A pretty good mix of old and new…

It appears we’ve got our first new bird in a while, a young spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius). It’s across the river and not very big, so the picture isn’t the best, but it’s the little grey and white shape right in the middle of all the grey and white rocks. I first spotted it at the edge of the water on the little canoe/kayak launch at the north end of the wildflower meadow, but I couldn’t get a shot before it flew to the other side. Better luck next time, eh?

It also appears that we have yet even one more bright yellow flower in the park, and this one looks to be a yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata). I spotted this one and a few compatriots on the steep slope from the beer garden down to the river, where we have already seen lance-leaved tickseeds, black-eyed susans, and ox-eye sunflowers. How many more can there be, right?

Meanwhile, the blue heron and at least one of the mallard families were going about their usual morning business along the river where we’ve seen them before. Since the salmon won’t be running for months, I wonder if the heron is finding something else going up or coming down the falls, or he just likes that spot for the morning sun.

I also spotted a male ebony jewelwing damselfly (Calopteryx maculata) in the woods along the river, and I hope he finds the female we spotted a couple of days ago so that they can get busy looking for “the soft stems of aquatic plants.“

Lastly, I’ve been trying to get a picture of a black saddlebags dragonfly (Tramea lacerata) for you for weeks, but they just never seem to sit still. As the Bug Lady says, “they fly and glide A LOT,” and she “takes a lot of ‘Hail Mary’ shots.” Anyway, as I was scrolling through the dozens of pictures I took of the schooling baby catfish, in the hopes that one might be presentable, you’ll never believe what I found. Not one, not even just two, but a male-female pair of saddlebags dragonflies riding two-up somewhere along the “complex, precisely choreographed process” of making more.

Miracles never cease, eh?

Oh, before I sign off, I should probably forward on the “Brew Hero” promotion from Milwaukee County Parks. Maybe you too can “win Brew Hero prizes from [their] program sponsors!”

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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