It was forecast to get hot today, so I hit the park early, while it was still cool and dark, and I was happily surprised to run into this crew before I even reached the pond. Sure, the picture’s grainy, but it’s a miracle I managed to get an image at all. The streetlights were still on.
At the pond, a young blue heron was already fishing, and I’m pretty sure it’s got a crayfish here.
It’s nice to see the kids be successful once in a while, eh?
Meanwhile, the wood duck ducklings are becoming more independent. Here’s Mom with her friend and one duckling.
While the other four ducklings are running around on the lawn with the American black duck hen. I was lucky to even get 4 of those 5 in a single image.
Talk about “free-range” kids.
At the river, I could see the ripples made by beaver, but none came out to play today. Nor was there a heron fishing at the falls. There was, however, yet another rabbit enticing me to follow it up the trail. Okay. Let’s see what’s at the north end.
There were the usual contingent of geese and mallards on the water, and the waxwings were foraging over the water again, but the big surprise is this stunning creature.
I’m pretty confident that we have here a Halloween pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina), which I am pretty sure I have never seen before. The orange background on the wings is a little subdued, but that could be due to the lighting, the strong green behind the wings, and/or the vaguery of my camera’s color processing.
As I came back south, I stumbled upon another striking creature, which seems to be a Leconte’s haploa moth (Haploa lecontei). Well, it’s definitely a moth and probably in the Haploa genus. From there, Leconte’s appears to be the best fit. We saw one last summer, too.
But wait, there’s more, and this one I had to take with my phone, but it is still good enough to identify an aptly-named white slant-line moth (Tetracis cachexiata).
Okay, that’s enough bugs for one day.
At the soccer fields, the wren was still hopping in and out of its house.
And this little cutie with non-descript markings, which I don’t believe I’ve seen before, would hover low over the long grass for a moment and then dive down to catch something. Then it would pop back up, fly to a nearby low branch, and repeat.
The beak looks finch-like, but the colors don’t match any finch we should have. Instead, I suspect it’s a female or immature indigo bunting. I’ve been seeing a bright blue male singing at the top of the same tree but haven’t managed to capture a presentable image yet. I did get a nice picture of one back in May at the north end, however.
Okay, one last image. The Allegheny monkey flower (Mimulus ringens) is starting to bloom in various locations along the river.