Critters on the move…

The Shorewood Farmers Market season premiere in Estabrook Park is this morning, and man, oh man, did they dial in the weather. Just outstanding.

I got to the park a little earlier than usual, and when I visited the pond, there appeared to be nobody home. Oh sure, I could here the frogs and see the fish nibbling on bugs at the surface of the water, but there was no heron, the muskrat stayed hidden, and I couldn’t find the wood ducks. I figured maybe it was just their time to head down to the river like the geese and goslings just over three weeks ago, and so I joined them.

There was nobody at the mudflats either, but this little cutie suggested I try going north.

I did, and I didn’t have to go too far to find my reward.

Yup, it appears that our new pall, the snapping turtle, was on the move again and about to surprise the dickens out of aa grey squirrel. Well, the squirrel headed for the trees…

And left Ol’ Snappy to me.

He or she had gotten themselves into a real pickle this time, with a rock ledge on one side, a steep bank to the beer garden on the other side, and a soon-to-be-busy path in front and behind. So once again I found myself making like Captain Kirk, to whom I don’t mean to compare myself even though I obviously just did, and violating the prime directive. I’m not sure exactly where the turtle is trying to go, but it will have a much better chance starting a bit downriver. Best of luck, sweetie.

Meanwhile, a green heron observed our shenanigans from the safety of a tree across the river.

At the north end, another star from yesterday was up and casually striding across the river.

She popped in to check on the island.

And then continue on to the west side.

I hope she finds what she’s looking for, and these mallards at least seemed content to stay put for the moment.

On shore, I found the damselfly basking in the sun. If I had to guess, I’d go with (Enallagma cyathigerum) know variously as common blue, common bluet, or northern bluet.

It was still plenty early and the park shouldn’t be full of market goers yet, so I swung by the pond again just in case, and this time, the ducklings convince Mom to join them for a break on that log.

I could only counted 6 ducklings this morning, and @waterbonds replied to my instagram picture of Mrs. Raccoon yesterday that “@jimmyfk and I saw a raccoon on the pond island and two kits on the trees on the island tonight,” so maybe some ducklings are now enjoying a nice little pond upstate. Or maybe they were just farther a field than I could see. Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow.

On my way home, at the soccer fields, I found a blue jay less shy than usual, or just too intent on the hunt to worry about li’l ol’ me.

Another female eastern black swallowtail was warming herself in the sun.

And some bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) appear to be just about to open.

Finally, the chicory (Cichorium intybus) is also starting to open in a few places.

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 “Critters on the move…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: