urbpan: (dandelion)
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The day before Halloween we had an Urban Nature Walk at good old Mount Auburn. Among other things, we saw North America's most massive bird species.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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I decided on a bit of a whim to do an Urban Nature Walk in Franklin Park. I took Charlie. We met one other walk participant there. I was there to find mushroom species for the Franklin Park Biodiversity Project.

many more pics )
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Urban Nature Walks happen on the last Sunday of the month--this shouldn't surprise me, but it often does. I sent out the call: is anyone else planning to walk somewhere? Fortunately my friend Teá said she was heading to Stonybrook Reservation to look for caterpillars! We ended up circumambulating Turtle Pond at a leisurely pace looking for all kinds of living things! This pair of bullfrogs is a good first sighting.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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Our June Urban Nature Walk was at Savin Hill Beach in Dorchester. This sun-bleached European green crab shell on dry seagrass is a good symbol of how hot and dry it's been.

more than 4 pics means use a cut )
urbpan: (dandelion)
non-gory dead animal warning )
urbpan: (dandelion)
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I'll let you in on a little secret that I won't tell them over at tumblr. I'm going to slow release a whole mess of photos of organisms from this day to try to catch up on my 280 days of urbpandemonium project. The following post is mostly people and places kind of pictures, and lots of them.

Nickerson Beach is on a peninsula neighborhood known as Squantum in the city of Quincy. It sticks up into Boston Harbor and is very close to a couple of the harbor islands.
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I canceled February's walk on account of we had more snow on the ground than any other time in history, and I didn't feel like walking through it more than I already was. We had a fair amount of melt in late March, and I was feeling good about seeing what creatures were out on the last Sunday of the month. Then on the Saturday before, it snowed again. In the Blue Hills, where the walk was planned, they got about 3 more inches. A friend and once-frequent Urban Nature Walker was going to be working at a maple sugar festival at Brookwood Farm in the Blue Hills, so that's where we went.

Above you can see the grounds of Houghton's Pond Recreation Area, complete with fresh blanket of snow and incongruent obsolete technology. We parked here and took a shuttle bus to the farm.

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This time around [livejournal.com profile] mizdarkgirl suggested that we walk in the Blakely Hoar Nature Sanctuary in Brookline. We had twice as many people participating as we did January 2014. I took about a million photos, of which I've posted 20 or so:
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urbpan: (dandelion)
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I know I told you folks that I would try to keep you in the loop a little better, when it comes to Urban Nature Walks. Well, I'm going to keep to a schedule of every last Sunday of each month. So that means a week from tomorrow is the next one. This would be a lot simpler if you just joined the facebook group: /www.facebook.com/groups/UrbanNatureWalk/
EDITED TO ADD: please let me know if you are signing up! I have to approve it, and I'm trying to avoid phishing schemes. Thanks, Chris!


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This is Don, he works at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory. I didn't know this when he came along on the Urban Nature Walk at Great Blue Hill. All I knew was that he knew his way around the hill well, so I let him lead the way. When we got to the top of the hill, there was the observatory. He led us in and showed us around.

The instrument he is touching is a Campbell–Stokes sunlight recorder. There was another one on the roof of the observatory. It consists of a crystal ball mounted in a bracket that holds specially shaped strips of paper below. When the sunlight hits the crystal, it focuses on the paper, burning a line across as the earth rotates. You can see a bunch of the papers in the lower part of the photograph.
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urbpan: (dandelion)
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This is Monotropa uniflora, a parasitic plant, still identifiable as a wintry corpse.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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5 people for a December Urban Nature walk is pretty good! This was our group picture, taken from the top of Great Blue Hill, the highest point near Boston (also the highest point within 10 miles of the coast, in Southern New England).

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urbpan: (dandelion)
I participated in a great Urban Nature Walk today, at Great Blue Hill. I brought my new (used, crappy) camera in order to figure out how to use it and to try and get some lichen pics. I ended up shooting exactly 100 pictures. I edited them down to 37. Probably a better person could winnow that down to maybe 5 worth sharing. I am not that person. Gird yourself--I think I'll break it into 4 posts--the longest one will be all lichen!
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Yesterday the Urban Nature Walk was guest-hosted by scientist-naturalist Teá Kesting-Handly. She's taking a marine biology course right now, so had a lot of great knowledge fresh on her mind. She led us down to King's Beach, park of the Lynn Shore Reservation.
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urbpan: (dandelion)
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My friend [livejournal.com profile] dedhamoutside and I co-led an Urban Nature Walk in the Dedham Town Forest (previously seen here). This sign is relatively new. On the one hand, it's nice for the town to recognize the Town Forest; on the other, now it's more visible for use and abuse. We set out with the intention to find mushrooms and other living things!

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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After the nature walk, John, Keith, and I went to Flann's.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Despite the dry conditions, there was a bloom of reishi mushrooms coming from subterranean roots

Urban Nature Walk returns to the Riverway, on a quest to reach Ward's Pond, the spring that gives it water. I quickly got over doing an UNW on a Saturday (I have a mushroom class tomorrow) and met up with the group by the Longwood T stop. The first three to show up all brought gigantic cameras, so I will look forward to seeing their pictures, and linking you to them as well.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
Instead of our usual type of event (go someplace, walk in one direction for a couple hours) the latest Urban Nature Walk meetup was a moth night. Instead of meeting at 10 a.m. on the last Sunday of the month we met at 10 p.m. and stayed up until 1 a.m.

We met up at Franklin Park Zoo, set up some lights to attract nocturnal insects, and went around photographing what we found. Fortunately several people had great photography set-ups (compared to my little point and shoot) so there will be lots of great photographs to look at. Meanwhile, here's my set:

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This is a Macaria moth.

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urbpan: (wading)
In April Urban Nature Walk went to Ponkapoag Pond. Some folks stayed for four or five hours, finally making it to the bog. Alas, I had to leave after 2 hours. Friends of mine (locals I call the "nature friends") found out I'd never been to the bog and were horrified. Finally enough things came together and I planned for the July walk to approach Ponkapoag from the opposite side so we would get to the bog quicker. Even before we got to the bog, it was a very different walk than the one we took in April. For one thing: mushrooms!

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These little teeny guys were right by the trailhead (which is right off of rt 93). They look very similar to mushrooms we've seen at Cutler Park--we haven't identified them to species, but Alexis named them "Spaghettio mushrooms."

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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At the end of the last Urban Nature Walk my friend [livejournal.com profile] dedhamoutdoors suggested we walk near Little Wigwam Pond (this is pronounced "little wiggum pond" in order to differentiate locals from carpetbaggers). A couple days later she said she found sundew plants there, and I said "sounds good! you're leading!" or words to that effect.

This first picture shows the group exploring life along the train tracks.

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