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Explore the Preston Nature Preserve’s Field of Natural History Dreams

Date: Saturday, August 6 

Time: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

At first glance, a natural meadow may look like nothing more than an unkempt lawn that a lazy homeowner has taken a holiday from mowing. But look closer and you’ll discover an amazing and often fascinating array of biological diversity. 

The Preston Nature Preserve (PNP) offers explorers a pathway through several interconnected meadows that are at their prettiest in August, and on the 6th, from 10 a.m. to at least noon,  Avalonia naturalist Bruce Fellman will guide visitors on a leisurely tour of the 56-acre refuge’s treasure trove of native plants and insects that thrive in the fields, as well as in the surrounding woods and wetlands. The botanical star of the meadow show is an expanse of Bee Balm, a native member of the mint family whose showy pink, red, and purple flowers are butterfly, bee, and beetle magnets.

If we’re lucky and patient, we’re often blessed with sightings of tiny hummingbird mimics known as hummingbird moths that find Bee Balm blooms irresistible—and this is just the tip of the floral iceberg. Joe Pye Weed, goldenrod, native grass, thistle, and aster flowers will also be bringing in the pollinators, and the milkweeds, though past their blossom time, will still be attracting Monarch butterflies, whose eggs and leaf-eating caterpillars we’ll seek. Last but hardly least, the PNP banquet usually includes a variety of dragonflies, birds, frogs, and even a deer or two. 

Bring binoculars, hand lenses, cameras, notebooks, your natural history curiosity, and, if you have them, your kids and grandkids. Don’t forget the sunscreen, bug spray, water, and a hat—it’s an easy 1.5 mile hike, but it can be bright and hot in the fields. Please pre-register for the walk. For more information and directions, you can use my e-mail and phone number for more information: 860-599-4867, or fellnature@sbcglobal.net

Photo credit: Bruce Fellman


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