Please hold…

Not much new to report today, and we seem to be in bit of a holding pattern while waiting for the pond ice to hurry up and melt already.

The pair of geese were in the tiny patch of now-open water on the south end of the island when I arrived at the pond, and as I tried to capture a representative and attractive image of the scene, another pair flew in. This lead, of course, to a confrontation in fits and starts. First our heroes hopped up on the ice, but then there was grooming to do.

Eventually, there was an exciting moment, which I failed to anticipate and so did not capture on film, and the vanquished were forced to walk across the road, while the victors called after them. I hope they were gracious in their victory, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying.

Then I headed over to the river, which is up at least a foot from last week and also running quite brown now, so not very photogenic. I did see a couple common mergansers, about a dozen goldeneye, and more and more Canada geese, who are still actively sorting out which nesting site is whose, it seems.

Back at the pond, it appeared to be nap time.

On my walk home, I spotted patches of this white stuff on the grass, where piles of snow had recently melted, which look like those spider webs we see on lawns in the summer, especially in the morning when dew makes them stand out.

I’m sure you will be as stunned to learn as I was that these are not spider webs at all! Instead they are likely patches of grey snow mold (Typhula incarnata) or (T. ishikariensis). Apparently “snow molds are caused by cold tolerant fungi that require snow cover or prolonged periods of cold, wet conditions.” Cool, eh? So long as it’s not damaging your lawn, I guess.

Finally, as I reached the end of my walk, this little feller sung me out. Thanks, Buddy!

Lastly, there was a nice spot on yesterday’s evening news about beaver on the Milwaukee River that you might appreciate: Beavers are back on the Milwaukee River – and that’s a good thing.

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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