A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Plainsboro Preserve

The Middlesex County Master Gardners sponsored a field trip to the New Jersey Audubon Society's Plainsboro Preserve today. The trip included a bird walk and native plant tour. To make sure we met the minimum group size, the trip was opened up to Master Gardeners in other counties. We easily exceeded the quota with over 20 Master Gardeners from Middlesex, Monmouth and Mercer counties.

The preserve consists of 1,000 acres and 5 miles of trails. It is a place of incredible natural beauty.

I got into a little bit of trouble taking this photo. When I went off into the woods to get a shot of this wonderful tree, everyone followed me thinking I had spotted some kind of rare and unusual bird!

Have you been noticing the birdhouses? They are everywhere.

This is another photo that got me into trouble. The resident tree swallows decided that I was too close to their home. They flew out and dive bombed me!

This is the preserve's feeding station. The feeders are nearly empty because it was such a windy day, the seed would have been blown out of them. I'm definitely doing it right. I have all these kinds of feeders. Just not as many!

Because of the extremely windy conditions, we didn't see many birds. We did see other wildlife. The bass in the lake are HUGE because no fishing is allowed. There were butterflies everywhere.

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos. The conditions were less than ideal. Our guide pointed out a praying mantis egg case. That's his arm, not mine!

After all of the immaculately manicured lawns of suburbia, it was refreshing to see a beautiful wildflower meadow.
I was disappointed with the native plant tour. It consisted of native trees and shrubs from local nurseries planted around the Education Center. I would have much preferred to see native plants in their natural surroundings rather than artificially planted in a landscape.

Sweet Bay Magnolia:
Black Chokecherry:
Obligatory Group Shot:
Due to time constraints, we weren't able to explore hardly any of the trails. I'm definitely going to go back sometime for another look!


At 1:32 AM, Anonymous John999555 said...

The Plainsbo Preserve is certainly a very picturesque place, and looks like a great place for bushwalking.


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