakes showing where a well-intentioned but misguided conservation group's plans to drive an 8 foot wide, 160 foot long, 18-inch high gravel alley of death through one of our most beautiful open spaces. It will be a dehydration and predation zone that will act like a heat sink on sunny summer days. It passes right over the only Swamp Milkweed in Town and within inches of the pond into which it will eventually erode. Elsewhere the group plans a trail through the only patch of Bloodroot in town. The end result will be two local extinction events--the lights for these flowers on the global map will blink out.

The soon to be buried Swamp Milkweed

The soon to be destroyed Bloodroot

Monkeyflower. Don't you love the name?

Burdock in flower

Mountain Mint



Pond Lily

Stinging Nettle in full bloom

Blue Vervain

Butter and Eggs

Evening Primrose

posted by Dennis 8:13 AM
. . .
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Salem Woods
It's been a few weeks since I have walked Salem Woods so I was anxious to see what I'd find. I wasdn't doisappointed by this amazing place. Among other things, Wood Lilys were just starting to bloom. They are one of mid summer's highlights.

Wood Lily

Jewelweed (Touch-me-Nots)

Swamp Hemlock

Baneberry (Doll's eyes)


Milkwort Raceme

Lady Slipper seed pod

Purple-flowering Grape

posted by Dennis 3:58 PM
. . .
Lynn Woods
I intended to take just a quick walk to checlk on the blueberries, but ended up spending almost four hours in the woods. There were new things everywhere.

Small and beautiful but not yet identified

Pearly Everlasting





Swamp Honeysuckle

Yellow Indigo

Yellow Indigo along the path

Know but can't remember, sigh

posted by Dennis 8:24 AM
. . .
Manchester Woods
Straddling the town's of Manchester and Essex lies the Manchester Woods conservation area. Abutting it is Agassie Rocks, large boulders moved to their current position by the glaciers.

Slime mold on the forest floor

Indian Pipe shouldering its way up through the leaf litter

Arrowhead Arum

Old marker on the old road

Agassie Rocks at the top of the climb

posted by Dennis 8:05 AM
. . .
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Lynn Woods
It was a perfect day to spend in Lynn Woods and it is that time of year when Indian Pipe and Spotted Wintergreen prevail. However, there were also a few other flowers and other things to see.


Indian Pipe peaking out of the leaf litter

A small stand of Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe turns up as it matures

Spotted Wintergreen

Spotted Wintergreen

Spotted Wintergreen

Spotted Wintergreen



Canadian Mayflower berries

Wood Aster


Toad on the path


Slime mold on a fallen log

posted by Dennis 2:33 PM
. . .
Monday, July 12, 2004
Ware Pond
Great light, lite wind, time for a quick visit to Ware Pond at the end of the street.

Creeping Bellflower

Patch of Creeping Bellflower

Swamp Candle

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed with wasp


posted by Dennis 2:16 PM
. . .
Leggs Hill
The early morning light was perfect for photography and there was no wind so I was off to Leggs Hill to see what's happened in the past few weeks. There hasn't been a great deal of change but that doesn't mean things weren't enjoyable to look at.

Downy Phlox

White Sweet Clover

Evening Primrose with Lady Bug

Rabbit-foot Clover with embedded Black-eyed Susans

Not all Mullein is yellow

Mullein, short and squat

St. Johnswort

Musk Mallow and Hoary Alyssum

Canada Thistle; pretty if you don't work a farm

posted by Dennis 6:17 AM
. . .
Albany Pine Bush Preserve
Over the weekend Peggy and I drove to a graduation party in Syracuse. On our return trip we stopped for a few hours at a place I had heard much about; the
Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This area supports the endangered Karner Blue butterfly that lays its eggs only on Lupine plants. I was too late to capture the Lupine in bloom but did find plants. I only had time to walk a few trails and regret this beautiful spot isn't closer so I could get to know it in depth in all seasons.

The sign at trail head #1

Lupine leaves

Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars hiding under milkweed leaf


Horsemint flowers nestled under the bracts

Butterfly Weed, a member of the Milkweed family

Butterfly Weed flowers up close

Seedbox growing in sandy soil

Tick Trefoil

posted by Dennis 2:51 AM
. . .
Sunday, July 04, 2004
The Path
It was a Saturday morning, clear and surprisingly cool for this time of year. I took off for Leggs Hill then around the Path for a 3 hour walk, ending at the Farmers Market. There was much new to see including butterflies and bees working the blossoming milkweed.




Enchanter's Nightshade


Tall Meadow Rue

Hedge Bindweed

Swamp Milkweed

Purple Loosestrife

Swamp Candle

posted by Dennis 2:32 AM
. . .

. . .