I wanted to do something special on the first full day of summer, and getting out on a trail through the woods seemed like the best thing I could imagine. I decided to go to Mud Pond, an easy walk along a gravel path that eventually switchbacks down to a long section of board walk and ends up at an observation deck overlooking the boggy pond.

Here is something I found along the boardwalk ~ a beautiful Luna Moth, looking lifeless. I picked it up and carried it with me, hoping it might just have been stunned, but unfortunately it had died.



They have a very short life span of only about a week, after they emerge as adults, and don’t eat during that time, having no mouth parts.

It looks so soft in this detail, almost furry:








There were yellow water lilies on the pond, and frogs were croaking.



Pitcher plants and Sheep Laurel grow in the boggy area around the pond, both in bloom. Here is the top of the Pitcher Plant flower:

I ate my lunch on a bench built into the boardwalk, back in the shade, since it was a hot day, and was enchanted by the haunting songs of Hermit Thrushes singing continually back and forth in the woods.

At one point this Red Squirrel came chattering over to investigate…







As I walked back up the trail, I came upon this poor hare that seemed to have ticks on its face, and looked a bit scuffed up. It wasn’t especially wary of me and I got pretty close before it bolted up the path on its very long back legs.







In the woods this fungus caught my eye, with its red edge lit by the sun,









and later I passed this stump with what looks like a perfect home for somebody:







There were plenty of flowers in bloom, and many butterflies to enjoy them. This one is a Harris’s Checkerspot:

It was such a joy to spend time in the woods and on the pond that day. It’s a place I know I’ll return to many times, in all seasons.