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

Monday, October 16, 2006
People in Manchester-Essex Woods
This past Saturday was a day for walks organized by The Nature Conservancy and the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust. The two walks gave me the opportunity to spend the day in the enjoyable company of the walk leaders Erika and Martha and many other delightful people. Erika is an artist and expert on the woods and has a must-see Web site at
Erika Sonder's Portable Herbarium.

Erika Sonder led the morning walk.

Martha led the afternoon walk in a different part of the woods.

The group checks out the entrance to the Bear's Den.

A grandfather looks down on the group from the top of the big bolder.

Martha tells us there is room inside for 10 so here goes.

Martha was right and was also the last out.

A great day was had by all.

posted by Dennis 1:19 PM
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Manchester-Essex Woods
These photos were taken during a walk a week ago. There are still some asters blooming in the woods and the witch hazel is starting to flower, but the big attraction is the foliage in the wetlands.

An hour after dawn at Heron Pond.

Heron pond water lilies.

A fallen leaf caught by goldenrod.

Sunlight strikes the floor of the woods bordering Cedar Swamp.

Baby Rock, one of the landmarks in the woods.

Cairn on top of Baby Rock.

Spagnum moss where in a few months there will be a vernal pool alive with the chorus of wood frogs.

A dying fern.

A redback salamander.

Fall foliage along the boardwalk.

posted by Dennis 12:48 PM
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Manchester-Essex Woods
I have been very lax about posting photos recently. This time of year work really cuts into my free time. The photos in this section were taken about two weeks ago and things have changed dramatically since then.

Pinesap, the coral colored fall variant.

Cedar swamp in fall colors.

Cedar swamp dead trees caused by beaver dams flooding the area.

Cedar swamp.


Heron Pond.

Reflections in Heron Pond.

A watersnake throws up a wake as it approaches from across the pond.

The snake glides to the edge of the pond to check me out. Who knew watersnakes were curious?

Turtlehead growing in a wetland.

More turtlehead.

A mushroom.


Fetid stinkhorn seen on a walk in Marblehead but too attractive to be left out.

Swallowtail chryslis in which the butterfly will overwinter before ermerging in the spring.

Hawk being mobbed by crows.

posted by Dennis 6:21 AM
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