The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm is a public/private cooperation to preserve a historically and ecologically significant chunk of coast line, the upland behind it, and the watersheds that run through it to the sea from development, and make it available for ongoing research into environmental quality issues. It is one of my favorite places in my home area to visit, in any season of the year. This year my wife and I took part in a research project and received a membership as a reward, so we will be spending even more time there. These images are from a visit the last week in June. My kit this day consisted of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 75-300mm zoom, the Sony NEX 5T with the ZEISS Touit 12mm f2.8, and the NEX 3N with the ZEISS Touit 50mm f2.8 macro.
They have allowed the meadow beyond the farm buildings to grow wild this year, and it is full of Virginia Rose, Yarrow, and a variety of other wildflowers and grasses. It is also alive with Insect life.
Through the overgrown orchard at the top of the hill and down into the beginnings of the forest and the Indian Paint Brush is in bloom and also being visited by inaects: in this case a tiny Metalic Green Bee.
I walked past the pond and out to the beach but there was not much going on. You walk through a section of typical Southern Maine beachfront cottages /summer homes between the pond and the beach, but the beach from here to the Little River and beyond is protected habitat. At the mouth of the Little there are nesting colonies of Least Tern and Piping Plover. Pearl Crescents were abundant on clove along the path by the pond.
When you head back from the beach you have the option of returning the way of came, taking the trail to the left out through forest and the lower fields and eventually across a mini-bog back to the farm, or the boardwalk trail to the right through wet forest and around to the fields that boarder the Little River. I chose the boardwalk. From the overlook on the boardwalk where you see the marsh and a loop of the Little, there were several Willits putting on a noisy show. You can see the effects of the heat shimmer rising off the exposed marsh in these shots.
Every year I photograph this shelf Mushroom, one of the largest I have seen anywhere and still growing. It is a ways off the boardwalk so it is always a telephoto shot.
Coming out into the fields and heading back up the hill to the farm buildings I came up on two her Turkeys and a nursery brood of chicks (poults). Again, the heat shimmer made focus difficult and limited the results.
I am sure I will be back at Laudholm Farm many times this summer. I have already explored a new trail (to me) that features the mini-bog and some lovely bog orchids. Watch this space for further Photoprowls at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm.