When you live in a big city like Boston it may seem like nature is far away. It might be hard to find good spots to enjoy and trails to hike or wander. But with time, and with good friends, I've learned that there are hidden gems where the city seems far away and we can immerse ourselves in fresh air, deep woods and clean water.
The Blue Hills reservation holds many such places. One of the true wonders are Ponkapoag pond. Thinking of an adventure good for both grown-ups and boys, we hiked through the woods until we met with a narrow trail down to the lake shore and a tiny beach, mostly frequented by deer drinking water. The vegetation went all the way to the water - red maples, oaks, birches, and Sweet pepperbush and buttonbush and Silky dogwood made the understory layer.
The sweet pepperbush looked good together with purple loosestrife, not too much of the later fortunately.
Since my son developed an interest for nature some of my field guides and nature books have disappeared into his room. I don't recognize this flower which was growing in the water. The bees liked it and the flowers were beautiful.
Buttonbush was easily recognized!
And swamp milkweed too.
Only much later I identified this pretty flower as marsh St Johnswort.
Clothes soon came off.
Large dragonfly nymph in a jar
Small crayfish, hiding under rocks. We saw some shedded shells as well.
Second crayfish, caught in plastic water bottle
For the smaller one, playing with water and cans and bottles is enough.
We saw a great fish called Pumpkinseed sunfish, native to these waters. There were two males swimming around protecting their nests in the shallow waters. The end of their fins were shining in aquamarine blue. We also saw other smaller fish, at least one of them were a baby largemouth bass.
There were hundreds of dragonflies around but they're not easy to catch on picture. Here's a blue dasher that sat down for a moment. Too bad the face is blurry!
A sunbathing damselfly
In the woods, we enjoyed the last of the highbush blueberries together with huckleberries.
There were lots of maple leaf viburnums which I always liked a lot.
I also learned of ground peanuts, but couldn't find any big enough to taste.