“Until the first big snowstorm, I usually walked the length of the MRG every morning from 0430 to 0630. I usually have a headlamp on so that I can watch out for skunks, fallen tree limbs and crazy bicyclists who don’t use any headlamps even though it’s pitch black out. I also like the headlamp because you can then see what’s in the woods looking back at you. A week before I took the Owl shot, I was about to cross the wood bridge going downhill from Renihan Meadows area. It was pitch black out and I heard a rustling in the trees right above my head. I looked up with my headlamp and there was a Barred Owl looking back at me right over my head. It was sooo cool. Then about a week later, I was out on the Trail, halfway between the powerline cutout and the P&C access road. I just happened to look right up the ridge line and saw a Barred Owl. Next thing I know, the owl flies right down to the edge of the trail and perched himself on a limb only about ten feet from me, and just sat there. I couldn’t believe it. I took the shot.” – Dan Moriarty
It was a pleasure meeting this friendly couple on the Greenway today. She was riding her new trike, a gift from her husband a few days ago. They are recent transplants from Alaska and are enjoying easy access to the MRG. Jogging, biking, triking, skateboarding, rollerblading, dog-walking, traveling on cross-country skis or snowshoes . . . many ways to enjoy the MRG!
Work on the tunnel this Spring destroyed the MRG pollinator garden on the Goss Logan hillside. Only the hardiest of perennials survived. Red bee balm was one of the survivors . . . and it attracted this tiny hummingbird moth. These Dr. Seuss-like creatures have hummingbird energy, hovering and darting about. The proboscis and antennae are like those of butterflies. The furriness and striping are like bumble bees. The tail is like that of a lobster.
The caterpillar stage of the hummingbird moth looks much like a tomato hornworm. Hard to believe that this creature that looks so much like a hummingbird could emerge from such a caterpillar!
Working on the MRG pollinator gardens each day offers an opportunity to meet some of the MRG “regulars”. This is Chris who roller blades daily. She covers many miles as she skates back and forth, sometimes at least 10 miles. Since much of the MRG is in the shade of trees, it offers respite on these hot, muggy days. It’s a joy to see so many different people, in so many ways, enjoying this beautiful community resource.
A young woman rollerblading on the MRG this week had one of these caterpillars drop from a tree and down her shirt. The bristles caused a stinging sensation and turned into a burning rash. (As if Covid-19 and murder hornets aren’t enough!) Unfortunately, she tried to brush the burning away, which further embedded the bristles. She has since learned that applying tape to draw the bristles out is a better solution!) With this caterpillar – look but don’t touch!