Man, someone must have been watching the calendar because as soon as it turned March, the weather became “cold and blustery”, especially compared to that balmy last week of February. I checked the temps before I headed out this morning and thought to myself, “27°F ain’t bad”, but I failed to see the “real feel” temp was 14°F. Yikes! I had to come back in for more layers!
Anyway, the deer seemed unperturbed, and perhaps they were just thrilled to lying on leaves instead of snow for a change. It is fun to watch them simultaneously keep tabs on me and also check on who might be sneaking up behind them with those ears of theirs.
Down on the river, the birds are still doing their thing, though they seem to have abandoned the middle of the park. The mergansers now seem to favor the southern end.
And the buffleheads and some goldeneyes, along with plenty of mallards, a goose or two now, and even a young herring gull, are back on the upper river, just above the falls, now that a lot of the ice has cleared out and there’s some open water again.
As I was taking pictures of the ducks, it slowly dawned on me to notice that they all seemed to be hugging the shore, especially under overhanging trees. So I finally looked up, and sure enough, an eagle glided into view. It stayed high, though, and soon continued south, so no ducks bothered to take flight this time.
I hiked up to the north end and back with nothing really to report other than that much of the path along the river is now a lumpy sheet of ice, and that might explain the lack of other hikers, which is fine by me. As much as I’d like more people to get to enjoy the park live, it sure feels luxurious when I get to have it to myself for a while, even if that means picking myself up off the ground once or twice. I read that impact helps maintain bone density, and I sure gave my bones a workout this morning.
Finally, I swung by the pond, to check on the ice situation, if nothing else, as I have a hope that we’ll get some new visitors there as soon as there’s some open water to swim in or on. Last year, I spotted my first wood duck on the pond on March 26, which set off this whole operation, and that’s only three and a half weeks away! I’d say there’s still about 99% coverage, so far, with just some slivers of water along the northern shore, so we’ve still got a ways to go.
Anyway, there were no ducks there today, but I did see this handsome male hairy woodpecker working intently on a branch.