Nature Notes

On April 16, 2004 the Westborough News (later part of the Village News) started carrying a column known as Nature Notes prepared by Annie Reid and Garry Kessler on behalf of the Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT). The column outlasted those newspapers. As of 2022, new columns are republished on the website of the Community Advocate. Nature Notes columns continue to feature striking photography and commentary to describe wild plants, fungi, and animals that people might see while walking the trails throughout Westborough and neighboring towns.

Annie and Garry were awarded the WCLT 2004 President's Award for contributing their talents, especially in nature photography and writing, to the growth and vitality of WCLT. The couple's love of nature motivated them to explore Westborough’s woods for more than 40 years, including many walks with their two daughters and now their grandson.

For anyone who missed a column or wishes to review previous columns, we present here all the Nature Notes articles. Use the following indices to find articles of interest:

Nature notes by date of publication

Nature notes by month of publication

Nature notes by common name of flora and fauna

Nature notes by scientific name of flora and fauna

Nature notes by category

Nature Notes by Date of Publication

June 9, 2024
See local fireflies at dusk
Fireflies (Photinus)
Fireflies (Photuris)
Fireflies (Pyractomena)
May 19, 2024
Our region’s little bluets
Little bluets (Houstonia caerulea)
April 20, 2024
Black vultures are newcomers to our region
Black vulture (Coragyps atratus)
March 16, 2024
Local mockingbirds sing & mimic for mates & territory
Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
February 15, 2024
Local beech trees in winter
American beech (Fagus grandifolia)
January 11, 2024
WCLT’s Nature Notes Quiz on 2023
A Nature Notes quiz
November 16, 2023
Nature in books for the holidays
October 14, 2023
Green bees
Sweat bees (Halictidae family)
September 10, 2023
Look for local late-summer beauties
Virginia meadow-beauty (Rhexis virginica)
August 15, 2023
Corpse flower & local relatives
Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum)
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum)
July 25, 2023
Noticing local day-flying moths
Eight-spotted forester moth (Alypia octomaculata)
Hummingbird clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe)
Snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis)
June 25, 2023
American Chestnut update
American chestnut (Castanea dentata)
Chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica)
May 21, 2023
Barn swallows are back
Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)
April 5, 2023
Look for the first wildflower of spring – a new one
March 9, 2023
A sign of spring: sapsuckers
Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
February 10, 2023
In the fridge
Blue-green mold (Penicillium chrysogenum)
Blue-green mold (Penicillium notatum)
Blue-green mold (Penicillium rubens)
Blue-green mold (Penicillium rubrum)
January 17, 2023
WCLT's Annual Nature Notes Quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
November 15, 2022
Fall's wild pheasants
Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
October 19, 2022
Connecting with wild mushrooms
September 16, 2022
Celebrating nature’s special sites & special sights
August 17, 2022
A Trip to the Shore
Button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Golden hedge-hyssop (Gratiola aurea)
Green heron (Butorides virescens)
Solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)
July 21, 2022
Spangled butterflies in local fields and gardens
great spangled fritillary butterfly (Speyeria cybele)
June 22, 2022
Our local snakes are nothing to fear
Garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
Northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon)
May 24, 2022
Wild orchids in our woods
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
Pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule)
April 26, 2022
Nesting Herons
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
March 21, 2022
Vernal pool season
Blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
Fairy shrimp (Eubranchipus)
Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)
Wood frog (Rana sylvatica)
March 13, 2022
Red-bellied woodpeckers are thriving
Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
January 17, 2022
WCLT's Annual Nature Notes Quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
November 19, 2021
Cattails going to fluff
Cattails (Typha latifolia)
October 15, 2021
Red russulas and mushroom season
Red russula (genus Russula)
September 24, 2021
Where are all the butterflies?
Clouded sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice)
August 27, 2021
Sweet pepperbush rewards pollinators
Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
July 16, 2021
Wild Canada lily
Canada lily (Lilium canadense)
June 18, 2021
Indian cucumber root – a shy wildflower
Indian cucumber root (Medeola virginiana)
May 28, 2021
Redstarts are one of our warblers
Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)
April 23, 2021
Golden threads along the ground
Goldthread (Coptis groenlandica)
Goldthread (Coptis trifolia)
March 26, 2021
Our annual dance of spring
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
February 19, 2021
Signs of Spring in February
Signs of Spring
Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
January 22, 2021
Who's out there? Take Westborough Community Land Trust's quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
November 20, 2020
Nature Book Holiday Gift Ideas
October 16, 2020
A loud little songbird
Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
September 18, 2020
Interesting white-throated sparrows pass through soon
White-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
August 21, 2020
Amazing wasp nests
Bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)
Common aerial yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria)
July 24, 2020
Elderberries for wildlife
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra canadensis)
June 26, 2020
June is the month for turtles
Spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata)
May 29, 2020
A warbler that comes in black and white
Black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia)
April 24, 2020
Flicker: A woodpecker that pecks the ground
Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
March 27, 2020
Pileated woodpeckers in our forests
Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
February 21, 2020
Talking climate change: How you can help
Climate change
January 24, 2020
Who am I? WCLT’s Annual Nature Notes Quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
November 8, 2019
Wild minks in the woods
Mink (Mustela vison (formerly))
Mink (Neovison vison)
October 18, 2019
Spotting butterflies in the fall
Question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
September 27, 2019
Common garden spider
Common garden spider (Argiope aurantia)
August 30, 2019
Sumac Season
Poison sumac (Rhus vernix)
Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)
Shining sumac (Rhus copalllinum)
Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)
Staghorn sumac (Rhus hirta)
Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)
Winged sumac (Rhus copalllinum)
July 19, 2019
Brown creepers on bark
Brown creeper (Certhia americana)
June 7, 2019
Mayapple: a rare May wildflower
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
May 3, 2019
Our local marsupial
Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
March 15, 2019
Northern shrikes - songbirds or raptors?
Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludivicianus)
Northern shrike (Lanius borealis)
Northern shrike (Lanius excubitor)
February 1, 2019
Did you see the super blood wolf moon?
January 18, 2019
Challenge yourself with the Nature Notes quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
November 30, 2018
Grass appreciation
Little bluestem grass (Andropogon scoparius)
Little bluestem grass (Schizachyrium scoparium)
November 2, 2018
Who's who in those big flocks of blackbirds?
Common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
September 28, 2018
A common fall butterfly
Cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae)
August 14, 2018
Earthstars are unique mushrooms
July 27, 2018
The queen of July's field wildflowers
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
July 6, 2018
Baltimore orioles make hanging nests
Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula)
June 15, 2018
A birdfeeder beauty
Rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
May 4, 2018
Pine warblers arrive on schedule
Pine warbler (Setophaga pinus)
April 6, 2018
The legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
March 9, 2018
Get to know the pollinators
February 9, 2018
A poem for a winter day
January 12, 2018
Get ready for nature in 2018 with a memory-jogging Nature Notes quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
December 1, 2017
A common but seldom seen creature
Meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)
Redbacked vole (Myodes gappen)
Woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum)
October 27, 2017
Insect eaters of insects
Chinese mantid (Tenodera aridifolia)
European mantis (Mantis religiosa)
September 22, 2017
Conservation Highlights in Westborough
Conservation in Westborough
August 25, 2017
Watch for buckeyes
Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
July 28, 2017
An act that is hard to miss
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
June 23, 2017
A year for cuckoos
Black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus)
Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)
May 19, 2017
Something different - a sandhill crane
Sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis)
April 7, 2017
Snow Fleas
Springtail (order Collembola)
March 24, 2017
Sky-dancing Woodcocks
American woodcock (Scolopax minor)
February 17, 2017
Prickly porcupines
Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)
January 27, 2017
Review your nature knowledge - Nature Notes quiz 2016
A Nature Notes quiz
December 2, 2016
Green-glowing Mushrooms
Night light mushroom (Panellus stipticus)
November 4, 2016
Coyotes Are Nearby
coyote (Canis latrans var)
October 7, 2016
Moose in Westborough
Moose (Alces alces)
September 16, 2016
Mushroom Season
Onion-bagel mushroom (Pholiota aurivella)
August 26, 2016
Katydid songs of summer
Katydid (family Tettigoniidae)
July 15, 2016
What's eating our trees?
Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar)
July 22, 2016
Daisy Days
Ox-eye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
May 27, 2016
Loons in Massachusetts
Loon (Gavia immer)
April 29, 2016
Prairie warblers sing a catchy song
Prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor)
Prairie warbler (Setophaga discolor)
April 8, 2016
Cellophane bees emerge from underground in early spring
Cellophane bee (Colletes inaequalis)
March 18, 2016
Watch for Cooper's hawks
Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus)
February 19, 2016
Watching house sparrows
House sparrow (Passer domesticus)
January 15, 2016
Name the wildlife - Nature Notes quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
December 4, 2015
Ring-necked ducks diving in our ponds
Ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris)
November 13, 2015
A lacy, evergreen fern in our woods
Evergreen wood fern (Dryopteris intermedia)
Fancy fern (Dryopteris intermedia)
Intermediate wood fern (Dryopteris intermedia)
October 16, 2015
Persistence of the American chestnut
American chestnut (Castanea dentata)
Chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica)
Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima)
Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippo-castanaum)
September 25, 2015
Invasive phragmites and a native butterfly
American phragmites (Phragmites americanus)
Broad-winged skipper (Poanes viator)
Phragmites (Phragmites australis)
September 4, 2015
The wood-pewee's lasting song
Wood-pewee (Contopus virens)
August 14, 2015
The ovenbird's mid-summer sound
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)
July 24, 2015
Baltimore checkerspot butterflies and gypsy moths
Baltimore checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton)
Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)
July 3, 2015
Sounds of summertime: Wood thrush
Wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)
June 12, 2015
Scarlet tanagers in our forests
Scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea)
May 22, 2015
Pine cone, corn cob, or parasitic plant?
Squawroot (Conopholis americana)
May 1, 2015
Black birds on Mill Pond are double-crested cormorants
Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
April 10, 2015
Think spring, think maples
Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
Norway maple (Acer plantanoides)
Red maple (Acer rubrum)
Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
February 20, 2015
Good tips from a wildlife veterinarian
January 30, 2015
What's my name? Take the Nature Notes quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
December 12, 2014
Whose woods are these? A tribute to white pines
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)
November 14, 2014
Phoebes come early and stay late
phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
October 24, 2014
The Number 2 Snake in Town
Northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon)
October 3, 2014
A White Goldenrod
Downy goldenrod (Solidago puberula)
Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)
September 12, 2014
Pink moths?
Primrose moth (Schinia florida)
Rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda)
August 22, 2014
Grasshopper season
Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)
August 1, 2014
Bald eagle fly-overs
Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
July 11, 2014
Nesting Hummingbirds
Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
June 20, 2014
Wild columbine spring
Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
May 30, 2014
A dwarf in the woods
Dwarf ginseng (Panax trifolius)
May 9, 2014
Spot the seven-pointed stars of starflower
Starflower (Trientalis borealis)
April 18, 2014
Song sparrow singing celebrates spring
Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
February 28, 2014
Ice fishing flourishes on Westborough's ponds
Chain pickerel (Esox niger)
Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)
February 7, 2014
Enjoy the winter juncos
Junco (Junco hyemalis)
January 17, 2014
Who am I? Take the Nature Notes quiz (2013)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 6, 2013
Slime molds are odd sights in the woods
Pretzel slime mold (Hemitrichia serpula)
Wolf's milk slime (Lycogala epidendrum)
November 1, 2013
Fishers make a comeback
Fisher (Martes pennanti)
October 11, 2013
Beware of the destroying angel in the woods
Mushroom, destroying angel (Amanita bisporigera)
Mushroom, destroying angel (Amanita virosa)
September 20, 2013
Spot tiger beetles on Westborough trails
Tiger beetle, common shore (Cicindela repanda)
Tiger beetle, six-spotted (Cicindela sexguttata)
August 30, 2013
Cicada-killer wasps and summer's song
Cicada (Tibicen canicularis)
Cicada-killer wasp (Sphecius speciosus)
August 9, 2013
Wet summer brings monkey-flowers
Monkey-flower (Mimulus ringens)
July 19, 2013
Watch for this new butterfly
Giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
June 28, 2013
Secretive marsh birds
Sora (Porzana carolina)
Virginia rail (Rallus limicola)
June 7, 2013
Yellow iris: Attractive but invasive
Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus)
May 17, 2013
Elfins are small brown butterflies of spring
Eastern pine elfin (Callophrys niphon)
Henry's elfin (Callophrys henrici)
April 19, 2013
Pull out invasive garlic mustard
garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
March 29, 2013
Visiting redpolls lingering in town
Redpoll (Acanthis flammea)
March 8, 2013
What are seagulls doing in town?
Ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis)
February 8, 2013
Pine grosbeaks come to Westborough
Pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)
January 18, 2013
Try the annual Nature Notes quiz (2012)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 7, 2012
Book gifts for nature lovers
November 16, 2012
Pine siskins visit Westborough this year
Pine siskin (Carduelus pinus)
Pine siskin (Spinus pinus)
October 26, 2012
Hunting for mushrooms with an expert
October 5, 2012
Virginia creeper and other autumn reds
Autumn leaf colors
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
September 14, 2012
Mushroom season brings colors & curiosities
Old man of the woods (Strobilomyces floccopus)
Viscid violet cort (Cortinarius iodes)
August 24, 2012
Rabbit's foot clover is fun for kids
Rabbit's foot clover (Trifolium arvense)
August 3, 2012
Pickerel-weed grows in the shallows
Pickerel-weed (Pontederia cordata)
July 13, 2012
Seeing Small Butterflies
Banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)
Gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Striped hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
June 15, 2012
June is a month for baby birds
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus)
May 25, 2012
Big Ferns Unfurl
Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
Interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana)
Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)
May 4, 2012
Blooming blueberries
Blueberry (high bush) (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Blueberry (low bush) (Vaccinium angustifolium)
April 13, 2012
Treasure-hunting for spring wildflowers
Wild oats (Uvularia sessilifolia)
March 23, 2012
Asian Longhorned Beetle at Westborough's Border
Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
February 24, 2012
Watching for robins
American robin (Turdus migratorius)
February 3, 2012
Barred owls begin courting
Barred owl (Strix varia)
January 13, 2012
Quiz Yourself on Nature (2011)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 9, 2011
Earthquakes in New England
November 4, 2011
Turkey tail season
False turkey tail (Stereum ostrea)
Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor)
October 14, 2011
Blue Jays harvest acorns
Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
September 23, 2011
The edible groundnut
Groundnut (Apios americana)
September 1, 2011
Big Birds in white on our shores
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
Great egret (Ardea alba)
August 12, 2011
Hazelnuts in odd husks
American hazelnut (Corylus americana)
Beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta)
July 22, 2011
Tiger swallowtail butterflies
Canadian tiger swallowtail (Papilio canadensis)
Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
June 6, 2011
The many senses of pineapple weed
Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea)
May 20, 2011
The drama of nature's changes
Blue-winged warbler (Vermivora pinus)
Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)
April 29, 2011
An ancient and useful moss
Four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)
Sphagnum moss (Sphagnum)
April 8, 2011
Airborne clean-up crew returns
Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)
March 18, 2011
WCLT's wildlife sightings page
Redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus)
February 25, 2011
How birds stay warm on a cold winter's day
Tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
Tufted titmouse (Parus bicolor)
February 4, 2011
Cardinal's song means spring is coming
Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
January 14, 2011
Take the annual nature quiz (2010)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 10, 2010
Mergansers: December's ducks
Common merganser (Mergus merganser)
November 5, 2010
Raccoons share our natural environment
Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
October 15, 2010
House finches at the feeder
House finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
September 24, 2010
Pokeweed for the birds
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)
September 3, 2010
A bird in decline
Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
August 13, 2010
Frogs at our feet
Leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens)
Leopard frog (Rana pipiens)
Pickerel frog (Lithobates palustris)
July 23, 2010
Candy-cane stripes visible in the summertime
Spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
June 18, 2010
Bobolinks: Long distance travelers
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
May 28, 2010
A good year for butterflies
American lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)
May 7, 2010
Songsters with warts
American toad (Bufo americanus)
April 9, 2010
What's the first wildflower of spring?
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
March 19, 2010
Earth stirs in March
Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris)
February 26, 2010
Who's out there?
Screech owl (Megascops asio)
Screech owl (Otus asio)
February 5, 2010
Spring begins in February
Groundhog (Marmota monax)
January 15, 2010
Quiz Yourself on Nature (2009)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 18, 2009
Moths in winter
Bruce spanworm (Operophtera bruceata)
Fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria)
Winter moth (Operophtera brumata)
November 27, 2009
Beavers get busy
Beaver (Castor canadensis)
October 30, 2009
Native and invasive fall colors
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
October 16, 2009
Palm warblers pass through
Palm warbler (Dendroica palmarum)
October 2, 2009
A curious fall plant
Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana)
September 18, 2009
Blue and edible chicory on the roadside
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
September 4, 2009
Butterfly disguises in late summer
Eastern tailed blue (Everes comyntas)
Viceroy (Basilarchia archippus)
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)
August 21, 2009
A good beetle comes to town
Purple loosestrife beetle (Galerucella calmariensis)
Purple loosestrife beetle (Galerucella pusilla)
August 7, 2009
Snapper Sightings in Westborough
Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
July 24, 2009
A Mill Pond bird is Mr. Mom
Spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia)
July 3, 2009
Listen for treefrogs
Gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
June 12, 2009
The season for baby birds
Baby birds
Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
May 29, 2009
A pretty but prickly escaped shrub
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Bristly locust (Robinia hispida)
May 15, 2009
Foxy neighbors
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
May 1, 2009
Eating on the wing
Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
April 17, 2009
Strange stems of April
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
April 3, 2009
Our diving muskrats
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
March 20, 2009
Looking Up
February 27, 2009
The bird we love to hate
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
February 13, 2009
State bird speaks
Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
January 30, 2009
Ice is nice
January 16, 2009
Quiz Yourself on Nature (2008)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 12, 2008
An invasive decoration
American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
November 7, 2008
Feasting on poison ivy
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata)
October 24, 2008
Smart and feisty red squirrels
Red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
October 10, 2008
Migrating dragonflies
Green darner dragonfly (Anax junius)
September 26, 2008
Old-time bitter medicine
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
September 12, 2008
Fragrant water-lilies linger on local ponds
Fragrant water-lily (Nymphaea odorata)
August 29, 2008
A surprising salamander
Red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens)
August 15, 2008
The minty month of August
Eastern bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum)
Western bluecurls (Trichostema lanceolatum)
Wild mint (Mentha arvensis)
August 1, 2008
Strange plants of summer
Fungus-root partnership (Mycorrhiza)
Indian-pipes (Monotropa uniflora)
Pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys)
July 18, 2008
Dragons and damsels
Damselflies (Zygoptera)
Dragonflies (Anisoptera)
July 4, 2008
Pearl crescent butterflies
Pearl crescent butterfly (Phyciodes tharos)
June 20, 2008
Westborough's snakes are harmless
Garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
Ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus)
June 6, 2008
Treasure-hunting for trilliums
Nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum)
May 23, 2008
May brings yellow warblers to Westborough
Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia)
May 9, 2008
Wildflower, weed, or invader?
Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
April 25, 2008
Watch for wildflowers in Westborough
European windflower (Anemone nemorosa)
Red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)
Windflower (Anemone quinquefolia)
April 11, 2008
Ospreys return to Mill Pond
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
March 28, 2008
Special concern for blue-spotted salamanders
Blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
March 14, 2008
At home in Westborough's vernal pools
Fairy shrimp (Eubranchipus)
February 29, 2008
Moon over Westborough
February 15, 2008
Return of the mallards
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
February 1, 2008
Winter bluebirds brighten Westborough
Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
January 18, 2008
Prepare to notice nature in 2008 by taking the 2007 Nature Notes quiz
A Nature Notes quiz
December 14, 2007
Winter marks return of deer-watching season
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
November 9, 2007
The famous red-breasted nuthatch
Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
October 26, 2007
Late butterflies
American copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)
October 12, 2007
Belted Kingfishers Dive and Burrow
Belted kingfishers (Ceryle alcyon)
September 21, 2007
The case of the mysterious jelly balls
Bryozoans (Pectinatella magnifica)
Jelly ball animals (Pectinatella magnifica)
Moss animals (Pectinatella magnifica)
September 7, 2007
Bullfrogs in our ponds
Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Green frog (Rana clamitans)
August 24, 2007
Carnivorous floating flowers
Bladderworts (Utricularia)
Horned bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta)
Purple bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea)
Swollen bladderwort (Utricularia inflata)
August 10, 2007
A caterpillar's life
Black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes)
July 27, 2007
From caterpillar to butterfly
Black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
July 13, 2007
Look-alike butterflies
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Viceroy (Basilarchia archippus)
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)
June 29, 2007
The catbird in the catbird seat
Brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
June 15, 2007
An invasive rose
Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)
Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
June 1, 2007
A new invasive in town
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
May 18, 2007
Native wild violets in wet and dry places
Birdfoot violet (Viola pedata)
Marsh blue violet (Viola cucullata)
May 4, 2007
Our earliest wild violet
Aphrodite fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite)
Great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele)
Northern downy violet (Viola fimbriatula)
Northern downy violet (Viola sagittata)
April 20, 2007
Marsh-marigolds in our streams and swamps
Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris)
April 6, 2007
Blue butterfly days
Blue morpho (Morpho peleides)
Eastern tailed blue (Everes comyntas)
Gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Silvery blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)
Spring azure (Celastrina ladon)
Summer azure (Celastrina ladon neglecta)
Summer azure (Celastrina neglecta)
March 23, 2007
Return of the red-wings signals spring
Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
March 9, 2007
Honeybees in winter
Bumblebee (Bombus)
Honeybee (Apis mellifera)
February 23, 2007
Westborough's tiny winter bird
Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis)
Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa)
Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula)
Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
February 9, 2007
Valentine's Day for Skunks
Great horned owl (Bubo virginianis)
Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
January 26, 2007
Woodpeckers in Westborough's Woods
Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
January 12, 2007
Think you know nature? (2006)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 13, 2006
Alien Invader Targets Our Hemlocks
Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana)
Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)
Mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota)
Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)
November 10, 2006
Lovely and controversial swans
Mute swan (Cygnus olor)
October 20, 2006
Acorns and chipmunks
Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)
October 6, 2006
From shaggy mane to inky cap
Shaggy mane mushroom (Coprinus comatus)
September 22, 2006
Evening blossoms in the day
Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)
September 8, 2006
Turtlehead and butterflies
Baltimore checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Pink turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)
Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
Viburnums (Viburnum)
White ash (Fraxinus americana)
August 25, 2006
Goldfinches and summer's thistles
Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)
August 11, 2006
A most unusual moth in town
Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
Hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)
Tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata)
July 28, 2006
A white squirrel sighting
Gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
July 14, 2006
July is butterfly season
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Chokecherry (Prunus)
Coral hairstreak (Satyrium titus)
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Wild cherry (Prunus)
Wild plum (Prunus)
June 23, 2006
The tale of the cottontail rabbit
Eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus)
European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
New England cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus transitionalis)
June 9, 2006
Make way for ducklings
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Wood duck (Aix sponsa)
May 26, 2006
Bluebirds in Westborough
Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
English sparrows (Passer domesticus)
European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)
House sparrow (Passer domesticus)
May 12, 2006
A mighty collision and much glaciation
Geology of Westborough
April 28, 2006
Good things from spicebush
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Spicebush swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
April 14, 2006
Tiny frogs herald springtime
Spring peeper (Hyla crucifer)
Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
March 31, 2006
Wild ducks on our ponds
Hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Wood duck (Aix sponsa)
March 17, 2006
Visitors to our vernal pools
Blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
Jefferson salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)
Marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
Spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii holbrookii)
Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
Wood frog (Rana sylvatica)
March 3, 2006
Early birds get the dried fruit
American robin (Turdus migratorius)
Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
February 17, 2006
Ancient evergreens under the snow
Ground cedar (Diphasiastrum digitatum)
Ground cedar (Lycopodium digitatum)
Pipsessewa (Chimaphila umbellata)
Prince's pine (Chimaphila umbellata)
Princess pine (Dendrolycopodium obscurum)
Princess pine (Lycopodium obscurum)
February 3, 2006
Nuthatches in the winter
Red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
January 20, 2006
Woolly bears and winter
Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella)
Woolly bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella)
January 6, 2006
Think you know nature? (2005)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 9, 2005
Canada geese overhead
Canada goose (Branta canadensis)
November 18, 2005
It's time to talk turkey
Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
October 28, 2005
Lobster claws on the path
Lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)
Orange mushroom pimple (Hypomyces lactifluorum)
October 14, 2005
Puffballs in the grass
Gem-studded puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)
Giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea)
Pasture puffball (Calvatia cyathiformis)
Pear-shaped puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme)
Pigskin poison puffball (Scleroderma citrinum)
Purple-spored puffball (Calvatia cyathiformis)
Skull-shaped puffball (Calvatia craniformis)
Vase puffball (Calvatia cyathiformis)
September 30, 2005
Fish-baiting green herons
Green heron (Butorides virescens)
September 16, 2005
September's wild orchid
Downy rattlesnake-plantain (Goodyera pubescens)
Nodding ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Pink lady's-slipper (Cypripedium acaule)
September 2, 2005
Spotted Joe-Pye-weed in purple landscapes
Spotted Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
August 19, 2005
Summer hummers
Beebalm (Monarda didyma)
Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)
Canada lily (Lilium canadense)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense)
Cigar plant (Cuphea ignea)
Columbine (Aquilegia canadense)
Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Fuchsia (Fuchsia)
Giant blue sage (Salvia guaranitica)
Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica)
Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
Orange spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana)
Shrub verbena (Lantana camara)
Silktree (Albizia julibrissin)
Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)
Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
August 5, 2005
Tiny orchids of August
Downy rattlesnake-plantain (Goodyera pubescens)
July 22, 2005
Cardinal flower attracts hummingbirds, butterflies
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Hummingbird (Archilochus colubrus)
Indian-pipes (Monotropa uniflora)
Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
July 8, 2005
Milkweed and butterflies in our meadows
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetraophthalmus)
Milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii)
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Viceroy (Basilarchia archippus)
June 24, 2005
Not-So-Deadly Nightshade
Belladonna (Atropa belladonna)
Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
Peppers (Capsicum)
Potato (Solanum tuberosum)
Tobacco (Nicotiana)
Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum)
June 10, 2005
A sheepish laurel
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Sheep-laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)
May 27, 2005
Wild geraniums are native to the area
Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
May 13, 2005
Nature Notes in the classroom
Gibbons 7th-graders use Nature Notes
April 29, 2005
The first butterfly of spring
American elm (Ulmus americana)
Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Paper birch (Betula papyrifera)
Willow (Salix)
April 15, 2005
Swamps in bloom
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
April 1, 2005
An owl in the nest
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
March 18, 2005
The mourning dove's coo
Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura)
March 5, 2005
Time for pussy willows
Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
Viceroy (Basilarchia archippus)
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)
February 18, 2005
Squirrel tales
Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans)
Gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
February 4, 2005
Westborough's Atlantic White Cedars
Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)
Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus lebani)
Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Hessel's hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys hesseli)
Hessel's hairstreak butterfly (Mitoura hesseli)
Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
January 21, 2005
Wintergreen under the snow
Birch, black (Betula lenta)
Checkerberry (Gaultheria procumbens)
January 7, 2005
Think you know nature? (2004)
A Nature Notes quiz
December 10, 2004
Christmas fern in the woods
Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
November 26, 2004
Winterberry in our wetlands
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
November 12, 2004
Red-tailed hawks overhead
Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
October 29, 2004
Witch-hazel flowers for Halloween
Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
October 15, 2004
Fall is mushroom season
Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)
October 1, 2004
Flowers that never open
Closed gentian (Gentiana clausa)
September 17, 2004
Butter-and-eggs for beauty, not breakfast
Butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris)
September 3, 2004
Jewelweed is ready to pop
Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Pale touch-me-not (Impatiens pallida)
Purple jewelweed (Impatiens glandulifera)
Purple touch-me-not (Impatiens glandulifera)
Spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)
Yellow jewelweed (Impatiens pallida)
August 20, 2004
Late-summer sneezing
Goldenrod (Solidago)
Goldenrod spider (Misumena vatia)
Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
August 6, 2004
Invasion of the Purple Loosestrife
Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
July 23, 2004
Ghostly Indian-pipes by the path
Indian-pipes (Monotropa uniflora)
July 9, 2004
Watch for painted turtles
Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)
Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
June 25, 2004
St. Johnswort on the roadside
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
June 11, 2004
Wild iris in the woods
Blue flag iris (Iris versicolor)
Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium)
Yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus)
May 28, 2004
Land of Swamps
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
May 14, 2004
Westborough's Pink Lady's-Slippers
Moccasin-flower (Cypripedium acaule)
Pink lady's-slipper (Cypripedium acaule)
April 30, 2004
Great Blue Herons at Mill Pond
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
April 16, 2004
Signs of spring: Wood frogs and vernal pools
Wood frog (Rana sylvatica)

Westborough Community Land Trust, PO Box 838, Westborough , MA 01581
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