Thursday, September 25, 2014

Walden Preserve & The Woolly Bear Caterpillar

I recently visited the Walden Preserve in Salem Connecticut. It is owned by the nature conservancy and managed by the Salem Land Trust. It contains 400 acres of fields,woodlands, streams as well as some small ponds and is also part of the 8 Mile River Watershed.

 I've heard from other birders that this an excellent place to visit during spring migration with plenty of warbler action but timing is everything and the birds were a little quiet during my visit. I'm guessing that in a few weeks there will be plenty of sparrows hopping around these weeds. 

The grassy paths led me through fields of wildflowers like asters and the smell of wild grapes was so strong that I could actually taste them as I brushed past the vines.
 I found a Woolly Bear Caterpillar making its way through the grass. There's an old wives tail that you can tell how severe a winter is going to be based on the amount of black that these caterpillars have on their bands. There are also several Woolly Bear fall festivals in the US and Canada. It just so happened that I was wearing brown pants and a black shirt on the morning I found him. I think we were kind of bonding.
I didn't see much sparrow activity but sometimes I forget that an Eastern Towhee is actually a jumbo-sized variety of sparrow.
Both Turkey Vultures (above) and Black Vultures were flying overhead. I love the way their wingtips look when they are in flight.
I found a couple of tiny ponds tucked away in the woods where the leaves were just starting to change color....
..... turtles were trying to keep warm by catching some sun on their backsides......
....and a beaver tried to sneak past me without being noticed.

Fall is in the air already...can you feel it? 


warriormom said...

I've had not much luck spotting Eastern Towhee. I've heard them a few times out hiking this summer. I might have spotted a few last week on a trail but the lighting was too poor to get a good look. I like the beaver sneaking past.

June said...

I felt like I got to visit with you! Great post! Happy autumn!

TexWisGirl said...

love these shots! the beaver is wonderful! i'd love to see a towhee, too.