Phil and I took a nice hike at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary a couple of days ago and were so surprised to see a yellow flower already blooming on a bush on the side of the trail. I had no idea what it was so I took some photographs and asked inside. It is “Witch Hazel” and blooms in February! Wow! (You can see all the little clusters in the photograph below.)
Witch Hazels are deciduous shrubs and are in the flowering plant family. Each flower has four slender 1/2″ strap-shaped petals which are dark yellow, orange, or red. The fruit is a two-part capsule containing a single 1⁄4 inch glossy black seed in each of the two parts.
This is really cool… “The capsule splits explosively at maturity in the autumn about 8 months after flowering, ejecting the seeds with sufficient force to fly for distances of up to 30 feet. That is amazing!
So cool to see a flower blooming in the middle of winter and one that I’ve never seen before!
Phil and I were taking a hike at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary a couple of days ago when I saw a hawk right on the trail. He had just caught something and was dragging it onto the trail. By the time I got my camera out, he had seen us and flew away. We waited a bit but he didn’t come down from the tree, so we walked by and saw a very large bunny on the trail.
On the way back we noticed that the bunny was no longer where it had been. There was the hawk, dragging the bunny down the trail. He kept trying to get it up in the air but to no avail. He couldn’t lift it.
The hawk finally was able to drag the bunny off the trail into the woods. We were quite a ways away but we were able to get some really cool photographs of this beautiful Cooper’s Hawk protecting its prey.
Pretty amazing, don’t you think?
We were at the Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary a couple of weeks ago when I was looking out the window in the museum and there were some wild Turkeys. I thought that might be a nice Thanksgiving photograph. And then… they spread their feathers and turned around as if they were modeling. Ha!
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!!
The trails at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary have many benches along the way so you can relax and enjoy the spectacular views. This is one of my favorite benches along the Try Island Trail. You can see way out on the salt marsh.
Beautiful, don’t you think?
There are still a few wildflowers blooming on the trails on Cape Cod. I saw this delicate pink wildflower while hiking on the Bayview Trail at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
I’ve looked and looked in my books and on the internet but can’t seem to identify it. Does anyone know what kind of wildflower this is?
So pretty and delicate, don’t you think?
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!