Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Vernal Equinox!

Today is the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring. Ah, we made it, didn't we? It's been a cold and snowy winter here in Bridgewater, MA and with any luck there'll be no snow until way after the autumnal equinox.

We recently saw pussy willows, one of Spring's earliest indicators. Here's a Mullein that, after wintering over, is picking up some color as it builds a rosette of leaves, soon to spread open and throw a flowering spike.

And here's another indication! Just today I noticed this Goldfinch with what appears to be the beginning of a molt. His eyebrows and bib are coming in nicely with also little patches here and there. I'll be sure to follow their development. In fact, I think I just may be coming into the busy season here on Nuncketest!


  1. I've been reading your archives and it that seems we share the same addiction: field guides and reference books! Like you, I find the line drawings to be most helpful for ID purposes. One book that has become indispensable to me is "Field Book of American Wildflowers" by F.Schuyler Mathews (Main Street Press). I stumbled on this treasure on the bargain table at Borders a few years ago for $4.99 and it has become my bible. Originally published in 1902, Mr. Mathews seems to have deep New England roots, often mentioning the exact NE towns in which he has located particular specimens. He provides detailed botanical info as well as charming commentary and trivia. This is one little "must have" volume for your library- it's worth a search! ~ gretchen

  2. Gretchen, thank you so much for this reference!

    Indeed this book belongs in my library--as I write, a new hardcover is on its way from California for less than ten dollars.

    I see it is available for viewing and download via Google books but when it comes to my nature material, I must have a book in hand, especially when the pages are flying during a heated search. (Try doing that with a Kindle!)

    Wow, Matthews also painted the watercolor botanicals. This book is going to be a real treat!