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Conservation Associates Interpret Wenakeening Woods

by Paul Saulnier
February 17, 2012

February 12, 2012. Members of the Holliston Conservation Commission Associates and others, led by local naturalist Mark Connelly, walked the orange trail and a portion of the blue trail of Wenakeening Woods under clear blue skies and 20 degree weather.

In spite of the freezing temperatures this pair of Mallards had plenty of open water near the rail trail which borders Wenakeening Woods.

The pace was slow compared to the walk last week with the Hopkinton Trails Club but that enabled Mark to find interesting objects along the way. This crow feather was pulled off the crow by an animal rather than cut off by a hawk, according to Mark.

Near the entrance this one year old Muscrat was found frozen in near perfect condition.

Mark theorized that it had recently been sent packing by Mom to make room for this year's brood which began gestation on February 2, 2012, the first day of the year with 10 hours of daylight.

Then we found this guy in noticably worse condition. Mark counted the vertibrae and concluded it was a racoon. He said the rib bones used to be used for sewing needles.

Under some oak leaves in a wet spot on the trail, Mark found these ice crystals...

 

... a beautiful work of nature.

Down by the trail trail, Mark led a discussion about beaver activity in the area and described the origins and evolution of beech trees in North America.

As this Mallard relocated to another section of the pond...

... this muscrat was observed taking in the bright sunshine.

Mark also spotted a feather from a goldfinch. He said it came from the bird's left wing (and speculated that the bird walked with a limp. LOL)

Mark told how landowners back in the day planted this distinct species of pine tree to mark their property corners because they grew fast and grew tall and straight.

Watch HollistonReporter.com EVENTS for the next walk scheduled by the Associates. There is a natural world out there that many of us are missing.

 

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