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

Friday, June 30, 2006
Manchester-Essex Woods
It's been raining a great deal this spring so it's hard to get into the woods as often as I like. Over the past week I've made two short trips. Unlike most walks, on these trips I had illustrious company.

Rob Kipp photographs in the Heron Pond area

Helen, Executive Director of the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust.

Cathy, a writer living near the area.

Cathy, Angela from the Nature Conservancy, and Helen gather around the rock monster.

Partridgeberry in bloom.

Partridgeberry in bloom.

Rattlesnake plantain throwing up a flower stem.

A ribbon snake thinks he's hidden from me.

Club moss in wonderful light.

Small whorled pogonia is currently designated as Threatened in its entire range.

Indian pipe is just starting to spout everywhere.

Featherfoil, (Hottonia inflata) is a plant that floats in the water along the boardwalk margins of Cedar Swamp.

A slime mold gathers on a birch tree.

posted by Dennis 7:30 AM
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Sunday, June 18, 2006
Manchester-Essex Woods
Today was fater's day, a great time to spend six hours tramping the woods. It was warmer than it has been, and that seems to have brought more things out; both plants and animals. I saw three garter snakes that I haven't posted because they have appeared here before. The day's highlight is the newt!

A newt, something I've only seen till now in the Adirondacks.

A toad sits in the sunlight at the side of the trail.

Bunchberry, the only one I've seen in the woods

Pinesap, a saprophytic plant that doesn't need light to grow.

Shinleaf, a member of the wintergreen family.

A wood frog watches me from a pool beside the trail.

A slime mold that wasn't there yesterday. These are amazing plant/animals and definately worth Googling.

An insect had an out of body experience. (I've obviously spent too much time in the sun today.)

Looking down on an iris.

Spotted wintergreen.

posted by Dennis 1:40 PM
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Saturday, June 17, 2006
Manchester-Essex Woods
The following pictures are all from the past two weeks. I had time to take them but not time to post them.

Rattlesnake plantain, an orchid.


A white violet.

A bluet.

Pink ladyslippers.

One naturalist, when he learned of the life cycle of this beast, lost all faith in the existance of a God. Google "Ichneumon" to see why.

Indian cucumber in blossom.


An American toad.

An ant out exploring.

Spittlebug shelter made from the juice of the host plant.

Wild iris.


A flower I don't recognize and I can't find my Newcomb!

Sheep laurel.


A birch tree down in the soft grass.

Won't be long before we feast on the blueberries.

A scene along the Ancient Way Trail.

Ground pince, also known as club moss or princess pine.

Sassafras with the tell-tale mitten shaped leaves.

Partridgeberry about to flower.

Pink ladyslipper.

Pale corydalis.

Cow-wheat that grows everywhere along the trails.

I missed the peak flowering season for blue bead but look for blue berries later in the summer.

posted by Dennis 12:55 PM
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