Deers, ducks, birds, and bugs…

Man, I thought it was cool yesterday morning, but this morning I had to go back inside and get a windbreaker. It sure is a welcome break from the recent heat, but I’m also glad it’s not going to last. I’m not ready for summer to be over yet.

So, I was just walking up the middle of the parkway, now that I can, and as I came across the first set of picnic tables, between the parkway and the soccer fields, I noticed that some tables had been moved since I had carefully arranged them for the Farmers Market.

I decided to put them back as they were, because I can’t help myself, and just look at what that gave me the opportunity to see. Not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR deer out on the lawn at once! A doe, two fawns still in spots, and a fourth wheel that might have been just visiting.

As I did my best the capture the moment for you, what with the distance, low light, and all, the fourth one decided it was time to visit the east side. The other three sampled the grass for a while longer and then headed south on the path between the soccer fields and the bluff.

I know that if you live in the country or even in the suburbs you might find deer to be sort of pests, like rodents on hooves if you’re trying to grow tulips or vegetables, but I don’t think seeing them in the park like this, close to their natural setting, will ever get old for me.

Anyway, I was tempted to call that a success and head home for breakfast, but I needed the steps, so I pressed on, further north into the park, and look who I came across next. If I had to guess, this little cutie is a baby bluebird of happiness, and things are really starting to go my way.

There was no action in the wildflower meadow, but on the trail along the river, just south of the falls, I finally came across that live cicada I had promised you weeks ago. It was cold and lethargic, but quite alive, and near the top of a young buckthorn, which is really a dead end street and not very photogenic. So I momentarily repositioned it onto this pretty goldenrod for a photo-op before I carefully set it on the trunk of a more-suitable nearby tree, worthy of the climb after a life lived underground.

Further south along the river, at the mudflats, I came across the young wood ducks again, that we saw just yesterday, and this time I captured them rifling through the water lilies and arrowheads.

Finally, just as I was about to take the path back up the bluff, I spotted this gorgeous new native wildflower growing along the river. As far as I can tell, this is obedient plant, obedience, or false dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana), yet another member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. The Pedia of Wik explains that “Physostegia are known commonly as obedient plants because a flower pushed to one side will often stay in that position,” and “the name “false dragonhead” refers to the dragonheads of the related Dracocephalum, a genus to which the plant” was once thought to belong.

Not a bad haul for such a cool morning in August, eh? Even better, the clouds have finally cleared, and Anne and I might get another chance to look at Saturn and Jupiter this evening. Who knows, with the streak of luck I’m having today, we might even catch one last glimpse of comet Neowise. Wish us luck!

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on the calendar, and if you haven’t yet, there’s still time, but it won’t last forever.

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.

One thought on “Deers, ducks, birds, and bugs…

  1. Andy, I had the incredibly rare pleasure of running into a lesser weasel struggling to take a chipmunk up the bluff into Lake Park off of Lincoln Memorial Drive across from Linwood Water Station.

    Felt sorry for the chipper but that little weasel was intense and only twice as big as the chipmunk! Really remarkable and blessed to see a predator like that so close to the city. Not enough time to get a picture but I know you would have been as amazed as I was.

    Gary Halvorsen



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