The meadow at Wilson Mountain is by no means the most impressive acre of open space in Dedham in terms of biodiversity, but I still love to go there and try to see beyond the invasive worts, weeds, and spurges (click HERE to see the Massachusetts prohibited plant list – but be warned – you may find out that almost everything in your yard is invasive).
There are lots of beautiful native plants there, common milkweed, spotted Joe Pye weed, black eyed Susan, and New England asters, to name just a few. I think my favorite is common milkweed, because it is the host plant for monarch butterflies and many, many other insects.
I managed to get out of the house for about an hour today (my first time outdoors since kids got out of school earlier this week), and I’m so glad I chose to go to Wilson Mountain for a much needed recharge of my mental batteries.
Check out this spider I found on the bottom of a milkweed leaf.
This cute little plume moth (Geina sp.) was hanging out on a nearby plant.
On the underside of yet another leaf, I found the tiny eggs of a monarch butterfly.
Click HERE to see a really nice close-up photo of a monarch egg from bugguide.net.
Here is a deer bed. Haven’t you always wanted to know where deer sleep??
While I was laying on the ground looking under the leaves of milkweed plants, I noticed these tiny eggs on a blade of grass. Thanks to one of the coolest books I own (Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney – order your own copy HERE), I am able to make a tentative guess that they are from some kind of True Bug, possibly a stinkbug or assassin bug. Well, that narrows it down.
It was a great visit to the meadow, a wonderful hour-long retreat. I spent an hour looking down at the ground and on the bottoms of leaves and I was not disappointed. So, it was just gravy when I was walking back to my car and I saw these amazingly cute little barred owls up in a pine tree (thanks to another couple who were taking photos – otherwise I never would have noticed them).
Ridiculously cute, and a little bit scary, too. I’m glad I’m not a mouse in the meadow.