In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.
No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.

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 for more information about Harpswell Nature Watchers.
Two shrubs, both that will produce clusters of fruit, are blooming now at Curtis Farm Preserve. Arrowwood viburnum ( Viburnum dentatum ) is a native shrub whose bluish fruits in the fall are a favorite for birds. It has lovely red foliage in the fall. The other is autumn olive ( Elaeagnus umbellata ). This is a highly invasive shrub originating from East Asia. It produces large clusters of striking red edible berries. It is drought-tolerant and fixes its own nitrogen, so can grow in poor soils. It can become quite large and will crowd out native species. Birds and other mammals unfortunately help disperse the seeds.
(Submitted by Lynn Knight, June 25, 2020)
An early morning boat trip allowed us to observe the east side of Ram Island, off the southeast shore of Orr's Island. This is a bird sanctuary so you cannot land on the island or disturb birds during nesting season (March 15 - August 15). Using 10X binoculars and a long telephoto lens on my camera, I was able to observe large numbers of nesting double-crested cormorants and herring gulls. The birds are comfortable in close quarters on the island, probably in hopes of avoiding predators.
(Submitted by Ed Robinson, June 24, 2020)
In fine weather, we enjoyed a boat trip along Harpswell Sound one afternoon. There are large numbers of common eiders in local waters now, with hens and their chicks traveling together for safety from bald eagles, gulls and other predators. In late afternoon light we came upon an osprey resting on a small island near Lombos Hole between hunting trips in search of fish for dinner.
(Submitted by Ed Robinson, June 17, 2020)
In animals, stripes serve to provide camouflage or warn predators. At the scale of landscapes, stripes reveal differences among plants in animals in their ability to deal with difficult environments, predation, or competition for space.
CLICK HERE to learn about the stripes on the Maine shoreline.
(Submitted by Nat Wheelwright, June 16, 2020)
Seeing live and active horseshoe crabs is quite a fascinating treat. I'm guessing this is a once-a-year activity that I was lucky enough to capture. Generally, if I've seen evidence of horseshoe crabs at all, I've seen the empty shells.
(Submitted by Gina Snyder, June 13, 2020)
Lots of fun stuff is blooming at Long Reach Preserve! I encourage you all to go there for a stroll! Indian cucumber root, huckleberries, Jack-in-the-pulpit, sarsaparilla, wild calla, wood sorrel, and blue-bead lily—to name a few recent bloomers. And the fringed poly gala that Gina posted previously is still blooming. Indian cucumber root ( Medeola virginiana ) is a member of the lily family and has such an unusual flower. It does have a crisp, waxy looking edible tuber that is said to have a cucumber flavor. Of course, as with most wildflowers, the population of these plants is not large enough to allow harvesting without detrimentally impacting their presence. The other lily I mentioned, blue-bead lily ( Clintonia borealis ), will produce deep-blue berries later in the season that are not edible.
(Submitted by Lynn Knight, June 10, 2020)
Northern wood sorrel (Oxalis montana)
(Submitted by Lynn Knight and Susan Hayward, June 10, 2020)
Had a visit by a Goldfinch this morning, what a pretty bird, seemed to be admiring itself in the window across from it!
(Submitted by Gina Snyder, June 9, 2020)
Showy lady’s slippers are blooming now in the wet woods ( Cypripedium acaule ). According to the botanists at the British Columbia Forest Service, Cypripedium means ‘Aphrodite’s foot,’ Kypris being an old name for this ancient Greek goddess of love.

This lovely orchid is interesting for several reasons. It has a symbiotic relationship with a specific fungus in the soil that digests the outer coating of the seeds to allow them to germinate. These fungi also integrate themselves with the underground stems to supply minerals and other nutrients in return for food the orchid manufactures via photosynthesis. In a class I took years ago at New England Wildflower Society (now the Native Plant Trust), the instructor explained that there are two small openings at the top of the bulbous “slipper” flower where bees must brush past the pollen-bearing anthers to enter and exit. However, botanists have determined that most bees only do this once or twice before they learn that it isn’t worth the trouble navigating the difficult passages since there is no nectar reward. So only two percent of the flowers are successfully pollinated. Knowing its challenges, you can understand why these flowers are a protected species.
(Submitted by Lynn Knight and Susan Hayward, June 4, 2020)
An update on what is blooming at Curtis Farm preserve – Along the field edges you will find lots of early lowbush blueberries, yellow hawkweed, and cinquefoil flowering. Black chokeberry shrubs are blooming along the forest edges on the south side of the field. And, along the left side of the trail down to the coves, the pink lady slippers are out! The chokeberry shrubs ( Aronia melanocarpa ) produce black berries that are bitter eaten raw but can be made into jelly. The yellow hawkweed ( Hieracium caespitosum ) is native to Europe, brought here as an ornamental. There is also an orange version of this species I’m sure you have seen along roadsides and other disturbed areas, called orange hawkweed or devil’s paintbrush ( Hieracium aurantiacum ).
(Submitted by Lynn Knight, June 4, 2020)