What a nice way to start September. I went to the park early in hopes of spotting a large mammal that three separate individuals have now reported seeing. It was quite cool with not a cloud in the sky. The nearly full moon (waxing gibbous, illumination 99%) was just setting in the west, Venus was high and bright in the east, Mars was high overhead, and Orion and the dog star, Sirius, were still visible to the south.
I never did see the mammal I’m hoping to spot, but I did come across this deer just chillin’ beside the parkway. It was so dark out that my camera could not tell the difference between the lens cap on or off, so I had to use my phone, which is 7 years more sensitive to light. It was still resting there when I continued northward.
I also spotted a couple of raccoons ambling across the parkway north of the pond, but they were even further away and not near a street light, so I didn’t even bother to hold up a device.
As it got a little lighter out, I spotted this very young, small, and cold bullfrog trying to cross the parkway, and I gave it a hand after the photoshoot.
Once dawn broke, I stopped by the pond again to find the blue heron, who seems to be a regular these days, thinking about getting ready to start fishing from the west side.
I headed west and was treated to the sights and sounds of dozens of Canada geese landing in, taking off from, and cruising over the river. They sure are getting restless.
And there on the river, I spotted the second blue heron of the morning. I guess they could be the same bird, but this one appears to have a lighter blue color and a lot more of those fancy, stringy neck feathers than the one on the pond does.
Further south along the river, it seems that the damselflies are not yet done for the season. This one, with a bright red patch at the base of its wings, appears to be an American rubyspot (Hetaerina americana).
Finally, I’ve got one more fanciful-looking fruit for you. These are immature berries of Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), which we saw blossom back in the beginning of May.