Nature found at Hubbard Brook Farmfield and Bigelow Woods

Farmfield being prepared for spring planting.

Soutter Field and Hubbard Brook Farmfield are iconic farming landscapes, with cows grazing in the field and cornstalks appearing in their rows in spring. Yet behind them lie another 65 acres of the forested floodplain of the Sudbury River, Bigelow Woods. At first along the trail you can see plants associated with human modified landscapes, but once you are back into Bigelow Woods there are lots of species iconic to New England floodplain forests and wetlands.

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Download Map of Bigelow Woods, Soutter Field and Hubbard Brook Farmfield

The fiddlehead structures of ferns species are just coming up. Note that all ferns have fiddleheads (this is a botanical “anatomy” term), and there is one fern that has the common name of “Fiddlehead Fern.” This just goes to show how confusing common names can be at times!

 

Fiddlehead of a Cinnamon Fern.
 

One of the very first pollinators to emerge in the spring in New England is the Unequal Cellophane Bee (Colletes inaequalis), at least this is the best guess at the identification of this little native bee!

 

Close up of a native bee.
Wood Anemone

A delightful sign of late April in New England is this small, white and wonderful smelling understory flower – Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia)!

 
 

In our human modified landscapes, we often find plants in pastures, backyards, and along roadways that are not native, but still interesting to note as they have naturalized. One includes this plant, henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule). Gotta love the names of some plants!

 

Henbit Deadnettle
Hemlock Wooly Adelgid infected branch.

Another aspect of human modified landscapes is unwanted insects, like the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) that damages North American Hemlock trees. This insect is particularly difficult to manage, and was introduced to North America accidentally.