There was a time, not so very long ago, when gardening consumed most of my free time and creativity. This was especially true when I first moved to a tumbledown-but-promising homestead in Pembroke in 2010. I eagerly established shrub borders, a butterfly garden, walkways, a patio, vegetable beds, container plantings, new trees, an apple orchard, a wildflower meadow . . . and looked forward to the shade and wetland gardens, when other interests and responsibilities lured me away. Neglect has, once again, taken hold.
A Glimpse of Nature
Calling all nature lovers with a camera. It’s time to share what you see and, perhaps, to challenge yourselves to notice more. You’re invited to participate in “Picturing Winter,” the Ames Free Library’s winter photography contest! Photos must relate to the theme of ice and snow.
Snow fell last weekend – the first light storm of the season in Southeastern Massachusetts – and immediately thereafter, a small flock of dark-eyed juncos appeared in my backyard. I’m sure many of you are familiar with these gray and white “snow birds” who are winter visitors in our area.
Last week’s “What Is It!” game featured two structures that facilitate reproduction for their creators. The animals who produced these “egg cartons” were, however, vastly different.
A Baltimore oriole wove the sack-like nest in the first image.
The leaves have fallen; the views are great. Now’s the time when hidden treasures are revealed. Here are two specimens from the library’s property that were, until recently, concealed by all that foliage! I spotted them both on Monday. Your job is to identify them. Email your “What Is It!” responses to A Glimpse of Nature and check back next week for the answers.
One long-ago November, the library staff received a gift from two grateful patrons. This small, but sincere, token of appreciation grew in a four-inch pot. I put it on the windowsill for all to see and cared for it out of respect for the givers’ kindness. Soon it grew and grew, in size and beauty, until it became a holiday favorite of our patrons.
Peak autumn color has passed, and leaves now carpet the ground. Why not take a closer look while they are still intact, before snow and microbes work their recycling magic? Now’s a great time to review leaf ID. Their colors may be subdued, but most species still retain their shape. Besides, dead leaves are abundant and right there at your feet!
Congratulations to Patricia and Debbie who correctly identified last week’s “What Is It!” as witch hazel (American or common witch hazel, depending on whom you ask).
Jack-o’-lanterns. Costumes. “Ghost Hunting At Queset House.” Halloween is upon us!
Oakes Ames Hall in Mist