I could hear it pouring out when I woke up, and I thought at first that I’d have to skip the park today. The radar showed a nice big gap, however, after the dawn downpour, so out to the park I went.
I didn’t see a thing until I got to the pond, and there the story gets interesting. Mrs. Wood Duck has a new friend, and even the American black duck hen is fascinated. Here they go, like a little conga line, with the new arrival in the middle. She also keeps her head down and bill against her chest, compared to Mom.
Meanwhile, the ducklings were still abed.
Then it was time for everyone to meet.
And off to breakfast they all went with Mom’s new friend in the lead. Maybe it was her idea: trying to make a good first impression with the kids.
Anyway, here’s one duckling explaining that this is not where they usually eat, as Mom tries not to hover.
But everyone seemed to be getting along fine, so I went to check in on the river.
One of our new beaver buddie swam by, on its way home I thought, but either it stopped on the way, or there’s a back door, because I did not see it arrive. In fact, it appeared that nobody was home, or they were all sleeping in, so I continued north.
I spotted the first common evening-primrose (Oenothera biennis) blossom I’ve seen in the park this season. Just one so far, but I expect there’ll be many more soon.
A blue heron was fishing at the falls again. I saw it make one attempt, which looked unsuccessful, but it was getting really foggy, and I can make plenty of blurry pictures on my own, thank you very much, so I pressed on.
At the north end, another pretty blossom is open, and this one appears to be hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium), big cousin of the little field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) that is already blossoming in the lawn in many places.
The mallard family with three ducklings was resting right near shore, and one duckling looked to be fixin’ to get back to feeding.
I spotted another blue heron in the middle of the river, and this one appeared to be on break.
On my way back south, I spotted the wood duck hen with just one duckling, and a mallard hen with at least six.
Lastly, along the parkway on my way back home, I spotted this colorful critter.
That’s a eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar, and I’m sure glad to see it because I haven’t yet managed to spot one of the butterflies in the park this season, but they were plentiful last summer. Maybe it’s just too early still.