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Progress Report: July 2-6

I spent my first night on my land! All alone too. I thought I was going to get scared and bail, but it went great. I watched the light dim as I read in my hammock. At 8:45pm, it was almost fully dark in the woods, though the sky was still light. I snuggled into my tent and slept great. Waking up to the birds singing and the brook babbling was delightful.

I took the whole week off, so I got to spend time on my land Tues-Sat. It was wonderful! (But I'm thoroughly sick of bugs!)

I spent Wednesday showing Daddy around - what a joy to get to share it! He helped me put a third bridge log in place and bind them together. It is so much stronger now!

He and I also stumbled across this beautiful jaw! I thought it was a Moose, but apparently it's a cow. I wonder how it got here!

I spent a lot of time Thursday defining a path from the road, through the woods, across the swamp, and over to my tent, the shelter, and the brook. I traced it to avoid the most sensitive areas (especially the orchid swamp), and I lined the path with fallen branches.

I found this little painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) as I was laying out the path. The first reptile I've found on my land! Isn't he beautiful? (I actually don't know if it's male or female.)

And look what my trail cam caught - it is a bobcat!

Not a great photo, but hopefully I'll get luckier next time it passes through. I am so pleased that my theory that animals would use my bridge to cross the brook has proved true!

My most curious find was this guy - a mudpuppy salamander.

What a wonderful week <3


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Emily came with me to visit my land this weekend! I took her on the wildflower circuit: brook, marsh, upland boulders, back orchid corner, swamp.

What's blooming?

Both Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) and ghost pipe (Monotropa uniflora) are in bloom. The ghost pipes are everywhere - usually white and sometimes blushing pink:

Pinesap is less common. This is the only one I've seen so far - they're usually yellow but sometimes this lovely pink:

Dwarf St. John's-Wort (Hypericum mutilum) is tiny! I missed it until Emily pointed it out.

Whorled Wood Aster (Oclemena acuminata )

I think this one is Swamp Smartweed (Persicaria hydropiperoides )

Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) flowers are very subtle:

What's in fruit?

I've only found two small patches of Creeping Snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula) on my land. I missed the flowers this year, but the tiny fruit have arrived and they are beautiful.

I had never looked closely at one before - check out the tiny hairs!