October, 2019: Describe your walk by adding a comment below

Each time you go out and make observations for this project, describe your walk by adding a comment to this post. Include the date, distance walked, and categories that you used for this walk.

Suggested format:
Date. Place. Distance walked today. Total distance for this project.
Categories.
Brief description of the area, what you saw, what you learned, who was with you, or any other details you care to share.

Posted by erikamitchell erikamitchell, October 01, 2019 22:51

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10/1/19. Nelson's Pond, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: birds, insects, road kill

This afternoon I went with my husband to Nelson's Pond so that he could unicycle up Cranberry Meadow Rd. While he was riding, I walked along the road beside Nelson's Pond and up to Number Ten Pond. I found a chickadee and a blue jay, also a pair of young loons kining for their parents out on Nelson's Pond. For insects, I found a green caterpillar with white stripes, a brown stinkbug, lots of Paraclemensia acerifoliella, some alder tongue galls, and the remains of some basswood leaf galls. Roadkill was quite thick along the ponds. I found many dead toads and garter snakes, also a freshly killed bullfrog. And a flattened jumping mouse.

Posted by erikamitchell 5 months ago (Flag)
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10/2/19. Adamant, VT. 1.6 miles today
Categories: birds

This morning I took a walk around Adamant since I had to work Sunday and couldn't take my regular walk then. I counted more than 40 wood ducks on the 2 ponds, as well as a few mallards, a flock of 4 water birds with long pointy bills, a blue jay, a couple of crows, and a great blue heron. Plus a few bumblebees shivering in the cool drizzle.

Posted by erikamitchell 5 months ago (Flag)
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10/3/19. Vermont State House, Montpelier, VT. 0.3 miles today
Categories: insects, weeds

This morning I met up with 2 friends for our weekly bug walk. It was chilly overnight and barely 45F by 10:30 AM, so I suggested walking near the State House, in the hopes that insects might be sunning on the south facing slopes with all the granite steps and facades. We started in the flower beds in front of the State House but were dismayed to find them full of perfect mums without a single insect. Systemic insecticides? Next we moved up to the drying hydrangeas on the slopes in front of the State House. We had more luck there, finding lots of insects quite chilled out sheltering amongst the hydrangea blossoms. We started with a celery leaftier, than lots of flies, plus a jumping spider, a micro moth, a grasshopper, a yellowjacket, and a tiny orange and yellow Dictynid spider (we had to write our Eagle Hill teacher for ID help). I was delighted to find Cyperus squarrosus growing thickly between the cracks of the walkway, an S3 sedge that local botanists say has no business in downtown Montpelier, let alone flourishing in sidewalk cracks. I took special care to note the weeds in the hydrangea beds: burdock, knotgrass, a box elder seedling, an apple seedling, a burning bush seedling, and a sugar maple seedling--this after the community vegetable garden was torn out to be replaced with the supposedly weed-free hydrangeas. Also, some small orange mushrooms and some tiny brown fungi growing in the bark mulch.

I next showed my friends the secret garden behind the State House where we provided entertainment to some people having a meeting in a conference room on the edge of the garden. In the garden, we found some bumblebees, a bag worm nest, a very chilled robber fly, some ichneumon wasps, some harvestmen, a yellow jacket, some Asian ladybugs (in adult and larval forms), and some oleander aphids on a planted swamp milkweed (we all helped ourselves to swamp milkweed pods with seeds). Plus some snowberry, fragrant sumac and burning bush (planted) and some bittersweet (not planted). And a huge crazy snake worm.

Posted by erikamitchell 5 months ago (Flag)
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Neat, I've never seen a snake worm (crazy or otherwise), and while I see squarose sedge all the time I've never found it in sidewalk cracks. 4 wood ducks at once is my personal record, and I've not seen a loon in over 25 years (on my honeymoon in Maine). I've also never seen maple leafcutter damage, though the other day I saw a circle on a basswood leaf that reminded me of what Paraclemensia acerifoliella does when it's not cutting all the way through the leaf. and you had so much roadkill, which still amazes me!

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-1-19. South Branch Rahway River, Merrill Park, both in Woodbridge, NJ and Edison State Park, Edison, NJ. 2 miles today, 568.75 miles total
Categories: flowering, fruiting, insects

I walked first at a ball field behind a Home Depot. In the parking lot there was a drain that was fenced off in the center of the lot (perhaps it wasn't strong enough to be driven over anymore?) and inside the fence, in a tiny crack in the pavement, was a very happy cherry tomato plant with lots of fruit. Odd.

Second was a riverside park with woods and popular walking trails. Here there was a random peacock wandering around, escaped I assume from the nearby petting zoo.

Finally, I walked at Edison State Park, where Thomas Edison's original laboratories (now gone) stood, and the street that was the first ever lit by electric streetlights. Here I found my first ever American Euonymus in fruit (but I much prefer the common name "Hearts-a-bustin'-with-love).

Other things I found at the various parks included two green frogs and a very patient deer, a very purple Perilla plant, and lots of leafmines: Poison ivy moth, whitesnakeroot fly, black locust digitate, grape moth and a Dicanthelium miner. Plus galls: tupelo leaf edge and standard galls, witchhazel cone, and Asteromyia.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-5-19 Mountain Park. Liberty Corner, NJ. 1 mile today, 569.75 miles total
categories: flowering, fruiting

I walked this former farm that I have walked many many times before, but this time I found a tall mint that I'd not seen before that might be a hedgenettle of some kind. And the arrowwood had more fruit than I've probably seen on arrowwood total before this, it was amazing.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-6-19 Split Rock Reservoir, Lake Ames, and Enchanted Forest, all in Rockaway, NJ. 1.25 miles today, 571 miles total
Categories: flowering, fruiting, ferns, insects

Carl and I went up to explore a lake I'd heard about from someone on the rescue squad who loves to fish. Split Rock had a few short trails through the woods to the kayak launches, and some day I hope to have a kayak and be able to paddle somewhere lovely like this. Then on the way home we spotted a picnic table on the far side of a swampy pond and went to check it out, finding a basically abandoned park in the woods there. On the map we saw "Enchanted Forest" so we had to check that out as well. Not particularly enchanted, but it led through to yet another pond and was quite a pleasant walk.

At Split Rock Carl spotted a big orbweaver. Unusual plants were bur reed, he huckleberry, willow herb, and water millfoil.

Lake Ames had lots of interesting stuff: what might be both my first ever water fanwort and my first ever water crow-foot, plus the biggest patch of rattlesnake plantain I've seen (it's not common here at all). There was a fan clubmoss and another kind of club moss, pixie cup lichen, an unusual hawkweed and some little furry mammal that got mostly eaten (might have just been a squirrel, now it was just a pile of fur).

The Enchanted Forest had two very old beaver lodges, lots of sweetfern, bigtooth aspen, and a leopard frog.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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Oh, my...I so love to find random tomato plants! That would have made my entire afternoon! As if a peacock weren't enough!

Glad you got to check out the enchanted forest! A leopard frog is quite a find!

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/4/19. Barre Town, VT. 2.5 miles today
Categories: trees, invasives, insects

This afternoon I took an exploring trip to a neighborhood on the north side of Barre. It was brisk and windy, so I was glad to find some winter gloves in my pocket when I got there. Since this was a new area for me, I chased a lot of trees, finding: paper birch, box elder, staghorn sumac, white ash, basswood, white cedar, white pine, trembling aspen, American elm, highbush cranberry, apple, crabapple, balsam poplar, eastern cottonweed, eastern hemlock, red maple, beaked hazelnut, fire cherry, chokecherry, common juniper, sugar maple, mountain maple, hop hornbeam, balsam fir. No yellow birch. But I found autumn olive in fruit everywhere, something I don't often see around here. Plus plenty of common buckthorn, both European and Japanese barberry, burdock, burning bush, white willow, Scots pine, crown vetch, honeysuckle, honey locust, bishop's weed, white poplar. By the end of the walk, the only invasive I was missing was Japanese knotweed, but then, there was a small patch of it close to where I had parked my car. Insects today were mostly galls and caterpillars, with a few very frigid bumblebees clinging to some New England aster blossoms. Finds included: Paraclemensia acerifoliella, bumblebees, milkweed tussock moth caterpillar, a brown beetle, honeysuckle aphid, jewelweed gall, grasshopper, basswood leaf gall, goldenrod crown gall, and a woolly bear. No road kill at all today.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/5/19. Calais Town Forest, Calais, VT. 1.7 miles today
Categories: fungi, endangered trees, foliage

This morning our Saturday Morning Hike group met up with a naturalist-led walk that was part of the Calais Fall Foliage Festival. The walk was led by Eric Sorenson, a neighbor who is a Natural Community Ecologist for the state. But today he was simply a knowledgeable community member leading a hike of 35 people and a barely contained dog. He kept us moving, but when we stopped in a few places to talk about the age of the trees or the cedar swamp, I managed to snap a few photos. I found some ash-tree boletes, a tiny red waxcap, a coral fungus, a Ganoderma, and several other gilled fungi. The foliage was in its glory today, and I shot some yellow birch and American ash, as well as some eastern hemlock just because it was there. On the way back up the road after the hike, I found a single small dead garter snake, and a dead woolly bear.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/6/19. Adamant, VT. 1.6 miles today
Categories: birds, insects

This morning I did my regular Sunday morning birdwalk through downtown Adamant, my full route from the Co-op out to the eastern edge of Sodom Pond, then up to the Point on Adamant Pond and back. Once again, there were lots of wood ducks, about 40 spread out over both ponds. Also a few mallards, but no other water birds today. I came across a small flock of ruby-crowned kinglets, a flock of robins, and a flock of yellow-rumped warblers. I think I saw one more migratory bird, perhaps a blue-headed vireo near the Point. I also caught some white-throated sparrows near the Point, and a crow sitting on the church steeple. Insects this morning were a willow cone gall and a yellow jacket feasting on wild raisins.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/6/19. Ricker Campground and Boulder Beach, Groton State Park, Groton, VT. 2.9 miles today
Categories: birds, insects, late bloomers, surprising plants

This afternoon I drove with my husband to Groton State Park so that he could try riding his unicycle on the rail trail there. The trails were stunning with the foliage, but there were lots of leaves on the trail, covering up uneven terrain, so he fell 14 times in 5 miles. I had a much better time exploring Ricker Campground on foot, finding a few new trails that I haven't walked before. I found a number of unexpected plants in the campground, including the biggest Canada yew specimen I have ever found, lots and lots of great rhododendron, some pipsissewa besides some trailing arbutus, a patch of cranberries on a rock, some European barberry, and some pearly everlasting. I ate one of the cranberries and it gave me indigestion for the rest of the walk. Late bloomers today were heart-leaved aster, swamp aster and wood aster, plus some purple clover. Insects were Paraclemensia acerifoliella, water bugs, alder tongue gall, aphids on some goldenrod, bald-faced hornet, goldenrod flower gall, and cherry leaf galls. I also spotted a lone Canada goose flying over Ricker Pond. Near the pond I also found a sparrow (American tree sparrow) in a bush, and a ruby-crowned kinglet flitting about. After the walk near Ricker, my husband and I took a second brief walk at Boulder Beach along Lake Groton. We saw some chickadees there and a flock of yellow-rumped warblers.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/7/19. North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, VT. 1.1 miles today
Categories: fungi, unexpected plants

This afternoon I joined a Mushrooms Monday's walk led by Dave Muskas at the Nature Center. This is a new series of walks that Dave is trying out this October. It was cool and raining steadily this afternoon, but 6 folks still showed up for a walk in the woods. I bet there will be a lot more next Monday if it doesn't rain. Of course, we had a fantastic time and found lots of cool things, including a frog. And a pair of reading glasses that Dave pulled out from under a rotten log while looking for honey mushrooms. We found winecap Strophalaria, a Cortinarius, and a Hygrocybe right in the garden outside the door of the Nature Center. A little ways down the path, we found an elm oyster in a box elder. And heading up the hill into the woods we came across a birch polypore and a slug. We found a maze polypore and a white cheese polypore, and lots of honey mushrooms. Surprising plants were a witch hazel, which I don't see very often, a burning bush seedling, a spring daphne, and a multiflora rose.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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Love the reading glasses, how funny! I would love to take a mushroom walk, I'm so bad with mushrooms and can't find a good way to learn to ID them on my own.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/8/19. South Woodbury, VT. 1.9 miles
Categories: insects, woody plants, late bloomers

This afternoon I went with my husband to Cranberry Meadow for him to go unicycling. Meanwhile, I noted that there was a short section of road near Cranberry Meadow in South Woodbury that I hadn't walked yet. So I explored up this road, then continued down another road that goes past a friend's house who has lots of iNaturalist observations. But I added a few more anyway. Right on the intersection of the new-to-me road I found a calico aster where every flower head had at least one insect, including syrphid flies, a ladybug, some bumblebees, an Andrena bee and a greenbottle fly. Also in that area I found a Sympetrum dragonfly and some goldenrod galls. On up the road by the next intersection I found dead insect in the road but couldn't decide if it was a beetle or a bug. And lots of woolly bears, both dead and live, a dead swamp milkweed beetle, an American dagger caterpillar, plus an orange geometrid caterpillar and a hemlock looper moth. I found some crickets eating one of the dead woolly bears. A little ways down the road, I found a Queen Anne's lace in bloom, fully ichneumon wasps, maybe 3 kinds, some yellow jackets, plus a winter firefly. And a tiger swallowtail caterpillar climbing up the stalk.

Wood plants today were: apple, aronia, hawthorn, elm, white ash, sugar maple, red maple, Japanese barberry, white pine, basswood, white cedar, paper birch, yellow birch, balsam poplar, trembling aspensumac, beech, poison ivy, alder, black locust, tamarack, fir, rose, red spruce, hobblebush, black cherry, hazelnut. And the late bloomers were: black-eyed susan, purple clover, heart-leaved aster, oxeye daisy, and mullein.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/9/19. Boulder Beach, Groton State Park, Groton, VT. 3.7 miles today
Categories: woody plants, insects, late bloomers, birds

This afternoon I returned to Boulder Beach to look for Hoot and Holler Lane, which I saw on the iNaturalist map view. Such a good name for a road, I had to see it for myself. Except, I missed it somehow and never got off Sunset Trail. Still, it was a gorgeous day to be out near the lake, just about peak foliage. For woody plants, I found striped maple, mountain maple, red maple, sugar maple, white ash, beech, hazelnut, red spruce, paper birch, yellow birch, white pine, Scots pine, balsam fir, tamarack, hemlock, elm, big-toothed aspen, balsam poplar, winter berry, mountain ash, arrowwood, wild raisin, checkerberry, leatherleaf, sheep laurel, pipssisewa, alder, hobblebush, black cherry, choke cherry, blackberry, fly honeysuckle, serviceberry, willow, and a little honeylocust at the end of Sunset Trail. Late bloomers today were wood aster, swamp aster, large-leaved aster, and some other aster, plus fleabane, purple clover, white sweet clover, and English plantain. I found several bald-faced hornets, lots of syrphid flies, a hemlock looper, a tri-colored honeybee, an alder tongue gall, a woolly bear (dead), a spider eating a blue fuzzy butt (that's Bryan Pfeiffer's name for blue fuzzy aphids), and a pair of mating (mayflies?). I also had unexpectedly good luck with birds today, finding some yellow-rumped warblers, a robin, some chickadees, a white-throated sparrow, a palm warbler (close up), and I had a long encounter with a spotted sandpiper on the beach. It almost came right up to me, but then it got hit by the wake from a long-past motorboat that scared it away. Road kill today was a garter snake (very fresh).

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/10/19. Montpelier, VT. 0.4 miles today
Categories: insects, birds

This morning I met my 2 friends for our bug walk in Montpelier. We walked along the road to a neighbor's house, then checked out her planting for insects. Along the road, we found lots of bumblebees and other insects sheltering from the morning cold in New England aster blossoms. We also found 3 kinds of aphids, poplar aphids, oleander aphids, and giant willow aphids. Plus some syrphid flies, grasshoppers, and crickets. And a cool fly with large dark wings and psychedelic red eyes. Up at the neighbor's yard we found lots and lots of yellowjackets in the wild raisin plantings and some water bugs on the pond. Plus a large koi fish hibernating in the pond. Interesting...if the pond ever floods, those kois could escape. We also found a cranefly, a leafhopper, some winter fireflies, and lots of lady bugs. Plus an American goldfinch, and some mourning doves.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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I've only once seen a giant willow aphid and it made a big impression, neat bugs. And fly eyes can be so cool. Lots of koi in ponds around me. I'm kind of surprised there are not more koi in lakes around me, as it would as you said be so easy for them to escape.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/10/19. Berlin Pond and Lake Groton, 3. 1 miles today
Categories: insects, woody plants, late bloomers

This afternoon I took a quick picnic lunch at the boat launch at Berlin Pond, where I saw some mating meadowhawks and some buttonbush. Then I headed back to Groton to catch some more of that glorious foliage. This time I explored Stillwater Campground, a simply gorgeous campground on the edge of Lake Groton. I always used to think of the cabins along Lake Groton as inholdings within the state park, but now I can see that the campground and Boulder Beach are public inholdings tucked into a privately owned pond. I'm so thankful that there is at least some public land around the pond, because the place is truly magical. Blooming today were autumn dandelion, bunchberry, whorled wood aster, rabbit clover, purple clover, pineapple weed, calico aster, soapwort, and my favorite of all, witch hazel.

My collection of woody plants included: red maple, striped maple, mountain maple, sugar maple, blackberry, beech, red spruce, balsam fir, rose, leatherleaf, apple, white birch, yellow birch, wild raisin, winterberry, sweetgale, hazelnut, balsam poplar, big-toothed aspen, trembling aspen, tamarack, alder, chokecherry, mountain ash, white pine, Morrow's honeysuckle, red oak, hobblebush, and checkerberry.

I found quite a few galls, including alder tongue gall, ash flower gall (my first), sumac apple gall, blueberry kidney gall, and aspen petiole gall. I also found a hemlock looper, a tiny beetle, a sweat bee, a woolly bear, some syrphid flies, some sawfly larvae, and an American dagger moth caterpillar.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/11/19 Curtis Pond, Calais, VT. 1 mile today
Categories: insects, blooming

This morning I met up with some friends from the Saturday morning hiking group to do a special paddle around Curtis Pond. This was a great treat for me since I didn't get to do much paddling at all this summer. I got to sit up front in a canoe and baptize my paddle a bit while a strong paddler sat in the back of the canoe. Even so, it was almost too much for me to handle. But the scenery was spectacular. We found boneset and an aster blooming up by the beaver dam, and winterberry in full fruit. A micromoth landed on the canoe for me to photograph, and a very large water spider welcomed us back to the dock (much to the chagrin of my canoe-mate). I also found an American dagger moth caterpillar in my friends' yard.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/12/19. Longmeadow Hill, Calais, VT. 2 miles today
Categories: fungi, insects

This morning I met a friend at Longmeadow Hill for our weekly Adamant Hike. We had a grand time looking for fungi together, and also looking for the faery people. Someone who hikes this trail often has hung faces on some pine trees, so it's a sport to try to spot the faces amongst the trees. We were so intent on looking for fungi today that we only found one face. But we also found a black asco with white spots, some white dots on a rotten log, some polypores, some yellow gilled mushrooms, some fall oysters, some puff balls, and Chlorociboria in fruit. For insects, we found a brown-hooded owlet caterpillar, a woolly bear, some red goldenrod aphids, lots of maple leafcutter moth holes a grasshopper, and what Bryan Pfeiffer calls the poplar zombie moth, which I guess goes by the common name virgin pigmy here. It's a leaf mining moth that makes sections of a poplar leaf stay green after they fall.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10/12/19. Greenwood Lake, Woodbury, VT. 1.8 miles today
Categories: woody plants, invasives, late bloomers, insects

This afternoon I drove up to Greenwood Lake with my husband so that he could unicycle along the lake. I haven't walked this part of Woodbury before, so I kept an eye out for trees and other woody plants. I found balsam poplar, trembling aspen, big-toothed aspen, paper birch, yellow birch, hazelnut, hemlock, balsam fir, red spruce, American yew, red oak, apple, American elm, mountain maple, striped maple, red maple, sugar maple, beech, basswood, chokecherry, white ash, willow, alder, thimbleberry, blackberry, hobblebush, bush honeysuckle, and poison ivy...just a little. Blooming today were red clover, burdock, bluestem goldenrod, early goldenrod, tansy, swamp aster, and some other white asters. I also found a caddisfly in the road (alive), some sumac apple galls, a goldenrod flower gall, an alder tongue gall, some willow leaf galls, a zombie poplar moth, a syrphid fly, a looper moth, a paper wasp, a hemlock looper, a cranefly, and some maple leaf cutter moth holes. I also took note of some Japanese knotweed, bishop's weed, and purple loosestrife. Roadkill of the day was a squished toad.

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-7-19. Top of the World Park, Green Brook, NJ. 1.25 miles today, 572.25 miles total
Categories: mines and galls, insects, unusual plants

This local park has an awesome name but is mostly just a ball field and a tennis court on a hill surrounded by woods. I walked the perimeter and a little ways down one of the local residential roads I'd never actually walked before.

I found lots of galls, on white oak, black oak, pear, blackberry, and goldenrod. And several mines, in white and black oak, and blackberry. Also a drone fly, a woolybear, and some deer. Interesting plants I'd not seen here before were pennyroyal and coltsfoot.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-8-19. Farmstead Park, Lyons, NJ. 1.0 mile today, 573.25 miles total
Categories: fruiting, flowering, leafmines

I intended to walk a swampy section of woods and a marsh below the high tension lines on the edge of town, as it's been so dry I probably wouldn't sink into the parking area. But when I got there I found half a dozen utility trucks parked all through the area and folks in day-glo vests walking the marsh and figured I'd better come back another time. So I headed to the next park to the east, which is a ball field that connects to an old farmstead that backs onto the Passaic River. The river was low and things were dry enough that I was even able to walk a little way along the banks. As I headed back I heard a very loud and unfamilar flock of birds. They turned out to be wood ducks, but of course flew off before I got much of a photo (not having brought my long lens didnt' help).

Very little was still in flower, but I found lots of smartweeds: low, dotted, pale and maybe stout. Also red clover, nodding beggar's ticks, an aster, moth mullein (that was a surprise) and a reblooming common blue violet.

Fruit was abundant: bittersweet nightshae, burning bush, Japanese honeysuckle, black bindweed, trumpet creeper, grape, poke, Amur honeysuckle, privet, wood nettle, white avens, clearweed, lesser burdock, devil's beggarticks, and germander (a surprise). There was also lizard tail here, which I'd not seen here before (though it was past fruiting).

I found a lovely cluster of Pholita fungus on a tree and some pretty splitgills. And I found leafmines, in Bidens, blackberry, white snakeroot, poison ivy, grape, and (surprisingly) hempvine.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-10-19. Willowwoood Arboretum, Far Hills, NJ. 1.5 miles today, 574.75 miles total
Category: leafminers

I walked the arboretum today. I've been here many times before. But I started in the flower garden looking for leaf miners and then hit a section of fairly untended woods at the back which I'd not been on before, still looking for mines. Found quite a lot.

I found mines in: goldenrod, clematis, hickory, tulip poplar, beggar tics, holly, poison ivy, blackberry, violet, joe pye, blueberry, snakeroot, maple, deertongue, aster, milkweed, columbine, hellebore, goutweed, maybe lady's mantle, and two other plants I can't ID.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-11-19. Washington Valley Park, Tullo Rd., Martinsville, NJ. 0.5 miles today, 575.25 miles total
Categories: leafmines, fall color, blooming

Today I was on duty, so I parked at the section of park nearest the squad building and made sure not to go more than 5 minutes walk in any direction. I explored the bank of the stream mostly, bushwhacking where I'd not been before.

Leaf mines in hooked buttercup and sanicle were the most interesting things I found. Also what I think was water chickweed. and there was a skunk cabbage fruit. I remember my brother-in-law from Oregon, who's something of a naturalist but focuses on birds, insisting to me that they were fungi not fruit when he found them in my back yard many years ago.

This was before fall peaked here, but the maple leaved viburnum and red maple were beautiful, as was the low smartweed, flowering dogwood, and blackhaw.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-13-19. Poet's Corner, Arlington, MA. 1.5 miles today, 576.75 miles total
Category: naturally occurring

We went to Boston, essentially to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary and 75th birthdays, and stayed with my sister. Sunday morning Kate (my sister), Katie (my daughter) and I walked Kate's dog down to this run down local park with an elegant name. There were lots of nice weeds, though and I found some interesting bits including hoary allyssum, tansy, Mexican tea, black swallowwort, slender snakecotton in fruit, and the nicest fall color on lamb's quarters I've ever seen. The whole place was at the absolute peak of color and the skies were brilliant blue; it was a lovely trip.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-13-19. Goldmine Rd. Dublin, NH. 0.75 miles today, 577.5 miles total
Catgory: whatever caught my eye

In the afternoon we drove up to my parents' houses in NH. They have just moved into a retirement condo and are still cleaning out the old house, so we helped sort and pack. But then we walked the grounds, down a meadow to their pond and then Katie and I went through the woods and back to the house.

Unusual items included hobblebush (beautiful fall color), ripe mayflower fruit, goldthread, hoof fungus, I think lion's mane fungus, some really pretty bluberry bushes, sheep laurel, and several plants I can't figure out. Plus a green frog and a dead larder beetle (and lots and lots of Asian ladybeetles)

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-15-19 Best Lake, Watchung, NJ. 1.0 mile today, 578.5 miles total
Categories: insects, unusual plants

I walked in the late afternoon at this small pond in Watchung. It may not be the "best" but I like it better than nearby Watchung "Lake". I also went past the art center and library and checked out the very old patio behind them. But I forgot about rush hour traffic, which is perfectly horrible here, and I ended up going a good 3 miles out of my way to avoid the worst of it.

Interesting things I found included: an Elodea waterweed, swamp rose and groundsel tree, Senna, a pondweed, golden alexanders, a really warped cattail with about three flowerheads joined at the tips, a Haploa caterpillar, another type of tiger moth caterpillar, Perilla, and Virgina saxifrage.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-20-19 Ken Lockwood Gorge, Califon, NJ. 0.75 miles today, 579.25 miles total
Category: interesting plants.

Carl and I went for a walk in the rain on this old (closed to vehicles) river road and the old railroad trestle that crosses it (now a railtrail). There was woodland stone crop. lopseed, white lettuce, red baneberry, purple flowering raspberry, a ton of mosses (most of which I can't name) and a new-to-me liverwort that I think is greater whipwort.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-21-19 Washington Valley Park to Elizabethtown Water Tower, Martinsville, NJ. 2.5 miles today, 581.75 miles total
Category: interesting plants

I walked "up the mountain" to the west end of the local quarry here and checked out the cellphone and water towers on the ridge. The most interesting plants I found were probably mockernut hickory and overcup oak (if I'm right about those). This was the absolute peak of the fall color here, and a stunningly beautiful day. It's been a much less pretty fall than usual, probably because we had such a drought in September. New England was much prettier and I'm glad we got to go. But today was lovely.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-22-19 Washington Valley Park, Newman to Tullo, Martinsville, NJ. 1.5 miles today, 583.25 miles total
Category: interesting plants, insects.

I've been walking in Washington Valley Park a lot as they finally reopened the main section after clearing away the debris from the thunderstorms. But this section really had no debris visible. Interesting finds included both kinds of monkeyflower, a large leaffooted bug I don't know, turtlehead, a miner in hog peanut, an arrowhead orbweaver, stump puffballs, and a Zelus assassin bug.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-23-19 Washington Valley Park, North Shore, Martinsville, NJ. 2.5 miles today, 585.75 miles total
Categories: animals, interesting plants.

I walked the shore of the reservoir here, and then back through the woods. I picked up what I thought was a large, empty mystery snail shell to bring home to show my daughters, but they found snail eggs inside it, complete with visible teeny tiny baby snails inside, each already with a coiled shell. So we went back in the afternoon to put it back close to where I found it. Interestingly, when I downloaded the photos, you can see clearly into the mouth of the shell and there are no eggs there, but in the photos taken at home they are just inside the mouth. They must have slid down. (or slithered? can snails still in eggs move their eggs intentionally?) @susanhewitt ?

I also found a green frog, turtles, mallards, geese, and mosquitofish, plus iris fruits, coontail, marsh bedstraw, water hemlock, water purslane, water starwort, and leafmines in elm, rose, water horehound, and hooked buttercup.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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Thanks for the update from the Top of the World Ball fields. Your leaf miner hunts sound simply fabulous! What a great way to explore plants in a place where you've been many times before. And finding baby snail eggs--that is totally cool!

Posted by erikamitchell 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-24-19. Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ. 2.25 miles today, 588 miles total
Categories: fungi, flowering, interesting plants

It was another beautiful sunny fall day, just at the peak of foliage. Duke has lots of landscaped grounds with old plantings of unusual woody plants, but everything new they plant has been native. But today I stayed on the less landscaped side of the park, in a section I'd never been in before, half woods and half meadow. At the end I passed a "community garden" with the gate standing open, so I wandered in, looking for weeds and bugs, and promptly got scolded for doing so. It's restricted to members because they've had so much theft! (they could have put a sign up)

Fungi included stump puffballs, what I'm told was Ravenel's stinkhorn, and deer mushrooms. Still flowering were goldenrod, dotted smartweed, Japanese honeysuckle, Queen Anne's lace, red clover, New England aster, common blue aster, and hairy white aster. Other interesting finds were Amorpha fruticosa, long leaved ground cherry, and both white and yellow sulfur butterflies.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-26-19. Washington Valley Park to Stavola's Quarry, Martinsville, NJ 2 miles today, 590 miles total
Categories: lichen, moss, smartweeds, water plants

I walked the south side of the reservoir and up to the rim of the quarry today, all through the woods, and a bit along the lakeshore. I found lots of lichens (most of which I can't ID) and lots of mosses (likewise). Smartweeds still blooming included dotted, low, and waterpepper. By the water I found coontail, water millfoil, kidney leaved mud plantain, water mint, water forget me not, iris fruit, and burreed.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-27-19. Mountain Park, Liberty Corner, NJ. 2 miles today 592 miles total
Category: actually on the paved path.

It was grey and dreary and drizzling today. I drove up to a local ball field that has 2 miles of paved walking paths along the mown edges of it plus about another mile of dirt tracks through the woods and meadow. I usually do the woods and meadow. This is the local hotspot for people walking their dogs who do not want to get their feet dirty, with all those paved paths. But today, for the first time ever, I was the only person in the park, and I was the one not excited about getting my feet wet. So I walked the paved perimeter under my big golf umbrella and challenged myself to ID everything that had landed on the path itself, or crawled onto it, or grew in cracks in the center of it.

"Walking" on the pavement I found: 4 worms (2 of them dead) and a slug, plus a dead wooly bear. Growing on the pavement were woodsorrel, knotweed, yarrow, plantain, white clover, mugwort, ragweed, dandelion, evening primrose and even a little red cedar. Fallen fruit were pin oak, black oak, poison ivy, tulip tree, and bittersweet. And fallen leaves that I could ID: Sassafras, olive, three maples, two oaks, poison ivy, black cherry, bittersweet, baldcypress, honey locust, sweetgum, river birch, dogwood, creeper, grape, black walnut, mulberry, and pear. There was also a lichen covered branch, a grape leaf with leafminers, and an oak leaf with wasp galls.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-28-19. Green Acres, Washington Valley Rd., Martinsville, NJ. 0.25 miles today, 592.25 miles total
Category: whatever I could ID.

I stopped at this little patch of preserved woods that someone had recently driven a truck into, so now there was a path of sorts, though it didn't go very far. Interesting finds included a dead shrew, coralberry, and lots of Japanese wisteria, plus some really stunning views of fall foliage.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-28-19. River Road Park, Pluckemin, NJ. 0.75 miles today, 593 miles total
Categories: not seen here before.

This park has lots of nice bike trails through the woods. I took one over the highway and then along the river and around a pond and back. Unusual finds included leafmines in black cherry and bush honeysuckle, rust on an aster, a mute swan, and a green substance all over the leaves at the edge of the pond where the waters had flooded and just retreated. I'm thinking currently that it's probably watermeal, but someone suggested freshwater sponges, which I didn't even know were a thing.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)
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10-31-19. Washington Valley Park toward Old Tullo, Martinsville, NJ. 1.5 miles today, 594.5 miles total.
categories: fungi, lichen, moss, ferns, green in winter, dominant leaf on the ground

We had a huge windstorm last night and are now very clearly past peak in the fall color. I walked the section of the park today that had the most blowdowns from a windstorm 2 months ago, which was the reason they'd closed the park, and there were well more than a dozen trees with trunks over a foot in diameter that had fallen across the trail (and since been cleared).

I found 24 mosses (perhaps not all different species), 6 lichens, 10 fungi, 3 ferns still green. Plus 10 more plants with green leaves. The interesting thing for me was watching the dominant fallen leaf covering the path change as I went along. We had red oak , tulip, white oak, bitternut hickory, sugar maple, black cherry, shagbark hickory, red maple, beech, and then a spot of hornbeam and back to red oak.

Posted by srall 4 months ago (Flag)

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