All Creatures …

The ducklings, fresh off their hot debut yesterday, where nowhere to be found this morning. Nowhere that I looked, anyway. Mallards and wood ducks were on the pond, and I did startle a great blue heron, for which I am very sorry, but he did get a nice send off from a red-wing blackbird for his troubles.

Which reminds me of a fascinating phenomenon I witnessed yesterday. We’ve all seen the exciting aerial combat of little birds chasing off bigger birds, but yesterday I saw a rabbit chasing a crow across the middle parking lot, I kid you not. I was too stunned even to think of taking a picture. Perhaps the crow was stunned, too.

Rabbits weren’t the only critters I saw scampering across the parking lot either. I’ve got a shot of this cutie running, but just before it ducked into the woods, it posed long enough for me to zoom, focus, and frame this nicer one.

There must have been something about the asphalt yesterday, because this guy just couldn’t get enough of it. Sure, we’d all rather see him delicately clinging to some bright green reed with a blurry bright blue pond in the background, but sometimes I just gotta shoots ’em where I sees ’em. Anyway, he’s an adult male common whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia), and he wouldn’t let me get any closer.

This morning, for reasons I may never understand, must have been crayfish morning in the northeast corner of the pond because I’ve never seen one in the water before, and this morning I counted four at the surface within a few feet of each other, and this one was the most photogenic.

They were all quite alive and kicking, too, as they readily demonstrated the second I took a step too close.

Plenty of other little guys were out and about this morning as well. In my expert opinion, they are, from left to right, a spider, a snail, and some kind of little worm-like larva hanging from a silk thread.

Oh, what the heck. Since I’m loading this thing up with pictures today, I might as well show some flowers, too, right?

They appear to be, from left to right, Shining Ladies’ Tresses aka Yellow Lipped Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes lucida), a native orchid, right by the pond, a yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) right beside the river (after I told Anne that they would never look photogenic beside the river), and Woodland forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvaticum or M. sylvatica). The latter two, I am sad but feel compelled to report, are both described as invasive species here and here.

Finally, the reader picture of the week is sent in by me because I found a gorgeous eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) (not the common yellow swallowtail (Papilio machaon) I had originally thought) willing to pose for a picture at last, just not quite in the park. It was on the flowers right in front of my building, which is just across Wilson Drive from the park, and ain’t it a beauty? Special shout out to Lois for making sure our gardens always look so tasty. It flew off several times, but always came back for more.

Well, that’s more than usual, and I hope you were at least able to scroll through all the pictures. Let’s hope I left something to see for tomorrow, eh?

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic

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