It’s the height of summer. I love every season, but wish I could slow this one down and spend more time soaking in all that it has to offer. This week alone is flying by.
My offerings are a mishmash of what I saw and did during the week, beginning with the mystery stones on the backside of Amos Mountain at the Heald and Bradley Ponds Reserve in Lovell.
My friend, Jinny Mae, would love this mystery, so I’m going to ask her what she thinks this is all about. It’s a huge structure and I hope some people will want to check it out with me this Saturday during the Family Fun Day–A Celebration of People, Place and Nature hosted by the Greater Lovell Land Trust.
There’s one more mystery in this photo–four legs. Do you see them?
I continued on to the Wilson Wing Moose Pond Bog Preserve to make some tweaks along the newly installed self-guided nature tour beside Sucker Brook.
Shout out to docent Linda Wurm for all the work that went into re-creating and installing the signs. Warning to the wise: Do not hire the two of us for any house renovations. We discovered talents we don’t possess. A humbling experience.
One of my favorite plants along this trail–hobblebush showing off its fruits.
And letting us know that times are a-changing. Say it isn’t so–it’s too early for fall colors. I only found it on this one shrub. Phew.
A docent tramp at the Chip Stockford Reserve on Tuesday took a wee bit more than the usual three hours. The loop trail is only about a mile long, but we’re passionate about checking everything out. The parasitic plants were in full bloom, like this Indian Pipe,
yellow-flowered pine-sap, and
squaw-root. Kind of looks like corn on the cob, doesn’t it? Or a pine cone?
Yesterday, I joined the Lovell Recreation Program for the grand finale to our land trust nature program–a field trip to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. Though it can be disconcerting to see wild animals caged, these are here for some reason–and they give us an opportunity to see animals that surround us but are elusive.
What were the kids’ favorites? The turtles and brook trout. Feeding the brook trout especially.
Last night, Brian Fox and Heidi Dikeman, grandchildren of John Fox, hosted a talk for the GLLT about their grandfather and his Yankee ingenuity. This was John’s house–at the southern end of Heald Pond. Though they thought it funny that I entitled the talk “The Legendary John Fox,” I think it became more apparent as the evening wore on and the stories unfolded that he was indeed a legend in these parts. A magical evening for many who attended.
We returned today to learn more about the mill by John’s house. Another shout out–this time to docent Bob Winship, who shared his knowledge of dams with a large crowd. The rocks–a contrast of age and history.
A third shout out to docent Susan Winship for helping us all learn how to identify ferns, like this beech fern with its lowest leaflets pointing diagonally outward, winged attachment to the mid vein, and growth pattern arching toward the ground.
A final shout out to Pam Katz, who starred in her debut appearance as a docent. 🙂
We reached Otter Rocks and looked back toward John Fox’s house.
My final stop, though the week isn’t over–the Songo River, which is the connection in the chain of lakes–Long Lake, Brandy Pond and Sebago Lake.
The Songo was the source of a major variable-leaf milfoil infestation that Lakes Environmental Association has been working to eradicate. Notice the red stem? Underwater, it looks similar to our native bladderwort, but that stem is the giveaway.
Among the heavily infested areas–the basin just below the Songo Lock. Today, it’s part of an LEA success story and I get to share that story in a newspaper article.
These mesh onion bags are filled with milfoil handpicked from the river. But . . . this is nothing compared to the past when the milfoil team used the suction harvester and benthic barriers as their major defense. This pile represents a couple of weeks worth of finds and will warrant a trip to the compost pile soon. In previous years they made daily trips to the compost pile.
Before leaving the river, we saw a couple of wooden Chris Crafts travel by–enroute to Naples for this weekend’s Antique and Classic Boat Show on the causeway.
That being said, come to Lovell on Friday afternoon for Bonny Boatman’s presentation on the Uncommon Common Loon, Friday night for the annual education meeting featuring Geri Vistein, conservation biologist for Project Coyote, and on Saturday for the 2nd annual Family Fun Day. Follow the signs.
Summer may be flying by, but we’ll show you how to get out and enjoy it.