I started the day in Westboro, first at the Westboro Wildlife Management Area, where I enjoyed Wood Ducks, Common Mergansers, Ring-Necked Ducks, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, and Bufflehead. Model airplane hobbyists soon showed up with their planes, and I got out of there, not wanting to try to cross the field once they started flying.
I stopped at Heirloom Harvest CSA next, where I enjoyed tons of Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Killdeer, Song Sparrows, a Red-Tailed Hawk and an American Kestrel. The tree swallows were checking out all the nesting boxes.
Hopkinton State Park
first Garter Snake of the year
I first saw this butterfly right in the path, but it took off and flew deep into the woods before I could snap a photo. Then, I continued walking and flushed another one in a sunny patch on the path. This one, which I presumed to be the same individual, returned again and again to the same sunny area, so I was able to sit right down and take as many photos as I wanted. I had to accept whatever position it was in when it landed, though, because if I moved at all, it would take flight.
This view allows you to see the white "comma" marking on the outside of its wing, from which it gets its name.
Both the Eastern Comma and the Mourning Cloak butterflies over-winter in Massachusetts in adult butterfly form. They tuck away in a crack or crevice of bark, or sometimes under the eave of a house or shed. That is why they are the earliest to be seen come a warm spring day.
Thanks! I'll take another day just like this one please, only with a clear head!