Ringless Honey Mushroom – 9/17/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/17/20 Observation Time: 3:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Ringless Honey Mushroom Scientific Name: Armillaria tabescens Comments: These ringless mushrooms extended almost all the way around the tree. WARNING: This is NOT a beginner’s mushroom. Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species. More Information: The Foraged Foodie

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Pickerel Frog – 9/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/9/20 Observation Time: 11:15 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Pickerel Frog Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris Comments: The skin secretions of a stressed pickerel frog are known to be toxic to other frogs, as many a novice frog catcher has found when he finds only the pickerel frogs still alive in his bucket. These secretions can also be […]

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Goldrenrod Bunch Gall Midge – 9/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/9/20 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Goldrenrod Bunch Gall Midge Scientific Name: Rhopalomyia solidaginis Comments: This peculiar insect makes a gall on goldenrod. More Information: iNaturalist

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parasol Mushroom – 9/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/9/20 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Parasol mushroom Scientific Name: Macrolepiota procera Comments: iNaturalist says this is a parasol mushroom. I thought they had rounded caps, but I do see some flat tops when googling. This was large – maybe 5″ to 6″ in diameter. Very pretty. More Information: Mushroom-Collecting.com

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Brittle Gill Mushroom – 9/7/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/7/20 Observation Time: 5:45 p.m. Observation Location: conservation land near Lakeview & Morse Common Name: Brittle Gill Mushroom Scientific Name: Russula pulchra Comments: Wikipedia lists an enormous number of Russula species, so I am not certain of this identification. More Information: Mushroom Expert

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Chicken of the Woods – 9/7/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/7/20 Observation Time: 5:40 p.m. Observation Location: conservation land near Lakeview & Morse Common Name: Chicken of the Woods Scientific Name: Laetiporus sulphureus Comments: These relatively small specimens were growing on a dead oak tree. Chicken of the Woods can grow to very large size. They are edible, but it is wise to refrain from eating any wild-harvested food unless […]

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Wild Grapes – 9/7/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/7/20 Observation Time: 5:30 p.m. Observation Location: Conservation land at Morse & Lakeview Common Name: Wild Grapes Scientific Name: Vitis spp. Comments: Wild grapevines are native to eastern North America. I smelled these wild grapes before I saw the grapevine laden with purple fruit climbing a tree beside the trail. Be careful not to confuse wild grapes, which are edible, with Canadian Moon Seeds, which are […]

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White Banded Crab Spider – 9/7/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/7/2020 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: White-banded Crab Spider Scientific Name: Misumessus formosipes Comments: These spiders (also called flower spiders) can change color to match the flowers they are hunting in. Cool. More Information: iNaturalist

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Late Purple Aster – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Late Purple Aster Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum patens Comments: Late purple aster looks similar to smooth aster — they both have purple rays and clasping leaves. Distinguish them by their stems — late purple aster has a rough, hairy stem; smooth aster has a smooth stem with a […]

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Bee Fly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:15 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Bee fly Scientific Name: Systropus macer Comments: This fly looks like a wasp. It was feeding on a late purple aster blossom beside the dirt road under the power lines. More Information: Forestry Images and Bugguide.net

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Slender Bush-Clover – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Slender Bush-Clover Scientific Name: Lespedeza virginica Comments: Slender bush-clover is a member of the pea family. Like other bush-clovers, slender bush-clover is preferentially browsed by mammalian herbivores such as deer and rabbits, as well as quail and other ground birds. Slender bush-clover is often found in man-made or […]

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Gray Hairstreak Butterfly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (under power lines) Common Name: Gray Hairstreak butterfly Scientific Name: Satyrium melinus Comments: This Gray Hairstreak butterfly was feeding on Sweet Everlasting. More Information: Raising Butterflies

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False Hop Sedge – 9/4/20

Observer: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program employees Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: undisclosed location in Sharon Common Name: False Hop Sedge Scientific Name: Carex lupuliformis Comments: False Hop Sedge is an endangered species in Massachusetts. The NHESP observers said they saw only a few plants. As of 9/4/20, this species does not appear on the list of rare species that have been […]

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Interrupted Fern – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:25 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Interrupted fern Scientific Name: Osmunda claytonia Comments: The species name (claytoniana) is a tribute to John Clayton, an 18th century botanist and one of the earliest collectors of plant specimens in what later became the Commonwealth of Virginia. The common name (Interrupted Fern) is a reference to […]

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Indian Pipe – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:20 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm Common Name: Indian Pipe Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence. […]

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Pure Gold-Green Sweat Bee – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time:  1:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Pure Gold-Green Sweat Bee Scientific Name: Augochlora pura Comments: The pure gold-green sweat bee is a solitary sweat bee native to the eastern United States with striking green iridescence. This species is an important native pollinator in eastern deciduous forests and other habitats. It emerges in spring […]

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Whorled Wood Aster – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (in the woods) Common Name: Whorled Wood Aster Scientific Name: Oclemena acuminata Comments: Whorled Wood Asters are among the relatively few woodland wildflowers that bloom in late summer and early fall. Note the pure gold-green sweat bee feeding on the blossoms. More information: Wildflowers of the Adirondacks

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Clouded Sulphur Butterfly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Clouded Sulphur butterfly Scientific Name: Colias philodice Comments: A common butterfly seen from late April to mid-October. This patch of blooming Joe Pye weed was alive with clouded sulphurs feeding on the nectar. Note the big green eyes. More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

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Praying Mantis – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 12:50 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Praying Mantis Scientific Name: Mantis religiosa Comments: Mantises are the only insects capable of turning their heads from side to side. Being able to turn its head without moving the rest of its body is a key advantage for a mantis when hunting, allowing for minimal movement […]

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Gray Catbird – 8/28/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/28/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Gray Catbird Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis Comments: Catbirds are one of three mimics in our area. Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers are the other two. Catbirds repeat sounds just once, whereas Brown Thrashers repeat sounds twice, and Mockingbirds repeat them three or four times before moving on to […]

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Mallard – 8/28/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/28/20 Observation Time: 12:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Mallard Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos Comments: Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it […]

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Northern Cardinal – 8/22/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/22/20 Observation Time: 5:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Northern Cardinal (male) Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis Comments: One of the most common birds in Sharon, cardinals are also one of the most striking. Cardinals have a whistle-like voice, and sing strongly. Learn to recognize their various vocalizations at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_cardinal/sound Cardinals typically travel in pairs. The female is mostly […]

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Downy Woodpecker – 8/22/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/22/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Downy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens Comments:  “Pubescens” refers to its downy hairs of puberty compared to those of the Hairy woodpecker, D. villosus. [The Dictionary of American Bird Names by Ernest A. Choate] Downy woodpeckers look very much like hairy woopeckers, but downy woodpeckers are much smaller than […]

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Great Blue Heron – 8/20/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/20/20 Observation Time: 10:00 a.m. Observation Location: Lake Massapoag Common Name: Great Blue Heron Scientific Name: Ardea herodias Comments: Adult great blue herons weigh about 5 lbs. They weigh more than great horned owls, which weigh about 3 lbs., but they are not the largest bird found in Sharon. Bald eagles can reach 14 lbs. More Information: All About Birds

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White Vervain – 8/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/18/20 Observation Time: 11:50 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate) Common Name: White Vervain Scientific Name: Verbena urticifolia Comments: I initially identified this plant using a cool app called Seek. Normally white vervain has green leaves, so I sent my photo of this red-leaved specimen to a botanist, who verified that it is indeed white vervain. The […]

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