The diversity of habitats at Woodend Sanctuary supports innumerable species of insects that in turn feed many species of birds and other animals.
What does that mean for you?
It means there is a lot to see, learn and enjoy! Purple wildflowers, bright red beetles, blue and yellow polka-dotted salamanders are among the many natural wonders waiting to be discovered at Woodend Nature Sanctuary.
See more highlights below. Click the images for a closer look.
One of Woodend’s oldest trees is an enormous Black Walnut.
It has provided food for squirrels and nesting places for birds for nearly 100 years.
Look for it along the drive, just below the mansion parking lots.
This easily grown native plant thrives under a Black Walnut tree in our restored meadow. It feeds birds and butterflies with its nectar and seeds, while producing glorious yellow blooms all season long.
Many birds and mammals rely on acorns, while more than 500 species of caterpillars feed on Oak leaves. Want more wildlife in your yard? Plant an Oak! We’ll be doing it here at Woodend as we restore our forest.
Used by Native Americans for medicinal teas, this plant is in the mint family and graces our restored meadow with an expanse of pale purple in early summer.
The Prickly-pear is native to Maryland and can be found in the sandy soils of the coastal plain, as well as the rocky soils of the mountainous regions.
Look for this summer bloomer in the native plant collection of the Blair Garden.
Six species of woodpeckers are frequently observed at Woodend. The two smallest are the Downy and Hairy, medium-sized are Red-Bellied, Northern Flickers, and Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. Much larger than the others is the Pileated Woodpecker, seen in the photo.
WOODLAND BOX TURTLE
These charming reptiles are frequently encountered along our trails. If you find one with red eyes, it is a male. Females have brown eyes.
The Yellow-Spotted Salamander spends most of its time underground, but between March and May they can be found under logs as they make their way to breed in the pond.
The other common salamander at our sanctuary is a Red-backed Salamander, which spends all of its time under logs and debris in the woods.
Similar in shape to the more familiar cardinal, these birds are often found in flocks, feasting on ripe fruits, including the blue berries of its namesake tree.
Look for the bright red milkweed beetle on the leaves of the plant for which it is named. Its coloring sends a warning signal to predators that it is toxic.
"It's exciting to see new native plant specifies appearing on the property. Educating children about the importance of biodiversity, food chains, and native flora and fauna becomes much easier when you are able to point them out."
"My first experience volunteering at Woodend involved surveying and nurturing the Restored Meadow. I quickly learned to identify many native plant species that were thriving in the meadow and also how much fun it was to volunteer with other nature loving folks."
"There is nothing like hands-on experience removing invasive plants and replacing them with native species. Through that process, I have learned more about each plant’s value and impact on improvement of the vibrancy and resilience of the plant and animal diversity at Woodend"
"I can not thank you all enough for providing fulfilling tangible projects - that saw the full lifecycle of restoration from invasive removal to planting - for our crews to really understand the impact of their work in the watershed."