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White Coral Bells

“White Coral Bells
Upon a slender stalk,
Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk.”

I learned this traditional round in my third grade music class, and later taught it to many children as a music teacher.

The tiny lily of the valley is one of many delicate plants emerging at this time of year. Strawberry and blueberry blossoms and other tiny treasures abound, if you take time to look for them.

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Fox and Geese and Wooden Swings

The recent installation of a swing overlooking the North Meadow at the Wachusett Audubon offers a new place to view wildlife. Meanwhile, just across the road, geese and sheep wander freely in the barnyard. Farther afield, a fox is out for a walk. Geese, beware!

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Goslings and Lily Pads

The arrival of goslings in Spring coincides with the emergence of water lilies at my local Audubon.
It is inspiring to watch nature’s seasonal transformations there.

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Spring Getaway

The Moore State Park in Paxton, MA is just six miles away from my home. What a peaceful and colorful retreat, open to the public, just minutes away!

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Towhees

Although they are common in Massachusetts, I only encountered Towhees today for the first time. This pair foraged under a feeder. I did not hear their signature calls, unfortunately, which sound like either “Tow-hee!” or “Drink your tea!”. They have an entertaining habit of hopping backwards on both feet, in order to rake up leaf litter.

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Simple Pleasures

I love the subtle beige colors of the Mourning Dove’s feathers, which contrast with its delightfully bright red feet. These gentle birds always make me smile.

 

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American Kestrels: Fighter Jets of the Sky

Kestrels are the smallest falcon and were once common in New England. In recent years, they have become much rarer due to the lack of open space.

Falcons are characterized by long wings and tails, which have evolved for maximizing speed during flight and vertical dives for catching prey. Since kestrels are the only falcon that will nest in boxes, the Wachusett Meadow Audubon has strategically placed several nesting boxes for these “fighter jets” of the sky.

During a recent visit, I saw my first kestrel. It was perched at the very top of an evergreen, where it was surveying the entire environment around its nesting box. The Audubon has rerouted nearby trails in an effort to protect these rare birds. I look forward to seeing kestrel babies soon!

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The Massachusetts Audubon keeps statistics on the American Kestrel. You can report a Kestrel sighting here.


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