Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 5 of Cape Pathways Walk

Today we started our walk at Mother's Bog in Brewster and ended in Nickerson State Park, also in Brewster but on the other end. We passed through the Punkhorn area also, a beautiful woodland area filled with ponds.We saw many of the usual woodland suspects including this sassafras tree.
We saw clumps of sheep laurel, also known as lamb kill. Most of this has passed by but there are still some beautiful blooms left to enjoy.
Wild grapes or fox grapes are not uncommon here.
But the most surprising thing was seeing milkweed almost in bloom and in some cases, already in bloom! It is very, very early for milkweed. This has been such a crazy spring!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 4 of Cape Pathways Walk

What a beautiful day we had for a walk today and we got in just over 12 miles from Yarmouth to Brewster. We stopped for lunch here at Crab Creek in Dennis where we got some shade and rest for our weary feet.We saw so many beautiful things along the way like these wild blue flag irises.
These are Indian Pipes, the little white flowers hidden among the leaves and poison ivy. I had to sort of take the picture on the run since the group will leave you behind if you stop for too long.
By the end of the day most of us were very tired and had very sore feet. I know I did. I am hoping I can wrap my feet well enough for tomorrow since we are going to places I really want to go but tonight I'm putting my feet up for sure.
This was some of us on our last break before heading for the cranberry bog you see in the picture above. That is me in the shades and tangerine shirt ;-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 3 of Cape Pathways Walk

Okay, I skipped Day 2. There were severe thunderstorms predicted and I admit it, I wimped out. Taking 9 days off from work meant I had plenty of work to do but by about 2 yesterday afternoon I was feeling pretty dumb. Of course it never rained or thundered on the Cape all day...Today we walked from West Barnstable to Yarmouth. We saw wild cow parsnip that is from the wild carrot family so if you think it resembles Queen Anne's lace you are right. This plant blooms earlier and is much taller, however.
We stopped to take a scenic overview of Hyannis and Nantucket Sound, neither of which show up well in the above photo....
We walked around the Jenkins Cranberry Bogs in West Barnstable...
And had some wonderful views of area ponds...
Tomorrow we walk from Yarmouth to Brewster.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 1 of Cape Pathways Walk

After waiting out a pretty impressive thunderstorm in our cars we began the 9 day walk across Cape Cod in West Falmouth yesterday morning. There were about 35 of us.We walked on the Falmouth bike path and then up Rt. 15 a bit before turning into a trail on the Crane Reservation. An old cattle farm, this piece of land is huge and has been maintained as open meadow, allowing for all sorts of field flowers, birds, butterflies and other animals to flourish there.
The trails meander in and out of woodlands and there are lots of ferns as well.
I think spring greens against dark bark is one of the most delicious sights at this time of year and I never get tired of it.
And look who we saw going to lay her eggs? Box turtles, like all turtles, travel to the same warm sandy place each year to lay their eggs. Box turtles have a pretty small range and if you live near one you may see it return each year to within yards of where it was last year. This one had spectacular markings.
Today more thunderstorms are predicted and I am not sure I'll venture out on the walk but I'll be posting here each day that I do.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Beach Flowers

Many of our beach flowers are blooming early this year. Lovely pink rosa rugosa is everywhere. Some areas have white blossoms as well but pink is the predominant color. Did you know that this iconic flower is actually a non-native? It arrived here from the orient in the mid 1800's...
The other beach flower that is blooming up a storm right now is the beach pea. Yes, it is a real pea and also edible if you can find one not eaten by rabbits or other animals. Right now they are flowering like crazy. Look for plants that are low to the ground filled with violet or red-violet blossoms. In some areas they cover large swatches of sand.

You can find these at almost any Cape beach. These were photographed in Hyannis.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Yesterday I found these piping plover chicks, newly hatched, on Kalmus Beach in Hyannis!They are born able to stand and run very quickly after hatching and then they forage with their parents.
When the parent senses trouble it peeps to get your attention and the little ones scatter in different directions to stay safe while the parent or parents lead you away from the babies...
I saw three separate families--one with 4 chicks, one with 3 and even one with 5!
I think they are the cutest things ever, don't you?