Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center

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Wetland Magic - an outdoor program

Sunday, May 5, 2024, 10am to 4pm
In this outdoor program we will visit an area of incomparable beauty along a forest stream transitioning into a series of beaver ponds. Here we will learn to appreciate freshwater ecology and its myriad life forms.
We may see any of the following: Canada geese; black ducks and mallards; wood ducks; green herons; great blue herons; red-shouldered hawks; kingfishers; kingbirds; red-winged blackbirds; spotted sandpipers; killdeer; goldfinches; pileated woodpeckers; barred owls; and many other birds. On the banks or in the water we may see green frogs; bullfrogs; pickerel frogs; leopard frogs; wood frogs; spring peepers; American toads; painted turtles; snapping turtles; red-spotted newts; red-backed salamanders; northern water snakes; garter snakes; ribbon snakes; and other reptiles and amphibians. In the air or perched on vegetation we may see dragonflies and damselflies: darners; skimmers; clubtails; spiketails; cruisers; emeralds; bluets; jewelwings. In the waters of the stream and pond we are likely to see a variety of fascinating invertebrates: caddis fly larvae; aquatic beetles; backswimmers; water boatmen; water striders; fairy shrimp; amphibious snails; fingernail clams.
Wetlands are of course home to a variety of vegetation: sedges; rushes; grasses; cattails; water lilies; spatterdock; pickerel weed; arrowhead sagittaria; arrow arum; duckweeds; pondweeds. The shoreline is inhabited by shrubs: highbush blueberry; maleberry; buttonbush; sweet gale; leatherleaf; bog rosemary; labrador tea; sheep laurel; mountain laurel. Ferns are found throughout: sensitive fern; cinnamon fern; interrupted fern; royal fern; bracken fern; ostrich fern. The water’s edge is home to sphagnum moss and we may find carnivorous plants there – the diminutive sundews and the extravagant pitcher plant.
And of course, the mammal sign: otters, mink, beavers, and muskrats, in and out of the water. Raccoons feeding on crayfish at the water’s edge. Rabbits, deer and moose feeding on herbaceous material. Carnivores hunting the edges: foxes, coyotes, weasels, bobcats.
Wetlands are indeed a web of life.
Join us for a full day of exploration. Wear footwear that you don’t mind getting a little wet and muddy from time to time. Bring a notebook and binoculars if you have them. Mostly, bring a sense of adventure.
Fee: $65 per person

To register for this class using a credit card:

Wetland Magic May 5 2024

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Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center
325 Walnut Hill Rd, Orange MA 01364Phone: 978-544-6083
E-mail: walnuthilltracking@verizon.net