Beginners’ guide to nature

by Sandy Garland
Thanks to participants Jim Picken and Eric Cohen who contributed photos for this posting.

Porcupine ambling down the trail

Porcupine ambling down the trail

March came in with a porcupine this year, when OFNC members Dave Moore and Bev McBride led a nature walk in Stony Swamp. On Sunday, a small group of people gathered at Jack Pine Trail, eager to learn about the natural world and grateful to be outside on a mild, sunny day.

Although it was a quiet day for wildlife, Dave says, “We managed to find a lot of trees and a few birds, plus the bonus of seeing a porcupine waddling along the trail ahead of us. The Chickadees and Nuthatches enjoyed our peanuts, as did the Red Squirrels!”

According to Eric Cohen, “The leaders were extremely knowledgeable about shrubs, trees and IDing them from trunks and leaves. They also showed us the trails of Emerald Ash Borer and other insects that lay eggs under the bark.”

Dave explained how to tell the difference between a Hairy and Downy Woodpecker “in a manner that was memorable and clear.”

Jim Picken, who sent us the great photos below, reported, “It was a good walk, and I think everyone had a good time. I really appreciated learning some tree ID points from Bev, and about some of the bird calls from Dave.”

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