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June 2012

May 2012

Free Nature Walk This Saturday!

P1000172Marsh Warden Mike Limatola and I are doing our first-Saturday-of-month walk this Saturday, June 2, at 8 a.m. The walk will be followed by an optional half-hour tour of the historic Fell House nearby.

In the Celery Farm, we'll be looking for all sorts of herons, egrets and hawks (and butterflies). We'll have a spotting scope or two, but bring binoculars if you have them.

Note: We suggest wearing long sleeves, long pants, socks and shoes to reduce the chances of ticks.

The 90-minute walk, open to nature lovers of all ages and abilities, are designed to acquaint more people with the 107-acre Celery Farm  -- and the 250-year-old Fell House.

The walks begin at the end of Green Way (a right turn off of northbound Franklin Turnpike, just before Crescent Avenue).  (Directions are in the left-hand column.)

The walks are sponsored by the Fyke Nature Association, which helps maintain the Celery Farm, and the Concerned Citizens of Allendale, which saved the Fell House and its 2.8-acre property from becoming a townhouse development.

E-mail Jim Wright here to rsvp or get more info. Check this blog,, for updates and directions to the Celery Farm, Green Way and the Fell House.

We hope to see you on Saturday.


Monday Mystery Bonus Stumper

A reader of my "Bird Watcher" column writes:

About a month ago while I was eating, I saw an unusual bird on the lawn.  I was looking through a porch railing and the bird was moving, so it was hard to get a good look at it. 

   The bird had a black or dark brown head.  The body seemed to be medium brown.  The tail feathers stuck out and on the top of the end of the tail it was a beige or cream color. 
I think it was about the size of a robin.  ...  I have Golden's "Birds of North America," and  I searched the book from cover to cover and could not locate the bird I saw.  Do you know what it was?
Any ideas?

Snapping Turtle Omelets


Although our sideyard is a nursery for Snapping Turtles, it is also a buffet for the local raccoons. 

This is a small fraction of the raided eggs in the yard. The turtles' strategy is to lay as many eggs in as many places so that a few get through.

Judging from all the Snapping Turtles next door at the Celery Fram, the strategy appears to be working.