House Sparrow Fledgling

The only wildflower I’ve seen this spring is skunk cabbage, but a morning walk at Rocky Narrows (Sherborn MA) was so full of birdsong, it really felt like spring. Saw this little sparrow on its penthouse roof deck and also a few gartersnakes out catching rays.

Bonus video: The peepers are out and loud at Ridge Hill Reservation in Needham. Peepers are “chorus frogs,” and can live in breeding groups of several hundred. Their bodies can be less than an inch long or up to about 1.5 inches. It’s only the males that make the sound (to attract their women). They hibernate under logs and leaves, and can survive being mostly frozen. Then in spring, you hear them especially in vernal ponds and other temporary wetlands. They lay their eggs in the water, and then live on land the rest of the year, feeding on insects. You can also hear wood frogs in this video — they’re the ones that sound like ducks quacking, or loose banjo strings getting plucked.

New Jersey Tea

Perennial shrub.  A favorite of bees, deer, rabbits… During the Revolutionary War, the colonists used it as a tea substitute! The roots contain a blood-clotting chemical. Native.

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)


Annual. About a foot tall. Delicate flowers with yellow tongues. Figwort family. Native.

Cowwheat (Melampyrum lineare)

Bonus picture: Beavers have moved into this forest, and their dam has flooded part of the trail. Lucy was hot, so she took the opportunity to get as wet as possible.

Sweet Meadow Rue

A tall shrub-like wildflower. Foliage similar to columbine. This is an area we haven’t been to for months, and it was full of flowers new to me, and not appearing at our other usual places. This is one of those herbs considered to have magical properties (good for divination).

Sweet Meadow Rue (Thalictrum aquilegifolium)