Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Drumlin Farm

Over the last weekend I visited Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. Most of the fauna I saw was of the domesticated variety but I did get a few good shots.

Drumlin farm is a Mass Audubon site and still a working farm. There is an entry fee but it's nominal. I believe it's $6 for adults. In addition to the farm part of Drumlin Farm where you can check out their woolly lambs, goats, pigs, cows and chickens (that modifier didn't carry, really just the lambs are woolly) the site contains a small nature preserve that is kept as a meadow. It's actually a pretty great place to see bugs and birds. Plus, they've got a drumlin!

What's a drumlin, you ask? Well a drumlin is a glacially deposited hill usually made of sand or gravel. Y'see, thousands of years ago when New England was all just big ol' glaciers they would slide around and pick stuff up like rocks and other sediment and carry it, sometimes for hundreds of miles. Scientists are still arguing (one of my favorite sentence beginners) about the exact formation process but it's generally agreed that the drumlins show the final movement of the glacier just as it melts. As it melts it drops piles of stones and sediment which form the drumlins. The Boston Harbor Islands are actually the worlds only submerged drumlins. Wow!

So here's some wildlife you might see if you go to Drumlin Farm:

These white butterflies are all over Massachusetts this time of year. We also saw some swallow-tail and monarchs.

The huge amount of golden rod is home to a ton of hymenoptera, most of them bees. But we also saw several wasps, including this one.

A coleoptera about to launch off my hand. It looked a bit like a firefly only quite a bit bigger. I spent a good while trying to get a decent image of this little guy (or gal) but the tall grass kept getting in the way and messing up the focus. I finally decided to just pick it up and was lucky enough to snap this milliseconds before it took flight. It's pretty cool to see the wing coverings common to all beetles spread out and it's wings ready for flying.

A goldfinch munching away on some thistle. Definitely check out the web album for an embiggened version of this. I think it's one of the best photos of a bird I've ever shot.

And of course, no trip into the wild could be complete without an unidentified weird bug. Anyone have a clue what this thing is? It would run a bit and then wave its first two legs around like it was casting a spell.

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