“Spring on the Farm” Outing

Angus Inksetter

On the evening of May 22nd, eight club members gathered at the Inksetter farm for an evening walk.  The day was cool and wet but spirits were unhampered as we set off.

After seeing the house grounds but little in the way of wildlife we stopped at the barn to observe barn and cliff swallows and their nests and a pair of kestrels living in a hole in the soffit board high up under the roof.  A small pond next revealed abundant frog, tadpoles, and insect life and several burrowing crayfish tunnels around the edge.  We passed a nesting Canada goose to enter a pasture where we found a beautiful male bluebird whose mate had disappeared, and singing but difficult-to-spot savannah and grasshopper sparrows.

The group bravely entered the trackless swamp where one day soon there will be a fine trail for such outings.  Clarke Birchard was kept busy answering questions and identifying flowers such as fringed polygala, foam flower, and wild lily-of-the-valley.  In other places jack-in-the pulpit and several fern varieties were on display.  In the maple forest we saw aging trillium blossoms and red-backed salamanders under boards at the maple syrup boiling site.

As we returned across the fields heavy dark clouds rolled in and people hurried for the cover of their cars.  The timing was good as most people (other that the host) avoided the downpour.  In spite of an almost complete absence of forest birds or even bird song it was an interesting outing.

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