In recent years we have run a joint field trip with the OFNC at Brewer Park, introducing neighbourhood children to the aquatic life of the river-side pond. In the usual pattern, kids caught frogs and crayfish; they were put on display in an open-air aquarium and then released in a safe zone. Our member Niccolo caught a small Painted Turtle. Rachel photographed the Red-winged Blackbirds that were nesting just a few steps away from all the activity.
We all took our lunches to the Macoun Club nature-study area in Stony Swamp, and tried to see the Scarlet Tanager singing overhead while we ate. All the other birds typical of a mixed forest were there: Ovenbird, Eastern Wood Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Pileated Woodpecker, and Pine Warbler. Afterward, we searched under rocks and in the soil for root aphids — the “livestock” that some species of ants tend for honeydew. Starflowers dotted the forest floor, and we came across two or three Pink Lady’s Slippers (Moccasin Flowers).