What an absolutely gorgeous November morning for a walk in Estabrook Park, with crystal blue skies, frost on the fallen leaves, and crisp, still air quickly warming in the bright sun. Even better, the critters came out to enjoy it with me.
As I approached the underpass that connects the Oak Leaf Trail to the path along the edge of the bluff, I spotted a pair of deer, and here’s the one willing to let me take a picture.
In the bushes beside the pond, I was thrilled to see that at least one gray catbird has not yet flown to the Gulf coast for the winter.
Meanwhile, on the water right behind the catbird, a hand-full of wood ducks was busy preening after their morning swim.
Down by the river, a goldfinch was just soaking up the sun.
Just upstream, on a branch over the river, this great blue heron was preening while it warmed.
On a tree over the northern island, a young bald eagle, perhaps hatched just this summer, was content to watch the Canada geese and mallards foraging on the river below and let me take this portrait.
A murder of crows, however, was less than thrilled about the situation and tried but failed to urge it along its way. The eagle simply seemed to ignore them, and they soon gave up and moved on.
Lastly, a belted kingfisher was kind enough to perch in front of some colorful foliage that has not yet dropped for the season.
South Holland is great and all, and I sure am lucky to have the opportunity to be there, but it sure is great to be back, too, even if only for a week.