We have our first week of nature walks under our belts and have some great adventures to report. We had our first trip to Starfish Cave and here you see a mother and daughter inside the cave examining a Sea Star. We also found urchin, sponges, anemones and snails in the cave, so it continues to be a great place to see sea creatures at low tide.
Our next walk took us along the rocky shoreline of Joe's Head checking on the many flowers in bloom along the shoreline. The Three Toothed Cinquefoil continues to dot the rocks, as well as Whorled Loosestrife and Buttercups. We found the fresh water pool where some toad tadpoles have been developing. It is such a vulnerable place on the edge of the rocks, but seems to be fed with a stream of rain water. We netted a few and noticed that they have four legs, but still a long tail. I have a feeling they will absorb that tail and take off into the shoreline vegetation within days. The edge of the pool is lined with an insectivorous plant Sun Dew, which is also interesting to observe with its sticky leaves.
A early morning bird walk wrapped up our hikes for the week. We counted 18 different species of birds, including a rare sighting of a Roseate Tern with the help of Mike Fahay, a local birder. We also found Luna and Sphinx Moths attracted to the lights of shower and bath buildings. The green Luna Moths only purpose in life is to find a mate, and if it is a female, lay eggs. They lack developed mouth parts so don't try to feed them. They don't last long. The Sphinx Moths are barely noticeable unless they fly and show the pink patches on their underwings. Look for both of these interesting moths. I also saw my first Monarch Butterfly on the Milkweed patch behind Sanddune Beach.
We had another interesting outing to the Bijhouwer Preserve here in Phippsburg. This area is unique because of a large stand of Mountain Laurel. We also discovered a Wood Frog hopping about in the woods, and stopped to admire the beauty of Partridge Berry in bloom. This preserve also has interesting rock walls of huge proportions, and a waterfall, no less. Phippsburg has all kinds of natural wonders!
6/26/10 Ronnie, on the move.