Slowing down

As we approach the dog days of summer, with the heliacal rising of the dog star, Sirius, scheduled for August 15, things seem to be slowing down in the park.

I haven’t seen a duckling in days, and I hope, as I know you do too, that they merely moved on to fresher water, but I definitely don’t mean “to a pond upstate.” The river is getting pretty low, and the oxbow pond must be getting pretty stale now that it is isolated from the river, so let’s all suppose the ducklings are just out exploring new parts of the river that I can’t get to.

I did see one wood duck hen on the pond and a couple of mallard hens on a sandbar in the river this morning.

The most exciting sighting today was another red squirrel, this time by the pond. He seemed quite upset about something, and here he is asking me if I’m talking to him.

Also, the juvenile sandpiper appears to be getting more comfortable in front of the camera, and here he is practicing his crane kick.

Generation 3 or 4 monarch caterpillars are busy munching on milkweed, both common milkweed by the pond and swamp milkweed by the river.

Finally, the stinging nettle blossoms have really opened up since we last saw them, and don’t ask me how I know.

And that’s the news from Estabrook Park this morning that I saw fit to photograph and write about.

One fun side note is that Milwaukee County Parks started a program to encourage people to pick up litter a while back, and two readers immediately emailed me about it when they saw the announcement. Anyway, to play the game, you post pictures that somehow depict your delittering efforts on Instagram with the tag #mkebrewhero.

Since I was already picking up litter and taking pictures, I figured starting to post some on Instagram wasn’t that much more of a hurdle. Okay, okay, now the fun part, at least for me. They have drawings to see who gets some swag, and you’ll never guess who was the winner of the “FIRST official drawing for the Brew Hero program at Milwaukee County Parks!”

Yours truly. Ha!

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.

2 thoughts on “Slowing down

  1. Pond upstate! Crane kick! I’m glad you won the drawing. You, of all people, deserve it.


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