Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Tour Big 350: Sightings in the City

From Boston, Mass., Kenn writes:  So far we've had very little time to walk around outside; so after 2 days, the species list from our book tour is still under 100.  But we've had some good sightings even in urban Boston. 
Red Admirals had a very good flight in 2012 - here's a photo of one from Ohio from last April. On October 17th, we saw a lingering individual in downtown Boston.

With our book tour happening so late in the season, we figured we wouldn't be seeing many butterflies or other insects, but Kimberly spotted a Red Admiral flying right past the car as we crossed a bridge on our way into downtown Boston. With temperatures predicted to reach the mid 60s on Thursday, we might see a few other butterflies down on Cape Cod.

This morning (Wednesday the 17th) we got to visit with classes at Pierce Middle School in Milton.  Science teacher Jeff Stoodt invited us to come speak to an assembly of 6th and 7th grade classes, and later in the morning we went out on the school grounds with one of his classes.  Jeff is one of those natural educators who loves to share ideas and fascination, not just facts, and his students were already energized with his enthusiasm, so we had fun exploring the school grounds with these kids.  And we found a number of new species for our Big 350 list.  As a group, we all used the new KFG to Nature of New England to identify Sugar Maples, Eastern Gray Squirrels, and other schoolyard life.  A weedy patch on the lawn revealed Common Mallow, Shepherd's Purse, Common Dandelion, and other new plants for the tally.  As I said, we're still under 100 species, but we'll try to have an exact count for you by tomorrow night!

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