I’m visiting my folks in Connecticut this weekend, and my sister’s son and his wife suggested that we go hiking in Talcott Mountain State Park this afternoon, and boy, oh boy, did that turn out to be a great idea. We could hear a lot of favorites on the hike up the mountain, scarlet tanagers, red-eyed vireos, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and more, but we couldn’t find them in the treetops. After hiking through a brief shower, we reached the summit, and we finally found someone willing to come down to our level, this darling eastern phoebe drying itself out.
As we started back down, we came across a bunch of these amazing native orchids in blossom: pink lady’s slippers (Cypripedium acaule Ait.).
Soon after that, my nephew spotted my first Connecticut mourning cloak butterfly, and this time I had more than just my phone.
Finally, halfway back down the mountain, my sister spotted an odd, black tube lying on a log. As we looked closer, it began to move. It turns out that she had spotted a giant, eastern ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis), the “largest snake found in Connecticut.”
Lastly, once I got back to my folk’s house, their new favorite visitor, this handsome tom turkey stopped by.
And that’s my update from the east coast so far.