We slept in a bit this morning, and I didn’t get to the park until 7, but wait till you see what that timing did for us. When I got to the pond, I found all the ducks huddled together near the island, and the first thing I thought was “hawk”, so I immediately began searching all the nearby trees.
As I searched the trees in vain, suddenly there was a commotion on the water and look who swam right in front of me from the island to the east shore.
Nope, that’s not a hawk, nor a muskrat, beaver, otter, or even raccoon. Instead, this critter was long and skinny with a pointy nose we haven’t seen before, and thus I believe it is an American mink (Neogale vison)! At last!
The surprising thing for me was that the ducks immediately followed it and spent a long time huddled near the shore where it exited the water as if to say, “and don’t come back!”
I waited around a bit, and it didn’t come back, so off to the river I went. Along the way, I spotted this intricately marked moth, who turns out to be a promiscuous angle moth (Macaria promiscuata). I knew angles could be obtuse or acute, but I never knew they could also be promiscuous. Ha!
Also at the river, I spotted the smallest mushrooms I believe I’ve ever seen. That stick they are growing out of is about the size of a pencil, they appear to be called horsehair parachute (Gymnopus androsaceus), and I can’t believe I was able to find them online.
On the island in the river at the north end, a female belted kingfisher uncharacteristically posed for this portrait.
And after I painstakingly worked on that for about 15 minutes, look who was right above her, observing my labors, and looking none to happy about it.
While, on the water, these mallard ducklings were too busy foraging and let Mom keep an eye on me.
Meanwhile, in the meadow, a silver-spotted skipper appeared to sunbathe in this young Queen Anne’s lace blossom.
Since yesterday afternoon had been so gorgeous, I popped out again to see who I could find in the meadow, and this cedar waxwing obliged, if only for a moment.
As did this slightly-roughed-up monarch on a purple cone flower at last.
Back to this morning, on my way south along the river, I spotted the bullfrog, chillin’ picturesquely on a rock in a little side backwater.
And an ebony jewelwing played coy, but not too coy.
Finally, as I made my way out to Wilson Drive, I remember to check on our new nesting robin, and she wasn’t home at the moment so I tried to sneak this shot as quickly as I could with my phone. Woo hoo! Three more eggs to hatch.