The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Posts tagged flora

  • What's Blooming? Bristly Aster

    Ginger Laurits
    | September 15, 2017 | Filed under: Observations

    This low-growing perennial tolerates a range of conditions and provides nectar from late summer through early fall.

  • What's Blooming? Eastern Sweet Pepperbush

    Ginger Laurits
    | August 15, 2017 | Filed under: Observations

    Clethra alnifolia is easy to grow, beautiful all season, tough, and a big attractor of pollinators. Plant it in your garden to help our native bees.

  • What's Blooming? Eastern Red Columbine

    Ginger Laurits
    | June 30, 2017 | Filed under: Observations

    Eastern red columbine is a great plant for the natural shade garden. Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and moths savor the nectar, and you can add its blossoms to your salad.

  • What's Blooming? Pussy Toes

    Ginger Laurits
    | June 2, 2017 | Filed under: Observations

    This low-growing, native perennial wildflower has few needs and tolerates full sun or part shade, dry conditions, and poor soil. What more could a gardener ask?

  • What's Blooming? Goldenrod

    Ginger Laurits
    | August 8, 2016 | Filed under: Observations

    We have 19 native goldenrod species in Maine, but they're not to blame for itchy eyes and runny noses. The real culprit is ragweed, which blooms at the same time and is pollinated by wind.

  • Timing Is Everything

    | August 6, 2016

    A tasty tree-t

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 8/7/2016, and Making It At Home's 8/11/2016 issue.

    The orange ruffles hadn’t been there last week, but now they were impossible to miss. Overnight, it seemed, a chicken-of-the-woods had returned to roost on the old oak stump in our yard.

  • Monarch Rescue 2015

    | September 4, 2015

    The Reserve's annual late summer effort to save monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises from the mowers that cut our fields happened last week. The mowing is essential in preventing the fields from growing into forests over time, and also as a management strategy for invasive species.

    Monarch rescued

    Thanks so much to the eleven volunteers who spent several hours in the warm sunshine combing the ubiquitous milkweed plants for signs of monarchs! We saved 38 caterpillars of all sizes, removing them from the fields that will be mowed within the coming weeks to fields that will not be mowed this year. The smallest of the caterpillars measured less than one inch in length, whereas the largest were several inches long. A handful of monarch butterflies were spotted fluttering over the fields during the rescue mission, providing hope that some of the rescued caterpillars will also reach adulthood.

  • Naming Native Plants

    | July 28, 2015

    Wild columbine blooming in the native plant garden, with a identification sign and eastern chipmunk also pictured.Flowers and foliage abound in the native plant border that welcomes visitors to the reserve. York County Master Gardener volunteers have nurtured the garden over a decade to form a gorgeous display.

    This spring, they added new plant identification signs to the garden. The signs were made for us by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and underwritten by a memorial gift.

    The family of Nat “Buddy” Wright, a docent and volunteer here back in the 1990s, felt this tribute was a perfect fit. We’re pleased that Buddy’s interest in teaching others about nature is being extended through these signs, which give the common and scientific names for almost 50 species:

  • More than meets the eye

    Wells Reserve Contributor | July 1, 2015

    lookI have volunteered at environmental centers for most of my life at this point and have heard just about everything when it comes to people's impressions of a site. Most of my background is in Florida, so I've heard "It's too hot"  more times than I can count. However, the most popular question by far is some variation on "Where is everything? We didn't see anything!"

    Now there are only two situations in which I will believe somebody who says they didn't see anything:

    1. They were blindfolded, or
    2. They went out in the middle of the night on the new moon without a light and there were no stars

    Otherwise, they probably saw lots of things — but just didn't notice them.  Here at the Wells Reserve, there is always something to discover, even if it isn't always apparent. We are well into wildflower season right now, which means there is plenty to see!

  • Leafing It All Behind

    | September 17, 2013

    coming soon to a beech near you

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 9/22/13 [the fall equinox]:

    This week the Wells Reserve at Laudholm is abuzz with preparations for our annual Punkinfiddle Family Festival, a rite of fall for this old New England farm. It’s our last big event of The Busy Season, and it always makes the fourth week of September feel like a “the turning point” – exit summer, enter fall. Frost threatens, jackets are located, the kids are ensconced once more in school. Water toys and pleasure craft are tucked away with the rest of summer’s memories; winter is coming and it’s time to pull back.