Down to the river they went…

I found our Mrs. Wood Duck down on the river yesterday afternoon, instead of up on the pond where we just saw her last, and it appeared that she had some youngins with her, but they quickly got and stayed out of sight. I didn’t see them this morning, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Here she is demonstrating her ability to perch in trees, and I read that hers is the only North American duck species that have the long toes with claws necessary to do so. I’ve spotted them in trees by the pond before, but never managed to get a shot till now.

She’s not the only one to follow the Canada geese and the mallards to the river, either. Here’s a bunch of our baby catfish that probably ventured too close to the pond drain, and they seem to enjoy wiggling around in the stream just as much as they did in the pond.

They’re not even the only tiny fish in the stream, which is narrow enough in spots to step over without getting your feet wet. Here are a couple more diminutive creek dwellers, probably creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), in about just an inch or two of water. Man, even that little stream is full of life.

Also down by the river are more jewelweed, but in yellow instead of the orange we saw yesterday. This yellow jewelweed or pale jewelweed (Impatiens pallida) can grow right beside the closely-related orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and has a slightly larger blossom. We’ll have to check and see which species is better at launching its seeds, eh?

Speaking of blossoms, here are two more that I’ve spotted recently. From left/top to right/bottom, we’ve got purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), growing by the river, listed as “a restricted invasive species” by the DNR, and which I should probably pull up the next time I see it 🙁; and some variety of mint, based on the aroma from a crushed leaf, maybe horse mint (Mentha longifolia) growing right beside the falls.

Meanwhile, back by the pond, we’ve got either new dragonflies emerging, or dragonflies that I simply haven’t managed to capture until now. They are, from top/left to bottom/right a male and a female widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa), which the BugLady describes as “exquisite” and her favorite “King Skimmers.”

Lastly, after all the deer, rabbit, muskrat, chipmunk, and even red squirrel pictures lately, this little eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) must have been feeling left out, he was posing so well, so here’s his picture, too.

Well, that’s a wrap for today, and I’ll catch y’all on the flip side.

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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