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The native wildflowers along our trails certainly steal the show this time of year. Coupled with the blooms, there are many sights and sounds to seek out in the Pocket Sanctuary here at Tupper Hill. Here are a few highlights from a walk I took last Saturday…

Being partial to amphibians, I will again mention the lack of rain as evidenced along the Vernal Pool Trail where the pools are a mere puddle of their former selves. There are a few spots where enough water is present to see a few of the larval amphibians through to their adult stage. It is an odd sensation to observe this site at the beginning of June, the water stained leaves now dry and littered with the cases of log-cabin caddisflies.

The Boardwalk, a highlight along our trails for young and old visitors alike, is also feeling more August-like, except for the strong presence of Skunk Cabbage and False Hellebore. Dunham’s Brook, which has roared in past years, is a gentle, silent trickling stream. Listen carefully here for the Louisiana Waterthrush. They are frequently heard and almost never seen!

The Pine Barrens are a great place to practice your bird song identification skills. Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Rufus-Sided Towhee, American Robin, Eastern Bluebird to name just a few species singing here. Across the field, in front of the Wood, Rock and Seashell Museum there are Tree Swallows nesting.

I hope you will come out and experience the walking trails here at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary. Even if you can’t get out for a walk, stop in to our Visitors’ Center. Have a seat on the bench, look out the window and watch the bluebirds nesting out back. Enjoy!

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