Village News

mink

PHOTO COURTESY OF GARRY KESSLER

American mink with fish

January 24, 2020, Page A4, A8

NATURE NOTES

By Annie Reid
Westborough Community Land Trust

Who am I?
WCLT’s Annual Nature Notes Quiz

opossum

PHOTO COURTESY OF GARRY KESSLER

Opossum

common garden spider

PHOTO COURTESY OF GARRY KESSLER

Common garden spider

northern shrike

PHOTO COURTESY OF GARRY KESSLER

Northern shrike

staghorn sumac berries

PHOTO COURTESY OF GARRY KESSLER

Staghorn sumac berries

So far this winter, it has been both frigid and unseasonably warm. But no matter what the weather, if you’ve walked outside, did it seem as if birds and other wildlife are scarce – even more so than usual? Whatever has been going on, and whatever is to come this winter, now is a good time to look ahead to sights and sounds of nature in 2020 by taking our annual Nature Notes quiz about the local delights of nature we’ve featured in the past year.

Choose your answers from the drop down lists. Check your answers by clicking the "Show Answers" button. The answer page will contain links to the relevant 2019 “Nature Notes” columns on the Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT) web site (http://www.westboroughlandtrust.org). There you can read last year’s columns, or any of more than 269 past columns, and find maps of trails in Westborough.


Match these descriptions with possible answers from the list below:

1.   I’m named after an animal no longer found in New England.

2.   I’m a robin-sized bird with the hooked bill of a raptor and the feet of a songbird (no talons).

3.   I carry my developing young in a pouch and play dead when caught.

4.   I’m rare and lovely with leaves like umbrellas and an apple-like blossom, but the flesh of my fruit is toxic - unless it’s ripe.

5.   Tree bark is my friend – I build my nest behind loose bark, and I hunt insects on bark as I travel up tree trunks.

6.   New Englanders of old liked to make a summer drink sometimes called Indian lemonade by soaking my clusters of fuzzy red berries in water.

7.   In late summer, you might find me - or my large circular web with a zig-zag in the middle - in your garden.

8.   Named for punctuation marks, we can be seen from spring through fall.

9.   I live in the wild near water, and I’m much less likely to become part of a fur coat today than in past centuries.


Possible answers:
- Brown creeper (Certhia americana)
- American mink (Neovison vison)
- Common garden spider (Argiope aurantia)
- Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
- Northern shrike (Lanius borealis)
- Question mark (Polygonia interrogationis) & eastern comma (Polygonia comma)
- Super blood wolf moon
- taghorn sumac (Rhus hirta, Rhus typhina), smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), winged or shining sumac (Rhus copalllinum)
- Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)






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Nature Notes is printed in the Village News on behalf of WCLT (Westborough Community Land Trust). Report your own local nature sightings (or check out what others have seen) on WCLT's Facebook page! Find more information about enjoying nature in Westborough, including trail maps and a calendar of events, at the WCLT website

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