Connecticut's Historic Gardens website has a terrific blog post about the Caroline Ferriday Monarch Butterfly Way Station (a joint project of the BLT and The Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden). Click this link to read it and view the lovely photos and learn also about upcoming gardening workshops to be held at the Bellamy-Ferriday.
June 7th, a beautiful day at the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden: Nearly 100 people participated in the festive opening of the Carolyn Ferriday Monarch Butterfly Way Station. This is a joint venture of the Bethlehem Land Trust and the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden. Attendees learned about the life cycle, habitat, and migration of the Monarch, got an up close look at all stages of its development, and helped to release dozens of these beautiful creatures in the garden and preserve, where we hope they will flourish and reproduce. Before and after the release, visitors enjoyed refreshments, which were provided by the Soroptimists, and activities in the craft room, where creative types decorated butterfly masks and fans in charming and imaginative ways.
Mary Havermale photos.
Pouring rain diminished their number but didn't dampen the spirits of BLT board members and volunteers who joined forces to collect roadside trash on April 26. Their efforts yielded upwards of 20 large bags of trash, which were picked up by the town the following Monday. Thanks to all who participated, and we'll hope for sunnier skies to help us honor Earth Day next year. From the left: Sandy Ruzicka, Doug Mahard, John Swendsen, Lynn Baker, and Mary Hawvermale; Nanny Swoyer photo.
Now that the snow has somewhat disappeared, the ungroomed roadsides are exposed, so I keep an eye out for bits of green poking up among the bedraggled leaves and vines. Today I was rewarded: The tips of skunk cabbage blooms are standing proudly in the mossy, muddy verges. Not green, but still, they are among the earliest visible signs that winter is on the wane. Carol Spier, Mary Hawvermale photo
Mealworms are the specialty of the house at the Hawvermales', whose property includes the Pratt Preserve easement. Baby bluebirds love them, as does the Carolina wren seen on the right here, an uncommon visitor to this area. Feeders and dried mealworms are available at the Washington Supply. Mary Hawvermale comments that during the breeding season "I could actually call the bluebirds when I was filling the dish."
On the morning of May 24, 2013, a black bear visited the bird feeders on the Baker property, which is downstream from the Two Rivers Preserve, on Arrowhead Lane. The bear particularly enjoyed the suet cage, and spent some time lying on its back, tossing the cage around like a toy. Lynn Baker reports that "this was great entertainment until the dog got wind and barked (from inside the house), and the bear then lumbered down the path to the Weekeepeemee River behind the house, with the suet cage in its mouth."
Early in the spring of 2013 Brothers' Tree Service donated urgently needed care for the Auncient Oak, which is designated a notable tree of Connecticut and on private property that is protected with an easement held by the Land Trust. The work included removal of an enormous downed branch and cabling of six others to ensure they stay aloft. Drive down Auncient Oak Road to admire the tree.
I was walking my Springer Spaniel, Charlie, in the Bellamy Preserve one Thursday morning. We were walking up from the stream and as we came around the bend, Charlie stopped and pointed. He was a little ahead of me. Then I caught up to him, I saw why. There was a bull moose resting on the path. He was the largest animal I'd ever seen close up. His rack was so big, I couldn't imagine how he could hold his head up.
I snagged Charlie's collar immediately as the moose rose to his feet. I began to back away, dog in tow, while the moose moved slowly in the other direction. He looked back once or twice as he meandered away. I walked out to the hay field and crossed it with the dog leashed, thinking to veer away from the moose and be out in the open. To avoid encountering the moose in the woods, I decided to walk on Munger Lane all the way back to the cemetery, where I had parked.
He was a magnificent animal and I feel lucky to have sighted him. I didn't have my camera; but Amber Williamson had the sighting above on Long Meadow Lake. NANCY McMILLAN
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Here is ongoing commentary on the plants, animals, and terrain as observed on our protected properties by BLT board members and visitors. When you see something interesting, email us.