after making a quick visit to the garden to plant the morning glory seeds that'd been soaking for over 24 hours in my house, i went to rocky narrows in sherborn to do some naturing. i was hoping i wouldn't have to spray repellent but it was unavoidable if i didn't want to be at risk for encephalitis or west nile virus.
lady slippers: they're out! go to your nearby forest now if you want to see nature's ode to scrotums. they're only hear for a limited engagement (a few weeks at most) then the flowers disappear.
unknown pink flowers: what are these? i found them by the side of the train tracks, eye-catchingly pink. none of my wildflower field guides list this flower, so i'm assuming it's an escaped non-native species.
corydalis: i love these, only because they have such unconventional flowers. the flowers using hang off from the stem so it's easy to catch the sunlight and make them appear translucent.
rattlesnake weed: the flowers (not out yet) look like small dandelions, but the leaves have these showy red veins. they're called rattlesnake weed because it's believed that they usually grow where rattlesnakes can be found.
jewelweed: their flowers aren't out yet but i can spot them from their leaves. found only near wet lands, they also tell me that there are mosquitoes nearby. one mosquito bit through my t-shirt while i was taking this photo.
violets: and you thought there was just one kind of violet! no sah! there's the common kind, but then there's the bird's foot violet, so named because its leaves resemble birds' feet.
wood frogs: these frogs indicate that there are vernal pools nearby. it's too late in the spring for vernal pools to be exciting for me. now they're just glorified mosquito breeding pools and i do my best to avoid them.
toad: i almost stepped on this toad because i thought it was a rock. toads don't seem as jumpy as frogs. i was even able to make it stand up with a stick by lifting up its front legs before it had enough and hopped away. while frogs have a blank stare i find sort of scary, toads have faces that make them look eternally grumpy (can't tell from this photo).
caterpillars: i'm not a big fan of anything wormy, which includes snakes and caterpillars. the scientist in me is captivated yet the layman in me is repulsed. at one point while walking through the forest a caterpillar lands on my hand. i screamed so loud i felt embarrassed afterwards.
tiger beetles: one of my favorite beetles. i caught a pair mating: as characteristic with their aggressive nature, the male actually locks onto the female with his jaws. together they were too heavy to fly away and scampered around the leaf litter as i chased them with my camera. finally they had enough (notice a pattern?), broke apart, and flew away. tent caterpillars are beautiful but highly destructive.
juvenal's duskywing (female): a member of the skipper family, which is a group of flying insect with both butterfly and moth characteristics. they're hairy and bland like normal moths, yet they're active during the daytime like butterflies and have clubbed antennae (although with characteristic hooks). it's one of those insects that only a real insect fan could love.
route 16 at the border of natick and sherborn cuts through a swamp. from the road it's easily to spot 2 giant great blue heron nests on the top of a pair of dead trees. i pulled over to get some photos: i wasn't the only one, there were 2 other cars already there, with birdwatchers streaming out to get a better look at the nesting herons.
later in the evening i ordered some magazines (renewed my macaddict and national geographic traveler, started a new subscription for saveur [food magazine]) and bought a translated copy of romance of the three kingdoms from amazon.