Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has so much to do for the entire family. Inside the visitors center is a small museum with lots of educational material. The kids will love the fish and turtles in the tanks. They might even see a Wild Turkey outside the huge windows.
Outside there are walks and hikes through the woods and out to the beach. There are lots of birds and wildflowers and butterflies. And, when you get to the beach, there is an awesome boardwalk that you can walk over to get to the beach.
On the boardwalk the kids can see all of the Fiddler Crabs which they just love as they scurry in and out of their little holes in the marsh.
Put the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on your list when you visit. So much fun and so much to see!
The gardens at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary have been totally done over this summer and they are gorgeous! There are little paths that you can walk along to see the wildflowers and butterflies close-up and get those treasured macros.
The yellow Coneflowers were blooming and were gorgeous as they stood over 6 feet tall. They remind me of Colorado as there were many growing along the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Beautiful, don’t you think?
This was the first Painted Lady butterfly that I’ve seen all summer here on Cape Cod. I usually see tons of them throughout the summer months. I thought it was so strange that I hadn’t seen any at all.
This was the only Painted Lady that I saw at the Audubon and it looked so small. I don’t remember them being so small. I researched on the internet and it says that they are a large butterfly, as I had remembered. I wonder why it was so small and why I haven’t seen any all summer?
Anyway, it was such a treat to see one at the very end of summer. They are such a colorful butterfly. Have you seen any Painted Lady butterflies this summer?
You can tell where the turtle nests are at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary by the little cages around them and the blue flag. The species in each cage is also identified. I saw some Painted Turtle cages and some Diamondback Terrapin nests.
It will be very interesting when the little ones hatch and try to make it back to the waters of Cape Cod Bay. I remember last year seeing some of them which the volunteers had collected to help them on their way and they were tiny, only about an inch.
Have you seen the nest cages at the Sanctuary? Or anywhere else?
Sweet Pepperbush is a tall, leafy shrub which grows near coastal wetlands or swamps, which is why I’ve seen it on the Red Maple Swamp Trail at Fort Hill and the Spring Loop Trail at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. It is powerfully scented, so you can’t miss it!
The white flowers are 1/3″ with 5 petals and 10 long stamens on 8″ upright spikes. You can see a close-up of the spikes and a photograph of the entire shrub in the 2 blog photographs.
They are really pretty. Have you ever seen a Sweet Pepperbush?
If you go hiking near a fresh water spring or marsh such as The Spring Trail at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary or the marshes on Red Maple Swamp Trail at Fort Hill, the chances of seeing a Water-Willow are very good. They like to grow in shallow water in July and August.
Water-Willow wildflowers are an aquatic shrub with magenta flowers whose 5 petals grow in whorls where the leaves join the stem. They are native to this area. The flowers are small, only 1/2″ to 1″ while the plant grows from 3-9 feet. You can see in the 2nd photograph how the flowers grow almost where the leaves join the stems.
This is such a delicate little flower…so pretty. Have you ever seen a Water-Willow?