Please enjoy our June edition!

What are you seeing out there? We'd love to hear from you! The following posts are from some of our local Harpswell Nature Watchers. All of the contributions below are seen immediately in our Facebook group. Click here to join.

Click here for more information about Harpswell Nature Watchers.
We had a whale sighting today at Stover's Cove! It was fishing for a couple of hours during mid-tide. I sent the pictures to a Whale & Dolphin Conservatory for help with identifying the type and they said that it is possibly a Humpback.

Joseph Neylon, Patricia Taylor and Sarah Potter also spotted the whale!

(Submitted by Shannon McGee Grauer. June 27, 2021)
This Yellow Warbler is relentless in trying to get into our sunroom!

(Submitted by Dawn Webster. June 27, 2021)
Rose pogonia are blooming in Long Reach Preserve again. The US botanical gardens says rose pogonias is native to North America from Canada to Florida. "They are found in acidic boggy conditions, marshy meadows, or wet, grassy slopes. Although most often found growing in Sphagnum moss they also grow in sandy soil.... Unfortunately, much of pogonia ophioglossoides' habitat has been destroyed due to development construction and herbicide treatment of ditches and waterways. These habitats are especially sensitive and the plant is listed as threatened or endangered in most states of it native range."

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. June 24, 2021)
A mink at low tide on Quahog Bay this morning. The mink was struggling with a fish that looked to be about as big as it was, just before I was able to grab my camera for this photo.

Gina Snyder also caught a great video of a small mink running across the rock weed at low tide at Orr's Cove.

(Submitted by Kathy Miller. June 24, 2021) 
Across from the farm at Skolfield Shores - a lily pond with Glossy Ibis. Quite a sight!

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. June 17, 2021)
This Bald Eagle was apparently up to no good on the marsh below our yard. We think it was going after the baby ducks. By the time I grabbed my camera, a duck and a crow were chasing it away. I got pictures as the three of them flew across the cove, then turned back briefly at the mouth of the cove, then disappeared behind the trees.

(Submitted by Howard Marshall and LeAnne Grillo. June 16, 2021)
The deer are out! Around sunset in the upper meadow at Mitchell Field and a few days ago at Thalheimer Bowdoin Coastal Studies.

(Submitted by Howard Marshall, Le Anne Grillo and Gina Snyder. June 15, 2021)
Twin flower (Linnaea borealis) is blooming in the woods now. This darling little plant is easily overlooked because of its diminutive size and its ground-hugging growth habit. The nodding, trumpet-shaped flowers occur in pairs on a Y-shaped stalk. The leaves also occur in pairs along the trailing stem that runs along the ground. If you can get your nose close enough to the ground, you can enjoy their lovely fragrance. The first photograph is out of focus, but I included it for perspective. The second photo gives you a close view of the blossoms.

(Submitted by Lynn Knight. June 15, 2021)
Cormorant fishing today

(Submitted by Shannon McGee Grauer. June 13, 2021)
Finally - a Barred Owl sighting in my yard! Of course I happened to be out of town but my husband caught him!

(Submitted by Molly Murphy Tannatt. June 6, 2021)
Wild Calla (Calla palustris) is blooming now around the bog at Long Reach Preserve. These stunners are members of the Arum family. This family of plants is unique in that they have no petals. Instead, they have a showy white modified leaf called a spathe that surrounds a central column called a spadix. The spadix houses both the tiny male and female flowers—the male flowers are orange and more numerous, while the female flowers are pale green. Jack-in-the-Pulpit also is in the arum family.

(Submitted by Lynn Knight, Photos by Priscilla Seimer. June 3, 2021)
The horseshoe crabs were doing their thing at Long Reach this afternoon and it wasn't even high tide yet! Such fascinating creatures, as the Fish and Wildlife service notes, "Horseshoe crabs are evolutionary survivors that have remained relatively unchanged in appearance for 350 million years. The horseshoe crab is not actually a true crab, but a member of an ancient group of arthropods, closely related to spiders and scorpions."

"Horseshoe crabs can actually live out of the water for about four days. The crabs will bury themselves into the sand or fold their bodies up to hold on to water until the tide rises again and they can swim free...Horseshoe crabs will molt at least six times in their first year of life and about 18 times before they reach sexual maturity. Females are generally larger than males and may molt more than males to reach the larger size. Once crabs are sexually mature, which takes at least nine years, they won’t shed their shells again."

Ruth Zumstein and Mike Gonzalez also shared some great images of horseshoe crabs that can be viewed on our Facebook group when you CLICK HERE.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. June 2, 2021)