This is our very first email to the Harpswell Nature Watchers!

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust is launching a community nature journaling initiative. The goal of this project is to encourage local residents and visitors to get outdoors and be nature observers. We hope that with a little bit of inspiration and knowledge, community members of all ages will enjoy noticing and documenting their own nature observations. This can be easily done while enjoying Harpswell's preserves and trails or in your own backyard! Click here for more information about the initiative.

As part of this initiative, we intend to provide updates on what to look for during each month of the year and resources to help you learn more about the world around you. This guidance and inspiration will be shared through this email list and our Facebook group: Harpswell Nature Watchers. We encourage you to post your own observations to the Facebook group!

We encourage you to forward this email to friends who might be interested. If this was forwarded to you and you want more, click here to sign up for emails.
Last weekend we launched the Community Nature Journaling Initiative with a fascinating walk and talk by Nat Wheelwright, Bowdoin College Professor and co-author (with acclaimed naturalist Bernd Heinrich) of The Naturalist’s Notebook . We encourage you to check out Nat's Nature Moments series. Nature Moments are short videos designed to introduce common plants and animals and interesting ecological concepts, no matter where you live.  Click here to check them out.
In May, many species of birds are nesting and mammals such as beavers and woodchucks are giving birth; you may see red fox pups playing outside their den. Be on the lookout for butterflies like black and Eastern tiger swallowtails, cabbage whites, mourning cloaks, and Spring azures emerging from their chrysalises. Lady slippers, Clintonia, gold thread, and painted trillium will begin to flower. I saw my first wild asparagus spears poking through the ground yesterday—enough to add to a salad tonight!
You can find Painted Trillium ( Trillium undulatum ) in the deep shade of deciduous or mixed forests, swamp edges, or bogs where the soils are moist and acidic. Their stunning flowers have 3 white petals with a red “painted” ring encircling the stamens and pistils in the center of the flower. The flower sits above 3 long oval leaves emanating from a single whorl. After flowering, the plant will produce one bright red berry in August. Ants, white-tailed deer, birds, and yellow jackets disperse their seeds.
On Wednesday morning, 17 of us enjoyed a birding walk hosted by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust at the beautiful Curtis Farm Preserve, with John Berry giving us the benefit of his vast birding knowledge. Despite the foggy weather, birds were very active in breeding and nesting behavior. The group was treated to numerous species like the Eastern bluebird, tree swallows, an indigo bunting, blue-headed vireos, chestnut-sided warblers and a common yellow throat. A pair of blue jays added their raucous cries to the music around us.