On July 10th, a group took a guided walk on Stamp Act Island. The island is closed to the public but there have been guided walks on the island for the past few years. The walks are organized by the Wentworth Watershed Association and are announced on this website and also on their Facebook page. Another hike may occur in August but the date is yet to be determined. If you are interested, check in occasionally for the sign-up as space is limited.
The group started on the North Beach, the only place where you can land a boat according the rules of the island. Before the group began their walk, they were identifying the surrounding hills and mountains with a pretty cool phone app.
Going inland, it was quite wet and in places it was difficult to get across those wet areas. In the previous week or so, there had been about 6 inches of rain. This rain and the normally wet places had produced a rather large number of mosquitoes that only generally respected bug repellent but life would have been miserable without it. There are no trails on the island so sometimes the footing was not “perfect” but everyone survived.
The recent rains had the growth of mushrooms and a number of species were seen. The mushroom below may be (and might not be) a Yellow Dust Amanita which is a poisonous mushroom.
Some smaller members of the group, being closer to the ground and therefore able to see stuff on the ground more easily, sometimes pointed out things to the adults.
Some of the places that normally are just damp were full of water. These might be classified as vernal pools but now they are “mid-summer” pools as well.
The group walked the the most recent tree used by the eagles for their nest. They have not been successful for the past three seasons producing chicks. Around this big pine is a predator guard that prevents raccoons from climbing to the nest which may have been the reason for their first nesting failure.
And yes, we passed some delightful mosses and ferns in the wet areas.