Almanac Excerpt

Male Ruddy Duck

RUDDY DUCK, Oxyura jamaicensis

November 2011
Late fall is the best time to see this lively little freshwater duck. Along with other waterfowl, it migrates south through our region in November. It is most often seen on the Charles River,

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Cedar Waxwing

CEDAR WAXWING, Bombycilla cedrorum

September 2011
The Cedar Waxwing is a year-round bird in Massachusetts, often seen in September feeding on fruit left hanging on bare trees. It travels in flocks, moving from tree to tree in an area as they feed.

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MONARCH BUTTERFLY, Danaus plexippus

July 2011
A Monarch Butterfly is a spectacular frequent visitor to the gardens and conservation areas of Newton. It is hard to miss this large butterfly with its striking wing pattern and coloration.

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GREEN HERON, Butorides virescens

June 2011
A Green Heron is a slender, long-legged bird found standing upright at the water’s edge in ponds in the Newton Cemetery or at Dolan Pond. It may be partly hidden in reeds,

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SKUNK CABBAGE, Symplocarpus foetidus

March 2011
Skunk Cabbage emerges in swampy areas. This plant generates enough heat to melt snow and ice around it. Look for its unusual flowers, which are maroon-striped, leaf-like spathes surrounding a spadix or club.

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PUSSY WILLOW, Salix discolor

February 2011
Who doesn’t rembember the pussy willow from childhood, with its irresistble, fuzzy catkin buds? As children, we put pussy willow twigs in the ground, and marveled as they took root.

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