Friday, July 1, 2011

Flora and Fauna of the Needham Community Farm area

Lance-leaved Coreopsis, or tickseed, Needham Community Farm, Needham, MA
The raised beds that comprise the gardens of Needham Community Farm take up a relatively small part of the entire property. (It used to be the site of a Nike missile base, don't you know.) The rest is a meadow of long grasses and wildflowers.  I took a walk through the meadow to see what I might find.

The meadow is dominated right now by the normal July bloomers: wild carrot and fleabane, with black-eyed Susans getting ready to bloom in large numbers. I was struck by the lovely tickseed (above) and a small stand of Deptford pink (below).
Deptford Pink, Needham Community Farm, Needham, MA
And this lovely low blooming flower that I don't recognize.
Perhaps someone else does...

I was also interested in insect life, though I did not do an exhaustive survey. You can see black swallowtail, as well as abundant cabbage and sulfurs (not good but unavoidable). I was glad this eastern tailed blue decided to open its wings a bit.
Eastern Tailed Blue

There are many dragonflies of many sorts. (I always intend to indentify them, until I look at the long long species list), Here are some photos, nonetheless.

And this beetle, chewing on a common mullein, looks like a potential problem, no?
on the mullein
The bird scene was livelier that I remember.  Right now the meadow is a nursery for chipping sparrows (I flushed over a dozen just walking through) and red-winged blackbirds. Common grackle and common crows flew over while I was there, making me think that concern about blackbirds in the garden is reasonable. Eastern towhee and scarlet tanager sang from the wood's edge. And no house sparrows that I could detect, making it safe to put up some nesting boxes.

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